Melatonin and Major Organ Protection in Sepsis and Multiple Organ Failure:
I have often written about melatonin on Earth Clinic and spoken of its multitude of health benefits for people. One thing that I have often mentioned is that melatonin is protective of the major organs of the body such as the heart, lungs ,kidneys, and liver to name a few.
A new study (May 6, 2023) was just published discussing the use of various antioxidants in people who have sepsis. Sepsis is an extreme uncontrolled response by the body to infection and is life threatening with death as a frequent outcome. Prior to death, multiple organ failure (MOF) can occur and adds significantly to the death rate. It is thought that antioxidants may help improve sepsis outcomes and that is what the following randomized clinical trial sets out to prove or disprove, whether antioxidants can reduce MOF associated with sepsis :
In this study, they used the following four very common antioxidants, NAC, vitamin C, vitamin E, melatonin or no antioxidant in the patient groups with sepsis and MOF to try and determine if these antioxidants would have any benefit in terms of reducing MOF. Of note is that this was a good sized study with 131 patients. Here is an important quote from the study that clearly suggests that antioxidants have potential to significantly reduce MOF :
' In this study, we found that patients with septic shock had a high SOFA ( Sequential Organ Failure Assessment) score on admission to the ICU. They had high PCT and CRP levels, elevated LPO and carbonylation, and decreased TAC. These variables were compensated by the treatment with antioxidants. '
In this study, it was shown that the melatonin group obtained the highest decrease in the SOFA score (75% of the patients). Here is a study quote that shows the response rate to each of the four antioxidants in terms of SOFA score reduction :
' All patients had multiple organ failure (MOF) and low Vit C levels. Vit C therapy decreased CRP, PCT and NO3-/NO2- but increased Vit C levels. The SOFA score decreased with MT in 75%, Vit C 63% and NAC 50% vs. controls 33% (p = 0.0001, p = 0.03 and p = 0.001 respectively). MT diminished lipid peroxidation (LPO) (p = 0.01) and improved total antioxidant capacity (TAC) (p = 0.04). Vit E increased thiol levels (p = 0.02) and tended to decrease LPO (p = 0.06). Selenium levels were decreased in the control group (p = 0.04). '
The following study quote will give a little more perspective in relationship to the dosages used for each antioxidant :
' In addition to the standard therapy, each group of patients received an antioxidant orally or by nasoenteral tube for 5 days. In the NAC group, 600 mg effervescent tablets were administered every 12 h; in the MT group, extended-release capsules of 50 mg in a daily dose were administered; in the Vit C group, 1 g tablets every 6 h and in the Vit E group, capsules α-tocopherol of 400 IU were given every 8 h.'
So the NAC group received 1200 mg total per day in two divided doses given every 12 hours. The melatonin group received one 50 mg extended release capsule per day. The vitamin C group received 4000 mg per day in 4 divided doses of 1000 mg every 6 hours. The vitamin E group received 1200 IU in three divided doses of 400 IU every 8 hours.
So while melatonin reduced the SOFA score in the most patients (75% of patients in melatonin group) the highest percent of these four antioxidants, it did so at the lowest dose given in this study at just 50 mg per day. This illustrates the potency of melatonin when compared to the other three antioxidants and begs the question of what the SOFA score would have looked like had they used a dose of 100 mg or 200 mg of melatonin per day. Even at these higher doses, melatonin would still have the lowest dose compared to the other antioxidants. In the realm of high dose melatonin, 50 mg per day would not be very high. I take 132 mg per day of melatonin myself and have taken high dose melatonin for many years as a preventative and protective agent against many different diseases and health issues.
Another consideration is the fact that vitamin C and melatonin have different methods of action suggesting potential synergy between these two common and inexpensive antioxidants. What would it look like in this study if they had had a sixth leg to the study that combined vitamin C and melatonin? Or what if they used all four antioxidants combined in the patients?
So the point of all of this is to highlight just how good melatonin and antioxidants in general are at protecting the major organs under high oxidative stress conditions that are very damaging to the organs as seen in sepsis. Not just one organ, but multiple organs all at the same time! This study successfully helps to add further corroboration to what I have been saying about the organ protective effects of melatonin and also gives a basic idea of what dose of melatonin (50 mg) is needed in order to obtain these organ protective results. The question remains, what is the most optimal dose to obtain these protective effects of melatonin, but studies are slowly zeroing in on that currently unknown dose. Clearly 50 mg per day of melatonin has very significant benefit in sepsis induced multiple organ failure (MOF), but is it optimal?
Lastly, but also importantly, this study highlights a noninvasive way to effectively deal with MOF as it relates to sepsis, which has clearly shown it can be deadly as discussed in the following link :
As shown in the above link, worldwide, Sepsis affects 18 million people each year and kills 1400 people each day! This study clearly illustrates that sepsis affects 700,000 people in the US alone. Sepsis also has a mortality rate of 30%, but when you add in MOF to the sepsis, that rate jumps upward significantly to 50%!
This next study ( 2022 ) adds a bit more confirmation to the idea that melatonin may have benefit in sepsis associated MOF.
The above link says that melatonin is associated with a reduced risk of death in sepsis. It further states that evidence suggests that melatonin may help protect organs from sepsis related damage. The study further goes on to list many of the protective effects that melatonin has shown in many areas of the organs of the human body. The study goes on to reach the following conclusion and I make the same conclusion :
'Melatonin is a promising adjuvant for the treatment of sepsis, as it can protect organs by reducing inflammation, oxidation, endoplasmic reticulum stress, and apoptosis as well as protecting mitochondrial function and regulating various other pathways. The safety and minimal side effects of oral melatonin should encourage clinicians to consider melatonin therapy for patients with severe sepsis and septic shock.'
