Melatonin is a hormone that your brain produces in response to darkness. It helps with the timing of your circadian rhythms (24-hour internal clock) and with sleep. Being exposed to light at night can block melatonin production. Research suggests that melatonin plays other important roles in the body beyond sleep.
Melatonin is generally safe for short-term use. Unlike with many sleep medications, with melatonin you are unlikely to become dependent, have a diminished response after repeated use (habituation), or experience a hangover effect.
It doesn't make you sleep, but as melatonin levels rise in the evening it puts you into a state of quiet wakefulness that helps promote sleep,” explains Johns Hopkins sleep expert Luis F.
Melatonin is produced by various tissues in the body, although the major source is the pineal gland in the brain. Melatonin (blue) is produced naturally from the amino acid tryptophan, by the pineal gland (purple) at night-time.
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Some of the symptoms of melatonin deficiency include:
Melatonin is mainly prescribed for adults aged 55 or over, to help for short-term sleep problems. It can sometimes be used by adults under the age of 55 and by children, if a doctor recommends it.
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But, although the hormone's plasma levels at nighttime remain at least an order of magnitude higher than at daytime throughout the life span, its absolute concentrations undergo a continuing decline after peaking at ages 2–5 yr (2–4).
Summary: Melatonin can slow down the effects of aging. Scientists have found that a treatment based on melatonin can delay the first signs of aging in a small mammal. Melatonin can slow down the effects of aging.
In summary, MT plays an anti-aging role by enhancing immune functions, regulating the circadian rhythm, and effectively scavenging free radicals.
Unlike oral administration, topically applied melatonin is considered as effective protection against the harmful effects of UV radiation. It is also recommended for the treatment of alopecia and atopic dermatitis and to ameliorate skin tonicity, leading to a significant reduction in skin roughness and wrinkles.
Hair follicles have melatonin receptors, suggesting this hormone plays a role in hair growth cycle. In fact, lab tests showed that the topical application of melatonin extended the anagen / growth stage and resulted in faster growth.
Melatonin is one of the latest trendy skincare ingredients that supposedly helps restore and improve skin tone, while helping to combat signs of aging. While the hormone helps improve the body's sleep and wake cycle, there has been evidence that it furnishes antioxidant properties that rival that of vitamin C and E.
Even though there are benefits to Melatonin, Melatonin has now been linked to hyper-pigmentation, meaning darkening of the skin. There are things in our skin called Melanocytes. These are cells that produce pigmentation in the skin.
The word melatonin means 'skin whitening'. Presence of melatonin causes skin darkening. It affects the skin in some animals. But it does not change the skin colour of humans.
Cells called melanocytes located in the skin, produce melanin. Melanin gives the skin its color. In certain conditions melanocytes can become abnormal and cause an excessive amount of darkening in the color of the skin. Hyperpigmented concentric rings over the tibia are secondary to prior inflammation.
You get vitamin A from the food you eat, especially vegetables that contain beta carotene, such as carrots, sweet potatoes, spinach, and peas. Since vitamin A also functions as an antioxidant, some researchers believe this vitamin, more than any other, may be the key to melanin production.