The many faces of MELATONIN
Most of us know that melatonin is a sleep aid but it’s much more than that!!
Melatonin, a hormone made by the pineal gland, has an antibacterial effect on white blood cells (an indicator of an infection), reduces oxidative lung injury and reduces cell inflammation during viral infections! No surprise then, when the connection between melatonin and COVID-19 became apparent. There is now significant data showing that these properties are proving to have beneficial recovery outcomes for COVID-19 patients.
Additionally, children naturally produce more melatonin because as we age, there’s a decline in our body’s ability to produce the hormone. Could this be one of the contributing factors to why most children do not have as severe symptoms as older adults?
Sage advise tells us to get plenty of sleep when we’ve got a virus. Adequate sleep ensures the secretion of melatonin and may play a role in reducing coronavirus virulence. Unlike some pharmaceuticals, melatonin has a high safety profile. If you supplement, with or without the virus, start low because less is more with melatonin. If you are symptom free, now is a good time to find your threshold. Start with 1mg and add as needed. Even though most people experience better sleep with 2-3mg, if you have the virus, preliminary studies are showing that 5mg+ (depending on the severity of your illness) is beneficial. As always, consult with your doctor before adding anything new to your regimen.
The best part is, whether you are asymptomatic or already exhibiting symptoms, getting a good night’s sleep (7 hrs or more) will decrease your risk when compared to people who get only 5 hours.