Melatonin is a small, highly conserved indole with numerous receptor-mediated and receptor-independent actions. Receptor-dependent functions include circadian rhythm regulation, sleep, and cancer inhibition. The receptor-independent actions relate to melatonin’s ability to function in the detoxiﬁcation of free radicals, thereby protecting critical molecules from the destructive effects of oxidative stress under conditions of ischemia/reperfusion injury (stroke, heart attack), ionizing radiation, and drug toxicity, among others. Melatonin has numerous applications in physiology and medicine.
The excerpt from this article cites content from Physiology Reviews:
“Living a Healthier Lifestyle”
September , 2014; 29 (5): 302-03.
current as of September 4, 2014.
When melatonin is to be used: the dose and timing of when it is given may be critical in determining its efﬁcacy as a treatment … The doses typically used in animal/human studies for Melatonin and its metabolites (studied) – that are formed when the parent molecule scavenges toxic radicals
Anti- oxidant cascade
This series of reactions is referred to as melatonin’s anti- oxidant cascade, and it permits melatonin to directly and indirectly detoxify multiple radicals. These molecules differ somewhat in terms of their efﬁcacies toward the radicals they scavenge.
Melatonin Isomers: Isomers of melatonin have been identiﬁed in plant products, and we have predicted they will eventually be found throughout the plant and animal kingdoms. Isomers are molecules with the identical molecular size as melatonin; they also possess the same methoxy residue and the aliphatic side chain as melatonin itself, but they are in different locations on the indole nucleus. Presently published reports show that the isomers bind to classic membrane melatonin receptors and function in free-radical detoxiﬁcation.