Covid-19 is turning out to be more complicated than initially thought. Not only can it affect almost every major organ in the body, it is causing heart attacks and strokes in young adults who were asymptomatic.
The following points attempt to show how Melatonin can work against Covid-19 based on recent studies and what is currently known about this disease.
Melatonin's Role in CoVid-19 and other Viruses
1. Melatonin has a potent anti-inflammatory action, especially in the lungs. Melatonin has shown the ability to break the ROS/inflammation vicious cycle.
2. Melatonin is a potent scavenger of many radicals, including reactive oxygen species(ROS), reactive nitrogen species(RNS), hydroxyl radicals, hydrogen peroxide, and peroxynitrite.
3. Melatonin is a protector of major organs, including the heart, lungs, liver, kidneys, skin, and brain that are now known to be injured or damaged by Covid-19. Melatonin or its metabolites can cross the blood-brain barrier (BBB).
4. Melatonin upregulates gene expression of the body's potent antioxidants such as superoxide dismutase(SOD), glutathione peroxidase (GPx), catalase, and glucose-6-phosphate dehydrogenase (G6PD). These can all go a long way in improving the damage induced by Covid-19.
5. Melatonin protects the mitochondria function through its potent antioxidant activities and increases the efficacy of mitochondrial electron transport chain and reduces electron leakage. Through its potent antioxidative actions, it prevents tissue damage and blocks transcriptional factors of proinflammatory cytokines. These are all crucial points relating to Covid-19 and the damage it is known to cause.
6. Melatonin reduces free radical damage to DNA. Melatonin receptors are found throughout the body, suggesting that the body has many uses for it.
7. Melatonin is an inhibitor of NADPH Oxidase, which becomes significantly elevated in Covid-19 patients and can do very significant damage to the epithelium via elevated superoxide level if left unchecked as outlined in the MedCram video series.
8. Melatonin and its metabolites are neuroprotectant and can cross the BBB, which is vital since Covid-19 is known to enter the brain and do damage.
9. Melatonin is an endothelial protectant, which is important because Covid-19 is now known to damage the endothelium, which is a significant part of a cascade of damage that Covid-19 leaves in its wake.
10. Melatonin exerts a direct antioxidant effect on tissues/organs and antiapoptotic effects on cells. Melatonin inhibits neutrophil activation and reduces the damage they cause to endothelial cells, which is thought to occur in Covid-19 patients.
11. Melatonin can improve sleep, which can be crucial in keeping the immune system in good operating order.
12. Melatonin increases very significantly from birth to around age 4 to 7 years (a specific age group that seems very resistant to Covid-19) and then declines slightly until puberty, at which point its production and secretion by the pineal gland reduces sharply by age 60/65.
From that point on, melatonin levels are negligible. This 65+ age group with the lowest melatonin levels is also the group that seems to be most susceptible to the adverse health effects of Covid-19.
Obviously, with age, in general, comes multiple health issues that can account for part of the problem. Still, you can see where a lack of melatonin could be an additional factor that can be resolved through appropriate supplementation of melatonin. Add in the fact that many pre-existing conditions have shown to lower native melatonin levels in this already higher risk group, and melatonin starts to take on even more significance for this high-risk group.
13. Melatonin in bats is approximately four times that found in humans at its highest levels for each. Bats are believed to be carriers of SARS CoV-2, yet bats seem unaffected by the virus. Is melatonin a contributing factor for this feature of bats? Melatonin may be causing the more controlled innate immune response seen in bats, but this is as yet not proven that melatonin is the reason for this process in bats.
14. Melatonin in women is generally at significantly higher levels than men. In the study that Dr. Seheult refers to in one of his videos, he mentions that out of the 100% of patients admitted to the hospital for Covid-19, 60% were men, and 40% were women. Could the significant difference in melatonin levels be a contributing factor to this phenomenon? Another possible contributing factor is that women are thought to have more ACE-2 than men. The virus can exhaust or destroy ACE-2 once it binds or docks to it to manufacture more viruses. Since melatonin has shown that it can increase ACE-2, is the higher melatonin in women, the reason that they are thought to have more ACE-2?
15. Melatonin is released in the blood and can penetrate all body tissues, which suggests it can probably get to every place that the virus does within the body. Melatonin and catalase reduce the cytotoxicity of Neutrophils in a dose-dependent manner, and this is important because this is a potential reason for the Endothelial damage that is likely occurring in Covid-19 patients. Melatonin upregulates gene expression of catalase.
16. Melatonin can down-regulate the innate immunity overreaction response to SARS CoV-2, limiting the potential for the cytokine storm that has been seen in Covid-19 patients and has resulted in death. While doing this, it is promoting the adaptive immune response, which can aid in the production of antibodies to SARS CoV-2.
