Melatonin, a compound produced naturally in the body, plays a crucial role in the maintenance of its health. The factor that affects its production is the presence or absence of light. Light hinders the secretion of melatonin while darkness stimulates its production. This normal cycle of production of melatonin can undergo change with factors like aging and use of medicines. When melatonin secretions are disrupted, it can have negative effects on health. So, it is important to establish a balance in melatonin secretion in the body. The ideal way to do this is to consume supplements that contain melatonin. Here are some of the health benefits offered by melatonin:
Melatonin is a strong anti-oxidant that prevents damage to both proteins and lipids. This compound has the ability to eliminate some of the most harmful free radicals. Two such radicals that are found in the body are hydrogen peroxide and hydroxyl radicals. Melatonin is capable of diffusing easily into all types of cells, and owing to this, the compound can cross the blood-brain barrier and safeguard the brain.
When you advance in age, there is a gradual reduction in melatonin production in your body and due to this, there is a related lowering of the anti-oxidant protection offered by them. This can increase the bodys susceptibility to conditions like neuro-degenerative diseases that are caused by the cellular stress induced by free radicals. When you supplement melatonin in your system, your body will be better protected against conditions like stroke, Parkinsons disease and Alzheimers disease.
One of the main health applications of melatonin is related to its ability to combat cancer. Two types of cancer that the compound is capable of fighting different are that of the liver and breast. In addition to this, melatonin can combat brain metastases and non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC). When used by those undergoing chemotherapy for breast cancer, melatonin can increase their response to the drugs used for the treatment. The compound also has the potential to reduce anxiety related to chemotherapy. Studies indicate that melatonin has the capability to fight breast cancer of the hormone response type by preventing the activity of aromatase enzyme.
When used to treat prostrate cancer in aging men, melatonin can reduce the number of cancerous cells in the prostrate. The cancerous cells that remain in the system tend to show a lowered replication rate. With consistent and monitored use of melatonin, these cells show a higher level of differentiation, a trait of cells that are healthy.
An additional benefit of using melatonin as part of cancer treatment is that it has the ability to lessen the negative effects of chemotherapy. Some of the related conditions that melatonin can protect the body from are: heart damage, reduced platelet count, mouth sores and neuro-toxicity.
Prevention of migraine
Another health benefit offered by melatonin is the prevention of migraine. Studies have shown that the compound can bring down the frequency of such headaches. In addition to this, melatonin can also lower the duration and frequency of migraines. Melatonins ability to reduce and alleviate headaches can be related to its ability to scavenge free radicals and its anti-inflammatory property.
Promoting healthy sleep patterns
Melatonins key function is related to promoting a healthy sleep pattern. It can be extremely beneficial for older people to take melatonin supplements, as one of the problems related to aging is the difficulty to fall asleep. Another aging related problem that melatonin can prevent, is the tendency to wake up periodically at night.
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