Melatonin is a Key Recommendation in COVID-19
There are a number of important nutritional considerations in both the prevention and treatment of COVID-19. There is one that really stands out to me that has not received the same sort of promotion as others like vitamin D and zinc. The title of this newsletter gives it away. I am referring to melatonin as a critical supplement in the battle against this virus. It makes sense, melatonin exerts significant immune enhancing effects and patients at highest risk, e.g., the elderly and those with high blood pressure, type 2 diabetes, and various other chronic diseases are all associated with melatonin deficiency. Preliminary evidence discussed in this newsletter will highlight the use of melatonin as safe and potentially valuable in the prevention and treatment of COVID-19.
Melatonin is safe and it appears that in people at high risk for COVID-19, melatonin deficiency is common. Here is some additional food for thought. Children generally have much higher levels of melatonin. Could that be another protective factor and explanation why they don’t suffer from COVID-19 as much as older adults? And, what about the fact that these coronaviruses don’t seem to affect bats that much. Bats are nocturnal animals that possess relatively high levels of melatonin. Does that high level of melatonin protect them against these coronaviruses? It is possible.
Of course, we won’t really know the true benefits of melatonin until there is data in humans. There is a double-blind study in process with melatonin and severe COVID-19, but it could be awhile before that study is published. What I see right now is a strong rational and a very strong safety profile for using melatonin in both the prevention and treatment of COVID-19. So, I am encouraging anyone over the age of 60 to take 3-5 mg of melatonin 30-45 minutes before going to bed as a preventive measure. And, if you are positive for SARS-CoV-2, take 10 mg. It just makes sense given the possible benefit and the lack of harm with this recommendation.
- Zhang R, Wang X, Ni L, et al. COVID-19: Melatonin as a potential adjuvant treatment. Life Sci. 2020;250:117583.
- Shneider A, Kudriavtsev A, Vakhrusheva A. Can melatonin reduce the severity of COVID-19 pandemic? Int Rev Immunol. 2020;1-10.