Overview of melatonin
Melatonin is mainly caused by mammals and human pineal gland of an amine hormone. The human pineal gland is attached to the posterior wall of the third ventricle, the granular size of the tissue. It has also been reported that the mammalian retina and the vice lacrimal gland can also produce a small amount of melatonin; some of the temperature of the animal's eyes, brain and skin (such as frogs) and some algae can also synthesize melatonin.
Lerner (1959) first isolated a hormone in the pineal gland, because this hormone can make a melanin cells shiny, so take its first Mela; at the same time because it from serotonin Derived from it, so take its suffix tonin, therefore, this pineal hormone called Melatonin. Melatonin in the body content is very small, pg (1 × 10-12 g) level exists. In recent years, at home and abroad on the biological function of melatonin, especially as a dietary supplement health care function of a wide range of studies, indicating that it has to promote sleep, adjust the time difference, anti-aging, immune regulation, anti-tumor and many other physiology functions.
Influencing factors of melatonin
Circadian rhythm: The biosynthesis of melatonin is constrained by photoperiodicity. The pineal gland is converted to 5-hydroxytryptophan by tryptophan under the control of the optic nerve, and further transformed into serotonin. Under the action of N-acetyltransferase, it is converted into N-acetyl-5-serotonin, and finally the synthesis of melatonin, so that the content of the body was circadian rhythm changes.
Melatonin secretion is circadian rhythm, the night melatonin secretion than the day more than 5~10 times the morning 2:00~3:00 to reach the peak. The level of melatonin at night directly affects the quality of sleep. Hakola and other night workers on saliva melatonin content of the study results, also confirmed that the circadian rhythm changes.
Age changes: melatonin biosynthesis is also a great relationship with age, it can be entered from the placenta into the fetus, but also by breastfeeding newborns. Therefore, in the newly born baby can also detect a small amount of melatonin, until the age of three months when the secretion was increased, and showed more obvious circadian rhythm phenomenon, 3 to 5-year-old children at night melatonin secretion The highest amount of adolescent secretion decreased slightly, and then gradually decreased with age, to the end of adolescence but lower than early childhood, especially after 35 years of age, the body's own secretion of melatonin decreased significantly, the average reduction every 10 years 10-15%, leading to sleep disorders and a series of dysfunction, to the age of circadian rhythm gradually flat or even disappear. And lower levels of melatonin, sleep reduction is one of the important signs of human brain aging.
A study patent from Japan shows that astaxanthin (ASTA) is capable of promoting the secretion of endogenous melatonin and is patented under patent number EP1283038 and states that melatonin is susceptible to two oxygen Oxidation and loss of action, and astaxanthin (ASTA) this thing can protect melatonin is not oxidized, so used to adjust the time difference.
The main use of melatonin
Melatonin can improve sleep, can shorten sleep time and sleep time, improve sleep quality, sleep awakening significantly reduced, shallow sleep short, deep sleep stage extension, the next morning wake-up threshold decreased. There is a strong adjustment time difference function. Mainly used for whitening moisturizing cosmetics, also commonly used in hair products. The biological function of melatonin, especially the dietary supplements, has been extensively studied at home and abroad, which shows that it has many physiological functions, such as promoting sleep, regulating time difference, anti-aging, regulating immunity and anti-tumor. The health function of melatonin at home and abroad involves the regulation of endocrine (inhibition of ovulation), the protection of encephalitis virus infection, and reduce the mortality after infection, AIDS treatment and cardiovascular protection.
Therefore, melatonin as a new type of hypnotic drugs, its unique advantages are:
(1) small dose (1~3mg) there is a more ideal hypnotic effect;
(2) is an endogenous substance, through the regulation of the endocrine system and play a role in the body is not a foreign body, in the body has its own metabolic pathways, will not cause drugs and their metabolites in the body accumulation;
(3) biological half-life is short, after a few hours after oral administration to the normal physiological level;
(4) very little toxicity.
The toxicity of melatonin
Because melatonin is an endogenous substance, through the regulation of the endocrine system and play a role in the body has its own metabolic pathways. Blood melatonin 70%~75% in the liver metabolism into 6-hydroxy melatonin sulfate form, the urine and feces excreted; another 5%~7% into 6-hydroxy melatonin Glycoside form, does not cause metabolites in the body accumulation; and its biological half-life is short, in the oral 7~8 h that is down to the normal physiological level, so its toxicity is minimal. Jack (1967) showed that melatonin-soluble dose of 800mg/kg BW did not cause death in mice. The report showed that taking as many as a few grams per day (to maintain health dose several thousand times), up to a month, no or almost no toxicity.
Advances in research and development of melatonin
In January 2015, Stanford University invented a spray called "Sprayable Sleep" (Sprayable Sleep) spray, the main ingredient is pure water and melatonin. As long as gently to the air before going to bed a spray, you can smell the "melatonin air" Enron sleep. Speaking of melatonin, insomnia people are probably unfamiliar. It is a natural secretion of the body of a hormone, can play a role in regulating sleep. Many sleep aid drugs contain this ingredient. However, people only need 0.03 mg of melatonin will be able to sleep, and most of the sleep-promoting drugs, melatonin content of up to 3 mg or even 9 mg, which will make people wake up the next morning after dizzy.