At first glance, the inclusion of melatonin as the fourth supplement might come as a surprise, given its well-known role in promoting sleep. This hormone is naturally produced by the pineal gland, particularly in conditions of low light detection, and its discovery dates back to 1958 when American physician Aaron B. Lerner identified it at Yale University School of Medicine.
|Foods Rich In Melatonin|
* Tart Cherries
* Goji Berries
To mitigate this, reducing screen time is one approach, as the artificial light emitted from devices tends to boost its production. Notably, melatonin production follows a circadian rhythm, peaking around 2:00 am to 4:00 am and diminishing during daylight hours. Moreover, in seasons like fall and winter, characterized by reduced sunlight, it production tends to increase. It’s important to note that melatonin production typically decreases with age.
it becomes unstable when it is exposed to light and oxygen. Its ideal temperature is at 16-18°C or 60-65°F. The optimum time to take it is one hour before going to bed.
Melatonin’s Role in Puberty and Mitochondrial Protection
A decrease in melatonin triggers the hypothalamic pulsatile secretion of gonadotropin-releasing hormone, initiating puberty. Interestingly, individuals can safely supplement with melatonin after this stage without negative effects. However, excessive melatonin intake can have the opposite effect, potentially disrupting the circadian rhythm.
Melatonin protects mitochondrial functions by protecting against reactive oxidative species (ROS) and stopping the mitochondrial permeability transition pore (MPTP) and activating uncoupling proteins or UCPs. The MPTP is a membrane that allows molecules and protons to enter the mitochondria. When this membrane is removed, it leads to the mitochondrial matrix swelling and it leads to cell death. UCPs are mitochondrial proteins that transport protons or regulate channels. Additionally, by activating the UCPs, melatonin is able to accelerate the electron transport chain, reduce ROS and cellular damage. By activating the UCPs, protons shuttle to the matrix and lower the membrane potential which accelerates electron transport in the ETC. There will be an article that goes into more detail on MPTP.
Melatonin’s Impact on Mitochondrial Function: Insights from OXPHOS Enzyme Activity
Moreover, melatonin decreases mitochondrial oxidative stress by enhancing the activity of mitochondrial oxidative phosphorylation enzymes (OXPHOS). OXPHOS enzymes are the four complexes of the electron transport chain. In a study conducted with rat liver and brain mitochondria in vitro, the activity of OXPHOS were studied. From the study, melatonin increases activity in complexes I and IV. Specifically, melatonin augments the activity of mitochondrial OXPHOS enzymes, including NADH-coenzyme Q reductase (complex I) and cytochrome c oxidase (complex IV). From the study, 100 nM of melatonin increased the ATP production in the rat liver by 46%.