Melatonin update

Jo Robinson jor at
Wed Feb 7 19:23:56 EST 1996

H.O.van.den.Berg at wrote:
: Good to have you back Jo (anne?)
	** Thanks!  (It's Just Plain Jo)

: I wonder if you could let us have a peek at the mice again ?
: I liked the sensible book, including the hints to
: lift your own melatonin levels on a natural  way.
: I've now seen claims that ALC's life extension properties
: are simply an effect of ALC 's melatonin inducing capacities.

	** A local news channel just took about 15 minutes of broadcast quality
video of the mice -- the mice performed admirably.  In every instance, the
melatonin mice were ahead of the others.  I've asked for a copy of the
tape, and if I get one, I'd be happy to copy the tape for others at my

: Are there any substances that one should not combine with
: melatonin ? (alcohol, painkillers, etc.)

	** No research has been done about combining melatonin with any other 
substance in humans, except for benzodiazepines.  (sleeping pills) Combining
mel with standard sleeping pills resulted in a more natural sleep. (I.E.,
a more normal sleep architecture.)
	As for combining melatonin with alcohol, I must admit I've done it
a time or two -- only at night.  I noticed no additive effect.  I actually 
like to think that the melatonin is helping protect my liver from alcohol-
generated free radical damage.  Reiter, my coauthor, has shown that
melatonin can prevent alcohol-induced ulcers in the rat stomach --
presumably by scavanging free radicals.
	In that melatonin has an analgesic effect, I would guess that
it would have an additive effect with painkillers.  Since some painkillers
have been shown to reduce melatonin production (NSAIDS, for example), then
taking melatonin would help offset that undesirable side effect. But
I must caution that no research has been done in this area.

: An explanation for the smart behaviour of the melatonin mice could
: be that learning simply didn't stop. Normally learning stops after
: 1/4th of life, maybe this stop is induced by a fysical mechanism
: (oxidation) that is slowed by Melatonin ?
	** I think that's a real possibility.  ONe of the reasons I'm doing
this pilot study is that I want to test the intelligence and learning behavior
of the mice.  I had no idea that a behavioral/cognitive difference would be
obvious.  My theory is the same as yours -- melatonin is having a neuro-
protective effect, delaying the age-related erosion of brain cells.  But the
mice also seem a bit more aggressive, so I'm wondering about the effect
 melatonin is having on estrogen or testosterone production.  (In male rats,
 chronic administrationof melatonin has been shown to prevent the age-related
 decline in T.)  [NeuroReport 1995 6:785-88.]
: Cheers,

	** And cheers to you!
                       Jo Robinson    jor at
 Co-author, with Russel J. Reiter- MELATONIN: Your Body's Natural Wonder Drug
          For a melatonin FAQ, go to:
     (Note: I have no financial connection with any melatonin supplier.)

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