Supplement with melatonin and decrease inflammation, recover faster, and prevent cancer. Melatonin, a potent therapeutic hormone that helps you sleep, has been shown to aid in muscle regeneration, while decreasing oxidative stress. Additionally, it is considered an important hormone in cancer prevention and because of its antioxidant potential, it slows the aging process.
Melatonin is secreted from the pineal gland, which is located at the base of the brain, and is involved in controlling sleep patterns and your circadian rhythms. Taking it can improve sleep, and research from the University of Paris found that melatonin functions in the body as an antioxidant more effectively than classical antioxidants such as vitamin E and C, particularly in regards to treatment of metabolic diseases. Due to its chemical makeup, melatonin can cross physiological barriers in the body and scavenge free radicals.
Take note that melatonin improves muscle healing following muscular injury. A new study from the University of Rostock in Germany found that taking melatonin daily after blunt trauma injury significantly increased muscular contraction force. Researchers found that biochemical markers of muscle resynthesis were upregulated one day after injury and supplementation with melatonin and healing was significantly hastened at day four and seven. This evidence suggests that melatonin may assist with other healing and tissue regeneration processes, and can speed recovery from training.
Data from Spain support our understanding of melatonin as a forceful antioxidant that decreases oxidative stress and inflammation, the result being lower blood pressure levels in hypertensive patients. Melatonin also has healing and preventative effects on the elderly, meaning that it plays a role in slowing the aging process. Of particular interest is evidence that it restores muscle physiology, particularly in the colon, meaning it helps prevent colon cancer.
You can’t go wrong by taking melatonin, but be sure to take the right kind at the best time of day. Read my article about melatonin’s role in reducing headaches, countering jet leg, boosting brain health, and lifting the immune system in What Dreams May Come
. I go over the time-release delivery system of my melatonin supplements and provide tips for adding it to your diet.
Stratos, J., Richter, N., Ratter, R., Li, Z., Zechner, D., Mittimeier, R., Vollmar, B. Melatonin Restores Muscle Regeneration and Enhances Muscle Function After Crush Injury in Rats. Journal of Pineal Research. June 2011. Published Ahead of Print.
Pascua, P., Camello-Almaraz, C., Camello, P., Marin-Cano, et al. Melatonin, and to a Lesser Extent Growth Hormone, Restores Colonic Smooth Muscle Physiology in Old Rats. Journal of Pineal Research. May 2011. Published Ahead of Print.
Bonnefont-Rousselot, D., Collin, F. Melatonin: Action as antioxidant and Potential applications in Human Disease and aging. Toxicology. April 2010. 278(1), 55-67.
Pozo, M., Gomez-Pinilla, P., Carmello-Almaraz, D., Marin-Cano, F., Pascua, P., et al. Melatonin, A Potential Therapeutic Agent for Smooth Muscle-Related Pathological Conditions and Aging. Current Medicinal Chemistry. 2010. 17(34), 4150-4165.