17. Melatonin at higher dosing, such as used by Dr. Neel, can downregulate NLRP3 inflammasome activation to help protect the lungs. The anti-inflammatory effect of melatonin can be enhanced by higher-dose vitamin C, just as Dr. Neel is using in his Covid-19 patients. Quercetin is also likely to have synergy with melatonin in terms of being anti-inflammatory. On the other hand, high dose vitamin D (4,300 IU+/day) reduces melatonin production. Bats have little vitamin D. Vitamin C is useful and likely synergistic with melatonin, but pales in comparison to the potential broad-ranging utility of melatonin in Covid-19 patients.
18. Melatonin acts to ameliorate atherosclerosis through inflammation reduction, radical scavenging, and mitophagy activation. Covid-19 may rapidly add to existing atherosclerosis and contribute to these vascular complications seen in patients with Covid-19. Melatonin reduces vascular permeability.
19. Melatonin has been shown to increase ACE2, and this is important because the virus pretty much exhausts or destroys ACE2 as its primary means of virus replication and this is an early point in the infection process that ultimately results in further damage to the cardiovascular system and other parts of the body.
20. Melatonin, through its potent antioxidant and anti-inflammatory qualities, ameliorates the very significant levels of ROS that damage the lungs and contribute to pneumonia. If you can eliminate pneumonia and the cytokine storm, then a ventilator will never be needed. Those three things have shown themselves to be three main things associated with death in Covid-19.
21. Melatonin, through its anticoagulation effects, can reduce thrombosis. Covid-19 is showing the ability to induce thrombosis that can lead to stroke and heart attack in patients with Covid-19. Melatonin's potent antioxidant actions reduce oxidative stress to reduce the potential for thrombosis. Melatonin also reduces edema that can be caused by blood clotting.
22. Melatonin lowers C-Reactive Protein (CRP), which is a marker for inflammation, which is elevated in the presence of inflammation and at elevated levels in Covid-19 patients. CRP is a known target in many diseases in which CRP is significantly elevated, including Covid-19. Higher levels of CRP are associated with non-survivors in Wuhan, China.
23. Melatonin lowers Interleukin-6 (IL-6) levels. IL-6 is a cytokine and another inflammatory mediator that is at significantly elevated levels in Covid-19 patients and is known to be a significant contributing factor to the "cytokine storm." Melatonin also inhibits the chemokine IL-8, an upstream inflammatory mediator that draws other inflammatory cytokines and other inflammatory mediators into the fray.
24. Melatonin is useful before, during, and after a stroke. This is important because of the increased reporting of strokes and heart attacks caused by Covid-19 disease. Melatonin is heart protective. Melatonin lowers homocysteine and increases nitric oxide. It is good to keep in mind that multiple disease states can diminish native melatonin levels. If you combine that with the fact that the elderly are already at the very low end of the human melatonin scale, the importance of melatonin starts to become more evident as people with certain pre-existing health conditions are more likely to succumb to the disease. Melatonin may help to level the playing field and improve patient outcome and mortality.
25. Melatonin is also available in cream and suppository forms, which may make it an option for patients already on a ventilator. If you are a senior citizen on a ventilator and aware of the survival rate for same, would you want melatonin cream applied or a melatonin suppository or both? Covid-19 increases the cytokine IL-1b, which is known to suppress melatonin production. If this is the case, the little melatonin that senior citizen patients have is likely to be depleted even further.
Based on Dr. Neels clinical experience with his Covid-19 patients and their apparent excellent response to his use of high dose melatonin(HDM) in them, all of the above may start to give an idea of what melatonin is doing in those patients to achieve the very beneficial responses Dr. Neel is reporting!
Potential Side Effects of Melatonin
The above is an incomplete list of potential health benefits of melatonin as tbey might apply to Covid-19 infection in patients. After going through this list, you may feel that melatonin checks many of the boxes as a molecule to be used against Covid-19, but like anything else, melatonin can have its downsides.
Here is a list of known melatonin side effects :
alterations in sleep patterns
altered mental status
pruritus (itchy skin)
So this adds further evidence to the idea that your doctor needs to be involved in your decision to use melatonin for Covid-19.
Although this side effect list is significant, the drugs currently being tested for Covid-19 are very likely to have more and more severe side effects.
Side Effects of Drugs Currently Being Tested for COVID-19
Here is a link describing the side effects of Remdesivir, one of the drugs currently being tested that is showing modest result against Covid-19 while still allowing a certain percentage of deaths (8 % in the five-day treatment group and 11% in the ten-day treatment group).
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