Study Examines New Benefits of Melatonin for COVID-19
Researchers are zeroing in on the potential of melatonin for COVID-19 treatment as more data indicates that this versatile hormone may aid in a faster recovery.
What is Melatonin?
Melatonin is a hormone that is naturally produced by the brain. Most people recognize the hormone for its role in regulating the body's circadian rhythm. It is this rhythm that supports healthy sleep patterns. This is because the brain releases melatonin in response to darkness, signaling to the body that it is time to wind down and go to sleep. Conversely, melatonin levels drop during the morning hours, sending the signal that it is time to wake up and get the day started.
However, emerging research over the years has shown that melatonin has many additional roles that extend beyond sleep- and wake-cycle regulation. Taking melatonin has been shown to be useful in addressing sleep disorders, jet lag and anxiety.
While melatonin is produced naturally by the body, you can also increase your intake of this hormone through the use of supplementation. Scientists are now discovering that the hormone may also be helpful in the treatment of the COVID-19 virus.
Benefits of Melatonin for COVID
The SARS-CoV-2 virus, more commonly known as COVID-19, has had a disastrous impact on human life and the global economy since it first emerged at the end of 2019. This virus is a systemic disease that impacts the body's tissues and organs, leading to hospitalization and even death in many of the most vulnerable populations. Because of the severity of the virus in some individuals, scientists have been racing around the clock to determine what types of treatments provide the best outcomes.
One of the most surprising revelations over the last few years is that the hormone melatonin could be a powerful tool in the fight against COVID-19. There have been a number of studies from all over the globe that point to melatonin supplementation as an effective treatment to improve health outcomes.
For example, a study out of the Cleveland Clinic shows that the usage of melatonin was associated with a 28 percent reduced chance of testing positive for the virus. This figure was consistent when applied across all ages, races and various health comorbidities such as smoking. What was even more hopeful was the revelation that the study showed a 52 percent decrease in the onset of the virus in African Americans, a subset of the population that has been hit particularly hard by COVID-19.
What the Studies Have Demonstrated about Melatonin Use
While the specifics of the data varies between studies, there have been a number of common findings that point to the potential positive outcomes associated with taking a melatonin supplement when dealing with COVID-19. Here are a few of the most promising outcomes of melatonin supplementation as it relates to the virus.
Improvement in Symptoms
A study out of the Baqiyatallah Hospital in Tehran, Iran showed that patients suffering from mild to moderate COVID-19 demonstrated fewer symptoms when treated with melatonin compared to those who received a placebo. The patients taking the melatonin showed a meaningful improvement in some of the most common COVID-19 symptoms, including cough, fatigue and shortness of breath.
You do not need a medical degree to understand that proper rest is essential in the recovery process from any virus. Because melatonin has always been shown to improve sleep patterns, it makes sense that the supplement will help COVID-19 patients to recover more quickly.
Reduction in Oxidative Stress
Melatonin was shown to have a potential impact on oxidative stress in a study looking at the data from the Wisconsin Upper Respiratory Symptom Survey (WURSS). Oxidative stress is the measure of the balance between dangerous free radicals and the body's antioxidant defenses.
Faster Discharge from Hospitals
The use of melatonin in hospitalized patients also translated to a faster discharge, pointing to its effectiveness in speeding up the recovery process.
More Complete Recovery
One of the most distressing elements of this virus is the way that it seems to take hold and does not let go. Many infected individuals report experiencing symptoms months after the original diagnosis. Those treated with melatonin have been shown to recover from the symptoms more quickly, helping patients to get back to life as normal.
How to Improve COVID-19 Outcomes
The use of melatonin is just one part of the puzzle in aiming to improve COVID-19 outcomes. Medical experts also continually stress the importance of staying on top of all recommended vaccines and boosters in boosting the odds of staying out of the hospital if infected with the virus.
Other good steps include being proactive about taking care of your overall health. Healthier people are able to better withstand the impacts of the virus and improve their outcomes. This makes it important to nourish the body with nutritious foods, engage in regular exercise and lean on supplements as an extra layer of insurance to make sure that your body is in fighting shape when exposed to COVID-19.
It is clear that COVID-19 is here to stay. By taking care of your health through the use of supplements such as melatonin and other healthy habits, you will reduce the negative impacts that the virus may have on your life.