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Melatonin possesses antioxidant properties

Melatonin is a powerful and versatile antioxidant produced within the body.

Melatonin protects both lipids and proteins against damage, and can scavenge some of the most dangerous free radicals in the body. Unlike other antioxidants, melatonin easily diffuses into all cells, and even crosses the blood-brain barrier to protect the delicate brain.

Melatonin exerts its antioxidant properties in both aqueous (water-soluble) and lipid (fat-soluble) environments of the body. It permeates all of the body’s physiological barriers and enters all of the body’s subcellular compartments and is therefore active as an antioxidant throughout the whole body, including the brain.

Melatonin’s antioxidant properties are particulary effective at quenching the following free radicals:

Melatonin’s Antioxidant properties are particularly effective against Hydroxyl Free Radicals.

Poeggeler, B., et al. Melatonin, hydroxyl radical-mediated oxidative damage, and aging: a hypothesis. Journal of Pineal Research. 14(4):151-168, 1993

Tan, D. Y., et al. Melatonin: a potent endogenous hydroxyl radical scavenger. Endocrinology J. 1:57-60, 1993

Melatonin neutralizes Peroxyl Free Radicals.

Mayo, J. C., et al. Oxidative damage to catalase induced by peroxyl radicals: functional protection by melatonin and other antioxidants. Free Radic Res. 37(5):543-545, 2003

Melatonin scavenges Peroxynitrite Free Radicals.

Zhou, J. L., et al. Melatonin reduces peroxynitrite-induced injury in aortic smooth muscle cells. Acta Pharmacol Sin. 25(2):186-190, 2004

Gupta, Y. K., et al. Neuroprotective role of melatonin in oxidative stress vulnerable brain. Indian J Physiol Pharmacol. 47(4):373-386, 2003

Melatonin deactivates Singlet Oxygen Free Radicals.

Cagnoli, C. M., et al. Melatonin protects neurons from singlet oxygen-induced apoptosis. Journal of Pineal Research. 18(4):222-226, 1995

Melatonin scavenges Superoxide Free Radicals.

Uchida, K., et al. Neuroprotective effects of melatonin against anoxia/aglycemia stress, as assessed by synaptic potentials and superoxide production in rat hippocampal slices. J Pineal Res. 37(4):215-222, 2004


References:

Hardeland, R., et al. The significance of the metabolism of the neurohormone melatonin: Antioxidative protection and formation of bioactive substances. Neurosci Biobehav Rev. 17(3):347-357, 1993

Reiter R. J. The role of the neurohormone melatonin as a buffer against macromolecular oxidative damage. Neurochem Int. 27(6):453-460, 1995

Reiter, R. A review of the evidence supporting melatonin’s role as an antioxidant. Journal of Pineal Research. 18(1):1-11, 1995

Reiter, R. Interactions of the pineal hormone melatonin with oxygen-centred free radicals: a brief review. Brazilian Journal of Med Biological Research. 26:1141-1155, 1993

Reiter, R. J., et al. Free radical-mediated molecular damage. Mechanisms for the protective actions of melatonin in the central nervous system. Ann NY Acad Sci. 939:200-215, 2001

Reiter, R. J., et al. Melatonin as an antioxidant: biochemical mechanisms and pathophysiological implications in humans. Acta Biochim Pol. 50(4):1129-1146, 2003

Reiter, R., et al. Melatonin as a free radical scavenger: Implications for aging and age-related diseases. Annals NY Acad Sciences. 721:1-12, 1994

Suzen S. Recent developments of melatonin related antioxidant compounds. Comb Chem High Throughput Screen. 2006 Jul;9(6):409-19

Tan, D. X., et al. Chemical and physical properties and potential mechanisms: melatonin as a broad spectrum antioxidant and free radical scavenger. Curr Top Med Chem. 2(2):181-187, 2002


Informational References:

Authority on melatonin: Dr. Walter Pierpaoli


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