I think these studies and many more should encourage doctors to start using melatonin where it has already shown benefit such as these studies show for sepsis and multiple organ failure. The existing treatments are clearly insufficient for the task at hand as proven by the significant death rate and melatonin has shown significant benefit at dosing that is already known to be relatively safe.
Potato for Blood Poisoning - Yes absolutely works well,
The Potato Poultice cured my mom's infection in her foot completely in 5 days, prior to starting, the infection had spread up her leg and turned into cellulitus, the potato poultice freshly applied daily cured her completely.
I was recently lay in hospital at death's door with sepsis and necrotising fasciitis. I was told it is rare to get it but even more so to survive. Large amounts of flesh were removed resulting in massive wounds.
During my recovery I took 2 sachets of Liposomal vitamin c a day. I am diabetic I.e. By all means should be a slow healer and I am in my sixties.
The consultant who specialises in wounds told me he had worked in this field for 30 years and had never seen anyone heal as fast as me. I do not see myself as super woman, I most defiantly put this down to the Liposomal vitamin C.
Thank you for this wonderful site. I'm just using it now for earache but want to share my potato story as I've found the personal commentaries so helpful.
Last summer, I stepped on a scallop shell (on our street) & within a few days was limping and in pain with a 1 inch gash in my heel. A few days later, my husband noticed 2 4-inch long red streaks running up my leg from my heel. I had begun to experience sharp stabbing pains as well.
Since I haven't had an antibiotic in 20 years & see a naturopathic doctor as my primary physician, I wasn't anxious to go to the ER (it was also a weekend) but knew I needed help; sepsis is very real... I found your site & since I had some organic yukon gold potatos called my auntie who confirmed my grandmother used to use crushed potato to draw out boils. I decided to give it a try.
I chopped finely a potato, packed it onto the wound, wrapped w/ Saran wrap, elevated my leg/foot & lay down to focus on healing. My husband photographed my foot at intervals thruout the day. (Well-intentioned neighbors were waiting to drive me to the ER. )
Within hours the red streaks had begun their retreat & the sharp stabbing pains literally "rounded" over. I was very much present w/ this journey. Within 6 hours, the red streaks were gone completely!! I changed the potato 3 - 4 times over the course of the day/night & by morning, the layers of my foot had turned outward. I wish I could put the photos on this site. It was truly remarkable.
One word of caution: Potato juice stains are challenging to remove from fabrics so just make sure you have an old sheet or towel under the site of the potato....!!
I've told SO many people about your site & so many people witnessed first hand the amazing healing property of the simple potato that day... My neighbors thought I was crazy at first! Thank you for providing this forum... It's truly a gift & how we can keep alive these old home remedies. They WORK!
When I was nine, I stepped on a rusty nail while at summer camp. I didn't tell anyone and by the time I got home my foot was sore. The next morning I woke to find that a red streak had appeared all the way up my inner thigh almost to my groin. We had no health insurance at the time and my mother (God bless her) took me down to the kitchen where she pulled out a bag of dried bread loaf ends that were being saved for turkey dressing, boiled some water, dripped just 6 or 8 drops of the boiling water onto the middle of the very dry bread. She then taped the wet spot of the bread over the opening left by the rusty nail. The sore was open and running. She then put on my socks and shoes and told me to go out and play. It hurt a bit to walk on at first but as the day wore on I forgot all about it until after supper when my mom asked me how my foot was doing. When she took off the shoe, sock and poultice the red streak had retreated to just above my ankle and the piece of bread had a handful of green puss on it. Another piece of bread was applied that night and when I got up the next day the red streak was gone and the bottom of my foot was pink and healthy instead of angry red. I have used this remedy throughout my life and on one occasion actually extracted a living parasite from my leg that I had picked up on an adventure trip to Belize.
The way it works is very simple. The bread is very poreous and by dripping water onto the middle of the bread, capillary action moves the water through the bread. Attach that wet spot to an OPEN infection and the water in your body joins the parade along with the poisons from the infection. When the drops are applied they also turn the bread that gets wet into a kind of sealing paste around the wound to ensure that the "cyphon" works properly. If you don't believe me just try this on your body (somewhere discrete).with the bread taped on but exposed to the air. You will give yourself a "hickey".
Live long and thrive! Paul
Hello, I just love your website and I just wanted to tell your readers about another wonderful old-time remedy for blood poisoning and infection. We have used this many times in my family and I couldn't tell you how many times I have seen it work.
For a nasty infected cut or in my worst case a nasty puncture wound from a rusty nail. Within about 6 hours I had a red streak going up my leg from the blood poisoning. My mother took an Irish potato and washed it, cut it in half and scraped out a pile of mushy raw potato. She put it on a piece of plastic bag to hold in the potato juice and wrapped it around my foot. The next morning the red streak was gone and my foot was healing with no sign of infection. Over the years I too have used this folk remedy on my family. Just make the potato poultice leave it juicy and use it inside bandaging for an infected wound. Plastic helps to keep it wet and keep you dry. Leave it on the wound overnight. Then take it off and examine the wound if it's still infected clean it off again and reapply the poultice. Somehow it draws the poison and infection out.
Mother nature is simply amazing!