[Note: To read the full text of this overview of clinical evidence for supplemental melatonin’s pain relieving effects in fibromyalgia, irritable bowel syndrome, and migraine, click HERE.]
Melatonin is an endogenous indoleamine [neurotransmitter], produced mainly by the pineal gland.
Melatonin has been proven to have chronobiotic, antioxidant, antihypertensive, anxiolytic and sedative properties. [Positively influences the body’s circadian rhythms, blood pressure, anxiety, and sleep.]
There are also experimental and clinical data supporting an analgesic [pain reducing] role of melatonin.
• In experimental studies, melatonin shows potent analgesic effects in a dose-dependent manner.
• In clinical studies, melatonin has been shown to have analgesic benefits in patients with chronic pain (fibromyalgia, irritable bowel syndrome, migraine).
The physiologic mechanism underlying the analgesic actions of melatonin has not been clarified. The effects may be linked to G(i)-coupled melatonin receptors, to G(i)-coupled opioid mu-receptors or GABA-B receptors with unknown downstream changes with a consequential reduction in anxiety and pain.
Also, the repeated administration of melatonin improves sleep and thereby may reduce anxiety, which leads to lower levels of pain.
In this paper, we review the current evidence regarding the analgesic properties of melatonin in animals and humans with chronic pain.
Source: Journal of Pineal Research, Oct 2011; 51(3):270-7. PMID:21615490, by Wilhelmsen M, Amirian I, Reiter RJ, Rosenberg J, Gögenur I. Department of Surgical Gastroenterology, Herlev Hospital, University of Copenhagen, Herlev, Denmark; Department of Cellular and Structural Biology, University of Texas Health Science Center, San Antonio, Texas, USA.