Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Asthma Patients Cautioned About Melatonin

Date:
September 8, 2003
Source:
National Jewish Medical And Research Center
Summary:
People with asthma should consider limiting the use of melatonin as a sleep aid, according to researchers at National Jewish Medical and Research Center. Pulmonologist Rand Sutherland, M.D., M.P.H., and his colleagues report in the September 2003 issue of the Journal of Allergy and Clinical Immunology that higher levels of melatonin were associated with an overnight loss of lung function in asthma patients.

People with asthma should consider limiting the use of melatonin as a sleep aid, according to researchers at National Jewish Medical and Research Center. Pulmonologist Rand Sutherland, M.D., M.P.H., and his colleagues report in the September 2003 issue of the Journal of Allergy and Clinical Immunology that higher levels of melatonin were associated with an overnight loss of lung function in asthma patients. Previous studies by the same group have shown that melatonin induces the release of chemicals that promote inflammation, a hallmark symptom of asthma.

"For patients whose asthma worsens at night, we found that higher levels of naturally occurring melatonin are associated with impaired lung function," said Dr. Sutherland. "Those findings, on top of previous ones linking melatonin to inflammation, suggest that all patients with asthma should avoid using melatonin supplements until more is known about their safety."

Melatonin, a hormone secreted by the pineal gland in the brain, is an important regulator of circadian rhythms in the body, especially sleep. It is released at night, generally beginning in the evening hours before bedtime, peaking in the middle of the night, and ending about the time people awaken. Because of its association with sleep, over-the-counter melatonin has become a popular dietary supplement sold as a treatment for jet lag and insomnia.

However, melatonin has also been shown to enhance inflammation in cell and animal studies of asthma. Airway inflammation is one reason people with asthma have difficulty breathing. A significant portion of asthma patients experience increased symptoms at night. Dr. Sutherland and his colleagues hypothesized that melatonin may play a role in this nighttime worsening of asthma.

The researchers had seven people with nocturnal asthma, 13 with non-nocturnal asthma, and 11 healthy controls establish a regular sleep schedule for seven days. On the eighth night, small blood samples were taken from the sleeping patients every two hours. These samples were evaluated for their melatonin levels. The study subjects also performed lung function tests before going to bed and after waking up.

The patients with nocturnal asthma had the highest levels of melatonin and the greatest drop in lung function overnight. Peak levels of melatonin averaged 67.5 picograms/milliliter in nocturnal asthmatics, 61.1 pg/mL in non-nocturnal asthmatics, and 53.5 in healthy controls. Lung function, as measured by the amount of air patients can exhale in one second (FEV1), dropped an average of 18.8 percent in nocturnal asthmatics, 5.1 percent in non-nocturnal asthmatics, and increased 1.5 percent in healthy controls. The correlation between overnight change in FEV1 and melatonin levels showed a strong 0.79 correlation in patients with nocturnal asthma. There was a slight, but not statistically significant, correlation among patients with non-nocturnal asthma.

"These findings suggest that melatonin naturally produced by people with nocturnal asthma increases inflammation in their airways, leading to worse lung function," said Dr. Sutherland. "Given that previous work has shown that melatonin promotes inflammation in the cells of both nocturnal and non-nocturnal asthmatics, any person with asthma should be cautious about taking supplements that would further raise their melatonin blood levels."


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by National Jewish Medical And Research Center. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Cite This Page:

National Jewish Medical And Research Center. "Asthma Patients Cautioned About Melatonin." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 8 September 2003. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2003/09/030908070842.htm>.
National Jewish Medical And Research Center. (2003, September 8). Asthma Patients Cautioned About Melatonin. ScienceDaily. Retrieved October 22, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2003/09/030908070842.htm
National Jewish Medical And Research Center. "Asthma Patients Cautioned About Melatonin." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2003/09/030908070842.htm (accessed October 22, 2014).

Share This



More Health & Medicine News

Wednesday, October 22, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Orthodontist Mom Jennifer Salzer on the Best Time for Braces

Orthodontist Mom Jennifer Salzer on the Best Time for Braces

Working Mother (Oct. 22, 2014) Is your child ready? Video provided by Working Mother
Powered by NewsLook.com
U.S. Issues Ebola Travel Restrictions, Are Visa Bans Next?

U.S. Issues Ebola Travel Restrictions, Are Visa Bans Next?

Newsy (Oct. 22, 2014) Now that the U.S. is restricting travel from West Africa, some are dropping questions about a travel ban and instead asking about visa bans. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
US to Track Everyone Coming from Ebola Nations

US to Track Everyone Coming from Ebola Nations

AP (Oct. 22, 2014) Stepping up their vigilance against Ebola, federal authorities said Wednesday that everyone traveling into the US from Ebola-stricken nations will be monitored for symptoms for 21 days. (Oct. 22) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Doctors Help Paralysed Man Walk Again, Patient in Disbelief

Doctors Help Paralysed Man Walk Again, Patient in Disbelief

AFP (Oct. 22, 2014) Polish doctors describe how they helped a paralysed man walk again, with the patient in disbelief at the return of sensation to his legs. Duration: 1:04 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:

Strange & Offbeat Stories


Health & Medicine

Mind & Brain

Living & Well

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