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Analgesic effects of melatonin: A review of current evidence from experimental and clinical studies – Source: Journal of Pineal Research, Oct, 2011

  [ 27 votes ]   [ 1 Comment ]
By Michael Wilhelmsen, et al. • • September 26, 2011

[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.

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Article Comments Post a Comment

Oct 13, 2011
J Physiol Pharmacol. 2008 Aug;59 Suppl 2:33-51. Thirty four years since the discovery of gastrointestinal melatonin. Bubenik GA. Department of Integrative Biology, University of Guelph, Guelph, Ontario, Canada. Abstract After the discovery of melatonin in the pineal gland by Lerner and co-workers in 1958, melatonin was also detected in the retina and the human appendix. Later, melatonin was confirmed immunohistologically in all segments of the gastrointestinal tract (GIT), in the guts of bovine embryos and in the GIT of low vertebrates. Melatonin was also confirmed in the pancreas and the hepatobiliary system. Melatonin is produced in the enteroendocrine cells of the GIT mucosa. The concentrations of melatonin in the GIT are 10-100x higher than in the plasma and the total amount of melatonin in the GIT is around 400x higher than the amount of melatonin in the pineal gland. Similar to pineal melatonin, GIT melatonin is a multifunctional compound which exhibits some general as well as some specific effects, depending on the organ and the location of GIT tissue. In the GIT, melatonin exhibits endocrine, paracrine, autocrine and luminal actions. Generally, the episodic secretion of melatonin from the GIT is related to the intake and digestion of food and to the prevention of tissue damage caused by hydrochloric acid and digestive enzymes. Some actions, such as the scavenging of hydroxyl free radicals, immunoenhancement and antioxidant effects are of general nature, whereas others, such as an increase of mucosal blood flow, the reduction of peristalsis and the regulation of fecal water content, are specific to the tubular GIT. Generally, melatonin actions oppose those of serotonin. Laboratory and clinical studies indicate that the utilization of melatonin can prevent or treat pathological conditions such as esophageal and gastric ulcers, pancreatitis, colitis, irritable bowel disease, and colon cancer. AND THERE'S MORE!!
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