Multiple research studies performed over the last year, including a Cleveland Clinic-led study, published in PLOS Biology [https://journals.plos.org/plosbiology/article?id=10.1371/journal.pbio.3000970]
have suggested that melatonin may be a viable treatment option for COVID-19.
Melatonin is a hormone that is commonly used as an over-the-counter sleep aid, as it regulates the sleep-wake cycle. It is also an antioxidant, anti-inflammatory, and immunomodulatory compound that has been found to impair the complications of COVID-19. It acts as a free radical searcher and metabolizes to compounds with high antioxidant activity, triggering the synthesis of antioxidant enzymes.
In a nutshell, these studies found that melatonin can augment the treatment of a variety of viral infections and help in preventing viral infection, including Covid-19, and that it had very good potential in combatting the pandemic.
Scientists extensively reviewed the potential benefit of melatonin for COVID-19 patients and stated as part of their conclusions:
“Therefore, the use of the very safe drug melatonin in adequate doses can prevent the development of severe disease symptoms in coronavirus patients, reduce the severity of their symptoms, and reduce the immuno-pathology of coronavirus infection on patients’ health after the active phase of the infection is over,” the researchers explained.
Another important factor discussed was that the older people get, the lower their levels of circulating melatonin tends to be, which explains why those higher in age may be more likely to suffer from severe symptoms. Viruses can cause an increase in inflammatory cytokines, and since older adults have lower levels of melatonin, they will have impaired immunity.
Another study [https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/32347747/] stated:
“Viruses induce an explosion of inflammatory cytokines and reactive oxygen species, and melatonin is the best natural antioxidant that is lost with age. The programmed cell death coronaviruses cause, which can result in significant lung damage, is also inhibited by melatonin. Coronavirus causes inflammation in the lungs which requires inflammasome activity. Melatonin blocks these inflammasomes. General immunity is impaired by anxiety and sleep deprivation. Melatonin improves sleep habits, reduces anxiety and stimulates immunity. Fibrosis may be the most dangerous complication after COVID-19. Melatonin is known to prevent fibrosis. Mechanical ventilation may be necessary but yet imposes risks due to oxidative stress, which can be reduced by melatonin. Thus, by using the safe over-the-counter drug melatonin, we may be immediately able to prevent the development of severe disease symptoms in coronavirus patients, reduce the severity of their symptoms, and/or reduce the immuno-pathology of coronavirus infection on patients’ health after the active phase of the infection is over.”
Another study on Melatonin and Covid stated:
“Although the direct protective action of melatonin against COVID-19 is unknown, its extensive application in animal studies and human clinical trials has repeatedly verified its efficacy and safety in a broad range of disorders. Therefore, melatonin practical usage in the current COVID-19 outbreak is suggested to be beneficial.
US National Library of Medicine [https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7102583/ ]
Melatonin is best taken before bed. It is most commonly seen in 1, 3 or 5 mg tablets. You can also get time released version in 5 mg. The suggested dosage is 6 to 10 mg for up to one to two months, which is reported as safe, based on clinical trials done. [https://clinicaltrials.gov/ct2/show/NCT04474483]