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Melatonin is a natural hormone nutrient that is synthesized from the amino acid tryptophan by the pineal gland in the back of the brain. In the body, melatonin appears to regulate sleep/wake cycles, support normal immune function, and protect cells from free radical damage.
Most of the research on melatonin has focused on its role in maintaining normal sleep/wake rhythms. The perception of daylight in the eyes is a signal for the pineal gland to inhibit melatonin synthesis and release. At night or in the dark, the body’s melatonin production rises. The rise in plasma melatonin is thought to be responsible for bringing on sleep. Nocturnal melatonin production is highest in children and begins to decline from adolescence or until it is virtually absent in the elderly.
Melatonin is considered a potent antioxidant that enters all body cells to help prevent free radical damage. In the brain, melatonin is perhaps the most important physiological antioxidant. Due to its lipid and water soluble properties, it can freely cross the blood-brain barrier.
*These statements have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. These products are not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any disease.