Melatonin, a pineal hormone, is well known for its unique characteristics and multimodal mechanism of action to regulate human physiology. It does not only control nocturnal effects, but it also regulates physiological functions for the next day, which take place in the absence of melatonin. Melatonin is a chronobiotic molecule due to its ability to encode time and regulate physiological functions of the body according to diurnal, annual, and seasonal variations.
Additionally, melatonin production starts in fetal life to regulate fetal programming and energy metabolism in adulthood.
In 1958, Aaron B. Lerner- An American physician, and his colleagues isolated melatonin for the first time at Yala University of Medicine. It was named after its ability to lighten skin colour in frogs and reverse the effects of melanocyte-stimulating hormone (A skin-darkening hormone).
What Is Melatonin And How Does It Work?
Melatonin, or methoxy-N-acetyltryptamine, is a tryptophan derivative secreted by pineal gland. It is synthesised by pinealocytes from an amino acid, tryptophan. Norepinephrine triggers melatonin synthesis, and it is released into central and peripheral tissues immediately.
The most important physiological function of melatonin is to regulate circadian rhythm. Its production is controlled by the detection of light and dark on the retina. When the retina detects light during day time, melatonin production is inhibited. In comparison, its production reaches the peak level at night to promote sleep, decrease body temperature, and slow down respiration rate to relax the body and induce sleep. Suprachiasmatic nuclei of the hypothalamus transfer luminous information from the retina to pineal gland.
Its concentration reaches a peak level between 2 to 4 Am and gradually decreases in the second half of the night. 80% of melatonin production takes place at night with a serum concentration of 80-120 pg/ml. The serum concentration of melatonin declines to 10-20 pg/ml during the daytime.
Mechanism of Action of Melatonin:
Melatonin involves different molecular pathways and activates membrane-specific receptors, ML1 and ML2 receptors. Through these receptors, melatonin controls the sleep-wake cycle, body temperature cycle, and neuroendocrine functions.
Role of Melatonin In the Human Body:
Melatonin controls circadian rhythm, essential for neurogenesis, intellectual functions, mood elevation, and seizure control.
In fetal life, melatonin directs its effects on the placenta to control diurnal rhythms and the biological clock. It also initiates the release of the hCG hormone and controls placental functions.
Besides circadian rhythm, melatonin is known as a chronobiotic molecule and an endogenous synchroniser to reinforce oscillations in the body. It adjusts the biological clock in the human body (present in the suprachiasmatic nuclei of the hypothalamus) and regulates body rhythms.
Additionally, through ML2 receptors, Melatonin directs its fat-lowering effects on the body. It affects body mass and bone mass and regulates energy expenditure in the body.
Clinical Aspects of Melatonin:
Melatonin is the most versatile antioxidant that scavenges free radicals (mainly hydroxyl ions and hydrogen peroxide) and protects the body from oxidative stress. Melatonin can easily diffuse to the different cells of the body. It can also cross the blood-brain barrier to protect the brain from damage caused by free radicals.
Patients with Alzheimer’s disease have a deficiency of Melatonin. Low melatonin levels usually cause agitation, confusion, and sleep disturbance at sundowning. Melatonin protects the brain cells from beta amyloids and decreases cognitive deterioration.
Melatonin improves sleep quality in patients with Parkinson’s disease. Its radical scavenging and antioxidant properties help improve the outcome in patients with stroke. Stroke is most commonly caused by high blood pressure. Melatonin regulates blood pressure and relaxes the body during sleep.
Moreover, melatonin has been introduced in the treatment of various diseases, including:
– Ocular problems
– Rheumatoid arthritis
– Diabetes mellitus
– Rheumatoid arthritis
– Chronic fatigue syndrome
– Renal insufficiency
– Sleep disorders
– Jet lag
– Delayed sleep disorder
– Neurodegenerative disorders
– Arterial hypertension
It has also been used in invitro fertilisation, cancer treatment, hemodialysis, and anaesthesia.
Melatonin helps with wound closure and granulations, new bone growth, cytoskeletal remodeling, and decreases skeletal muscle atrophy.
A lot of scientific work is under clinical trials in this area. It has come forward that many autoimmune diseases are due to low levels of melatonin. These include memory loss, aggressiveness, hallucinations, poor immune system, diabetes, being overweight, inability to lose weight and build muscles, heart diseases, and high blood pressure.
How can the ANF Melatonin Device benefit your patients?
The ANF Melatonin Device offers potential advantages such as improving sleep quality, promoting body regeneration, relieving muscle cramps and stress, enhancing healing, and increasing glutathione production.
For individuals experiencing cramps or muscle stress, placing the melatonin device directly on the affected area may provide relief and aid healing. Combining the melatonin device with a glutathione device can potentially boost glutathione production, especially for patients with low melatonin levels, which may help prevent the production of free radicals and oxidative stress.
As a healthcare professional, how can you incorporate ANF into your practice?
ANF Therapy®️ provides a drug-free and non-invasive approach that doesn’t require machines or needles. Applying ANF Devices directly on the skin can potentially influence the regulation of your patients’ nervous system, supporting their self-healing and self-regulating processes.
ANF Therapy®️ takes a holistic approach, integrating knowledge from anatomy, biochemistry, physiology, and neuroscience to understand the human body better.