Viral Diseases

Medical Studies on Melatonin and Viral Diseases

Melatonin is, in a sense, a star among the body’s natural antioxidants, because it fights and neutralises free radicals down to the cellular level, protecting DNA from damage. But its potential as a free radical catcher doesn’t stop there – melatonin is also able to stimulate the cells’ production of further free-radical interceptors, which further boosts its anti-oxidative effect.

Strengthening the immune system

These properties are of particular interest for fighting and treating viral diseases such as Ebola and herpes as well as those caused by coronavirus, such as 2019-nCoV. In addition, melatonin boosts the immune system, which is a key factor of any successful therapy, especially during viral pandemics.

Melatonin protects cells

Viruses always need host cells to replicate in the human organism. One way to treat viral diseases is therefore based on preventing this process. Studies are increasingly suggesting that coronaviruses in particular attack human cells via ACE2 (angiotensin-converting enzyme 2).

Melatonin and coronaviruses

Melatonin indirectly regulates ACE2 expression and has been deemed to be a promising agent in the fight against coronavirus in several studies, as it could prevent infection of these cells. At the same time, it also prevents the premature cell death of these infected cells (apoptosis), which not only slows the spread of infection but also buys the immune system more time to adapt to the infection.

Medical Studies on Melatonin and Viral Diseases

Can melatonin reduce the severity of COVID-19 pandemic?

2020-04 Shneider A, Kudriavtsev A, Vakhrusheva A

The current COVID-19 pandemic is one of the most devastating events in recent history. The virus causes relatively minor damage to young, healthy populations, imposing life-threatening danger to the elderly and people with diseases of chronic inflammation. Therefore, if we could reduce the risk for vulnerable populations, it would make the COVID-19 pandemic more similar to other typical outbreaks.

Melatonin as a mitochondria-targeted antioxidant: one of evolution’s best ideas.

2017-11 Reiter RJ, Rosales-Corral S, Tan DX, Jou MJ, Galano A, Xu B

Melatonin is an ancient antioxidant. After its initial development in bacteria, it has been retained throughout evolution such that it may be or may have been present in every species that have existed. Even though it has been maintained throughout evolution during the diversification of species, melatonin’s chemical structure has never changed; thus, the melatonin …

Melatonin as a mitochondria-targeted antioxidant: one of evolution’s best ideas. Read More »

Melatonin: action as antioxidant and potential applications in human disease and aging.

2010-11 Bonnefont-Rousselot D, Collin F.

This review aims at describing the beneficial properties of melatonin related to its antioxidant effects. Oxidative stress, i.e., an imbalance between the production of reactive oxygen species and antioxidant defences, is involved in several pathological conditions such as cardiovascular or neurological disease, and in aging. Therefore, research for antioxidants has developed. However, classical antioxidants often failed to exhibit beneficial effects, especially in metabolic diseases.

Melatonin signaling and cell protection function.

2010-10 Luchetti F, Canonico B, Betti M, Arcangeletti M, Pilolli F, Piroddi M, Piroddi M, Canesi L, Papa S, Galli F

Besides its well-known regulatory role on circadian rhythm, the pineal gland hormone melatonin has other biological functions and a distinct metabolism in various cell types and peripheral tissues. In different tissues and organs, melatonin has been described to act as a paracrine and also as an intracrine and autocrine agent with overall homeostatic functions and pleiotropic effects that include cell protection and prosurvival factor.

Antioxidant properties of the melatonin metabolite N1-acetyl-5-methoxykynuramine (AMK): scavenging of free radicals and prevention of protein destruction.

2003-12 Ressmeyer AR, Mayo JC, Zelosko V, Sáinz RM, Tan DX, Poeggeler B, Antolín I, Zsizsik BK, Reiter RJ, Hardeland R

In numerous experimental systems, the neurohormone melatonin has been shown to protect against oxidative stress, an effect which appears to be the result of a combination of different actions. In this study, we have investigated the possible contribution to radical scavenging by substituted kynuramines formed from melatonin via pyrrole ring cleavage.

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