Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

High Melatonin Content Can Help Delay Aging, Mouse Study Suggests

Date:
April 24, 2007
Source:
University of Granada
Summary:
A study carried out by researchers from the University of Granada's Institute of Biotechnology shows that consuming melatonin neutralizes oxidative damage and delays the neurodegenerative process of aging. In this study researchers used normal and genetically-modified mice which were subjected to accelerated cell aging. Researchers believe their results can also be applied to humans.

A study carried out by researchers from the University of Granada’s Institute of Biotechnology shows that consuming melatonin neutralizes oxidative damage and delays the neurodegenerative process of aging. In this study researchers used normal and genetically-modified mice which were subjected to accelerated cell aging. Researchers believe their results can also be applied to humans.

Related Articles


The Spanish aging Research Network (Red Nacional de Investigación del Envejecimiento), funded by Carlos III Health Institute and headed by professor Darío Acuña Castroviejo, from the University of Granada (Universidad de Granada), is very near to achieving one of science's greatest goals: allowing humans to age in the best possible health conditions.

As well as from the UGR, researchers from the Spanish universities of Seville, Oviedo, Saragossa, Barcelona and Reus also took part in this study, concluding that the consumption of melatonin – a natural substance produced in small amounts by human beings and present in many types of food – delays the oxidative damage and inflammatory processes typical of the old age. Melatonin can be found in small amounts in some fruits and vegetables, like onions, cherries and bananas, and in cereals like corn, oats and rice, as well as in some aromatic plants, such as mint, lemon verbena, sage or thyme, and in red wine.

UGR participation in this study was leaded by professor Darío Acuña Castroviejo, member of the Institute of Biotechnology and lecturer at this University’s department of Physiology. Professor Acuña Castroviejo also coordinates the Spanish aging Research Network. Both normal and genetically-modified mice, with an accelerated cell aging, were analysed. "We proved", says professor Acuña Castroviejo, “that the first signs of aging in animal tissues start at the age of five months [in mice] – equivalent to 30 human years of age – due to an increase in free radicals (oxygen and nitrogen), which cause an inflammatory reaction.”

The UGR researcher points out that such oxidative stress also has effects in animals’ blood, as blood cells have been proven to be “more fragile with the years and, therefore, their cell membranes become easier to break".

Use in mice

The authors administered small amounts of melatonin to mice and observed that not only did this substance neutralize the oxidative stress and the inflammatory process caused by aging, but it also delayed its effects, thus increasing longevity. In particular, the University of Granada’s goal was to analyse the mitochondrial function in mice and check their mitochondrial capacity to produce ATP – adenosine triphosphate – a molecule whose mission is to store the energy every cell needs to carry out its functions.

Professor Acuña Castroviejo highlights that chronic administration of melatonin in animals from the moment they stop producing this substance – five months of age in mice – helps counteract all age-related processes. Therefore, the researcher asserts, daily melatonin intake in humans from the age of 30 or 40 could prevent – or, at least, delay – illnesses related to aging, free radicals and inflammatory processes, such as many neurodegenerative disorders (e.g. Parkinson's disease) and complications linked to other illnesses, like diabetes.

The researcher is confident that the Spanish Ministry of Health will soon legalise the use of melatonin since, being a substance naturally produced by the body, it cannot be patented and the drug industry would not make much profit out of its artificial production. However, “while the substance becomes legalised, humans should try to increase melatonin consumption through food", recommends professor Acuña Castroviejo.

The results of this study have been published in several medical journals, including Free Radical Research, Experimental Gerontology, Journal of Pineal Research and Frontiers in Bioscience.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by University of Granada. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Cite This Page:

University of Granada. "High Melatonin Content Can Help Delay Aging, Mouse Study Suggests." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 24 April 2007. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2007/04/070424062819.htm>.
University of Granada. (2007, April 24). High Melatonin Content Can Help Delay Aging, Mouse Study Suggests. ScienceDaily. Retrieved October 25, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2007/04/070424062819.htm
University of Granada. "High Melatonin Content Can Help Delay Aging, Mouse Study Suggests." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2007/04/070424062819.htm (accessed October 25, 2014).

Share This



More Health & Medicine News

Saturday, October 25, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Texas Nurse Nina Pham Cured of Ebola

Texas Nurse Nina Pham Cured of Ebola

AFP (Oct. 25, 2014) — An American nurse who contracted Ebola while caring for a Liberian patient in Texas has been declared free of the virus and will leave the hospital. Duration: 01:01 Video provided by AFP
Powered by NewsLook.com
IKEA Desk Converts From Standing to Sitting With One Button

IKEA Desk Converts From Standing to Sitting With One Button

Buzz60 (Oct. 24, 2014) — IKEA is out with a new convertible desk that can convert from a sitting desk to a standing one with just the push of a button. Jen Markham explains. Video provided by Buzz60
Powered by NewsLook.com
Ebola Protective Suits Being Made in China

Ebola Protective Suits Being Made in China

AFP (Oct. 24, 2014) — A factory in China is busy making Ebola protective suits for healthcare workers and others fighting the spread of the virus. Duration: 00:38 Video provided by AFP
Powered by NewsLook.com
WHO: Millions of Ebola Vaccine Doses by 2015

WHO: Millions of Ebola Vaccine Doses by 2015

AP (Oct. 24, 2014) — The World Health Organization said on Friday that millions of doses of two experimental Ebola vaccines could be ready for use in 2015 and five more experimental vaccines would start being tested in March. (Oct. 24) Video provided by AP
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