It looks like the list of potential treatments for COVID-19 that researchers have proposed over several months of the pandemic is another addition: melatonin... A doctor from Texas claims he was cured with400 patients with COVID-19 are already using this medicine. How? Could melatonin, also known as the "sleep hormone", have any effect on the coronavirus? It is still difficult to answer this question, since the doctor did not provide any results of clinical studies. However, scientists believe that if melatonin played any role in treatment, it was not the only factor.
What is Melatonin?
Melatonin - a hormone that is responsible for regulating the sleep and wakefulness cycle in living organisms. Melatonin medications can be taken orally to make it easier to fall asleep, or when jet lag.
It is noted that melatonin treatment alsoprovided patients with vitamin C and vitamin D. None of these vitamins qualify as a proven and evidence-based treatment for SARS-CoV-2. Nonetheless, many scientists are investigating whether melatonin may actually affect the treatment of coronavirus.
Currently, a number of clinical trials are underway in the United States, during which doctors want to establish this.
So far, the treatment of SARS-CoV-2 usingMelatonin is not well supported by healthcare providers, says Cesar Borlongan, a neurologist at the University of South Florida. Much more rigorous research is needed to determine if this hormone can do more than regulate sleep-wake cycles.
Does melatonin help with coronavirus?
Melatonin is often referred to as the "sleep hormone". Secreted by a gland in our brain, this hormone helps prepare the body for sleep - melatonin levels rise at night and fall during the day. Melatonin is often bought at drugstores because it is believed that a couple of tablets containing this hormone will help you fall asleep or improve your wakefulness cycle. Research suggests that this hormone is likely to be helpful with jet lag, but there is little evidence yet that melatonin can help with insomnia or other sleep disorders.
When it comes to curing coronavirus, not everything is hereso unambiguous. In the process of studying the effect of melatonin on COVID-19, scientists are not focusing on how this hormone helps us sleep, but on how it interacts with our immune system. Research shows that melatonin can actually help fight inflammation and other reactions that occur in our bodies when the immune system detects a threat. A certain degree of inflammation is sometimes beneficial for recovery, but this reaction can also become excessive, for example when it leads to the formation of plaque on the walls of blood vessels.
Some health expertsIt is suspected that the over-immune response in COVID-19 patients also causes health problems. According to Russell Reiter, who studies aging at the University of Texas Health Sciences Center in San Antonio, melatonin can help reduce this immune response. The scientist has written several articles on the potential of melatonin, and he and his colleagues in the Philippines published an article in which 10 hospitalized patients with COVID-19 improved their symptoms after several days of taking melatonin-containing drugs.
Reuters strongly believes in melatonin, and if itsto be proven effective, this hormone will prove to be a cheaper treatment option compared to other treatments for COVID-19. At the moment, clinical trials that investigate the effect of melatonin on the coronavirus are still ongoing, and doctors have not yet come to a conclusion.
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How melatonin affects the brain
Other researchers suggest that melatonin may be beneficial for certain neurological problems.
Compared to, say, the flu, SARS-CoV-2 may be more likely to cause a stroke. Early research has shown that sleep disturbances can increase the risk of stroke as well as chronic inflammation.
You can follow this logic and assume thatif melatonin helps sleep or reduces inflammation, then the hormone can prevent stroke - and perhaps some COVID-19 patients can reduce their risk of brain damage by taking melatonin.
But for now no researchconfirming these conclusions.
According to scientists, if inflammation is really reduced, then that means melatonin is working. If patients simply sleep better, then it is more about simple rest, and not about the hormone.
Like many other drugs, melatonin stillmust be proven to be effective in the fight against coronavirus. The good news is that researchers are studying it, and very soon we will learn how our natural hormone affects COVID-19... And does it affect at all.