Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Melatonin: More Than You Bargain For?

Date:
May 26, 1999
Source:
American Chemical Society
Summary:
People who take the popular supplement melatonin hoping for antioxidant or sleep benefits may be getting more than they bargain for, according to Louisiana State University chemists. Their newly released findings show melatonin reacts with chemicals in the body to form compounds that could alter behavior.

Study Suggests Supplement Has Potential To Cause Unwanted Reactions In The Body

People who take the popular supplement melatonin hoping for antioxidant or sleep benefits may be getting more than they bargain for, according to Louisiana State University chemists. Their newly released findings show melatonin reacts with chemicals in the body to form compounds that could alter behavior.

Details about the research will appear in the peer-reviewed journal Chemical Research in Toxicology, published by the American Chemical Society (ACS), the world's largest scientific society. The paper will become available on the ACS Web May 26 and is tentatively scheduled to be in the journal's June 14 print edition.

Melatonin is produced naturally by the body to control sleep cycles, but is needed in only very low concentrations. It is sold as a sleeping aid and as an antioxidant. However, chemists William A. Pryor and Giuseppe L. Squadrito of the university's Biodynamics Institute say that the antioxidant properties of melatonin are very modest at best and that metabolizing excess melatonin may cause more harm than good. "It is our hypothesis," says Squadrito, "that secondary products of melatonin have as yet unrecognized health effects."

The scientists found that carbonate and nitrogen dioxide radicals, which are constantly formed in the human body from peroxynitrite, react with melatonin to form two cyclic metabolites that resemble brain signaling chemicals but whose biological function is unknown. "Our kinetic modeling, using competitive reactions, indicate that the reaction of melatonin with peroxynitrite-derived free radicals is physiologically important," states Squadrito adding that it "becomes even more important when taking melatonin as a supplement."

While admitting that it is unclear how increased amounts of the neurotransmitter-like metabolites impact health, Squadrito theorizes that "they could have an important effect on aspects of behavior...like mood."

All of these experiments were conducted within laboratory equipment. Squadrito says future studies are needed to measure the compounds within the human body and determine whether there is a correlation between their levels and any health problems.

###

A nonprofit organization with a membership of nearly 159,000 chemists and chemical engineers, the American Chemical Society publishes scientific journals and databases, convenes major research conferences, and provides educational, science policy and career programs in chemistry. Its main offices are in Washington, D.C., and Columbus, Ohio.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by American Chemical Society. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Cite This Page:

American Chemical Society. "Melatonin: More Than You Bargain For?." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 26 May 1999. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/1999/05/990526060822.htm>.
American Chemical Society. (1999, May 26). Melatonin: More Than You Bargain For?. ScienceDaily. Retrieved July 24, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/1999/05/990526060822.htm
American Chemical Society. "Melatonin: More Than You Bargain For?." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/1999/05/990526060822.htm (accessed July 24, 2014).

Share This




More Health & Medicine News

Thursday, July 24, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

New Painkiller Designed To Discourage Abuse: Will It Work?

New Painkiller Designed To Discourage Abuse: Will It Work?

Newsy (July 24, 2014) The FDA approved Targiniq ER on Wednesday, a painkiller designed to keep users from abusing it. Like any new medication, however, it has doubters. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Doctor At Forefront Of Fighting Ebola Outbreak Gets Ebola

Doctor At Forefront Of Fighting Ebola Outbreak Gets Ebola

Newsy (July 24, 2014) Sheik Umar Khan has treated many of the people infected in the Ebola outbreak, and now he's become one of them. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Condemned Man's US Execution Takes Nearly Two Hours

Condemned Man's US Execution Takes Nearly Two Hours

AFP (July 24, 2014) America's death penalty debate raged Thursday after it took nearly two hours for Arizona to execute a prisoner who lost a Supreme Court battle challenging the experimental lethal drug cocktail. Duration: 00:55 Video provided by AFP
Powered by NewsLook.com
China's Ageing Millions Look Forward to Bleak Future

China's Ageing Millions Look Forward to Bleak Future

AFP (July 24, 2014) China's elderly population is expanding so quickly that children struggle to look after them, pushing them to do something unexpected in Chinese society- move their parents into a nursing home. Duration: 02:07 Video provided by AFP
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:

Breaking News:
from the past week

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile: iPhone Android Web
Follow: Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe: RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins