For those who may remember, I have previously reported the benefits of high dose vitamin B-1 /Thiamine HCL for Parkinson's disease.
Now I would like to talk about one of my favorite supplements, melatonin, that a recent randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled study showed was beneficial for PD patients after just 12 weeks of supplementing only 10 milligrams per night! Yes, finally, a quality human study confirming that melatonin is beneficial for people with PD.
This study showed multiple benefits in patients that include the following. Using standard testing, melatonin showed improvement in anxiety, depression, total antioxidant capacity, increased glutathione, and improved UPDRS Part 1 test results! Melatonin also significantly lowered the inflammatory marker, hs-CRP, or high sensitivity C-Reactive Protein and inflammatory TNF-a while lowering LDL cholesterol and improving insulin resistance! Some of these improvements are suggestive of the idea that a more extensive study and or higher dosing may produce even better results because many of these improvements imply a reduction in total oxidative stress and oxidative stress is one of the most damaging factors in PD that destroys dopaminergic neurons and other cells in the substantia nigra of the brain.
To say I am excited that this study would be an understatement! Studies showing benefits like these in humans with PD from a single supplement are almost non-existent. Hopefully, they will follow through on this study with similar studies using pharmacological dosing of melatonin and more extended length studies.
While this study is very good and confirmed that melatonin can be beneficial in people with PD, it leaves many unanswered questions such as what would have happened if the study had been 24 weeks long instead of 12 as 12 weeks is very short for a study like this? Would the benefits range increase, would the benefits stay the same or increase the level of improvement seen? What would have happened at higher dosing?
Remember that Dr. Shallenberger is using dosing that is as much as 36 times higher than what was used in this study in some of his patients, and he gives all of his patients 180 mg of melatonin per night in the form of three 60 mg capsules in the evening. He considers this a preventative dose.
Overall, I feel this study has opened a door that has been closed for too long, and hopefully, there will be follow up studies to answer these questions! Here is a link to that very recent study abstract :