Melatonin study

Jo Robinson jor at
Fri Dec 1 20:51:07 EST 1995

Kevin Goldstein (keving at wrote:
: Found this on Jo, are you, or anyone else on here, 
: familiar with this study? Without knowing more about it, it's impossible to 
: know if the study is valid.

	Kevin, no I haven't heard of this study.  What is interesting about
it however, is that saline injections may increase melatonin -- which is
what Maestroni has found in his just completed mouse diabetes trial.  Now
isn't that an interesting confounding factor, given all the various types
of studies that have used saline injections as a control.  
	Stress, of course, is also likely to have an effect on melatonin
	Now, for humans to take a melatonin tablet is decidely non-
stressful. and taking melatonin has had a definite effect on the body's
circadian clock.  I don't believe that a placebo-controlled study has been
done.  However, Al Lewy has shown that taking melatonin at different times
of day shifts the circadian clock quite reliably in different directions
according to what he calls a phase response curve.  It is highly unlikely
that could be a placebo effect.
	As a side issue, it's interesting to me the number of people who
want to dismiss melatonin as a placebo effect.  I responded to some
guy on the pharmacy newsgroup who said that melatonin is
broken down in the stomach and therefore cannot enter the bloodstream.
Thus, he declared, all the 1480 human studies involving melatonin were
sham studies.  A psychiatrist assured me that melatonin was a protein
(which this group knows it is not) and therefore was too large to
cross the blood-brain barrier.  Therefore, no mood altering effect. I was
just on a talk show with an M.D. who told hundreds of thousands of viewers
that "no human studies have been conducted on melatonin" therefore
the claims being made were all wishful thinking.  He even had the nerve
to pat me on the arm, call me "dear," and assure me that he had read
"all the original research." I suggested that we sit down right then
and there and discuss the literature, but, "to his regret", he had
another appointment. 

For a melatonin FAQ, go to

|       Jo Robinson		    |            jor at             |
|      (503)284-4676                |     2826 NE 18th Portland, OR 97212     | 

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