With the continuing news about the new Corona virus vaccines, and the vaccination campaigns around the world against the virus that causes Covid-19 disease, positive data appeared about a hormone that was previously given to the outgoing US President Donald Trump after being infected with Covid-19, which is available as a food supplement and can enhance its production in the body by eating Specific foods, what is it?
Before we present this hormone, we confirm here that the information that we will provide is for general guidance only, and there is currently no effective treatment for Covid-19 disease, and we must continue to follow the medical institutions’ guidelines such as wearing masks, following social distancing and personal hygiene standards, and receiving vaccination for Covid-19 according to the instructions of the Ministry Health in your country. And before taking any food supplement, consult a doctor.
The hormone is melatonin, which is produced by the pineal gland in the brain, and it plays an important role in regulating the sleep cycle in humans, so some call it the sleep hormone, but this label is not completely accurate, it only indicates its relationship to sleep.
When melatonin is excreted at night, it helps the brain to know that it is time to sleep, while the body stops the hormone secretion at dawn to help the body wake up.
This natural hormone that the body produces at night helps the brain to distinguish between morning and evening times, and to regulate sleep cycles and link them with the timing system in which we live.
High levels of melatonin lead to deep sleep, and the secretion of this hormone is related to time, through the following:
1- Its secretion increases in the evening.
2- It goes down in the morning.
3- Exposing a person to lighting at night stops his excretion.
Melatonin is known as the “body clock hormone” and is secreted after the brain converts tryptophan into serotonin and then melatonin.
The following is some data on melatonin and Covid-19:
1- A study conducted by researchers from the Cleveland Clinic, including Vichung Cheng, found that the melatonin hormone may stop the emerging corona virus – its scientific name is SARS-Cove 2-, and the researchers also found that patients who took melatonin were less likely to have severe symptoms of the disease, and the chances were reduced. The death among them.
2- Researchers from Columbia University found that the odds of survival in Covid-19 patients, who undergo endotracheal tube treatment, are higher when treated with the hormone melatonin.
3- When Trump was transferred to Walter Reed Military Medical Center, to receive treatment after contracting Covid-19, doctors prescribed melatonin among the treatments he received.
4- According to a study by researchers from Iran published in August, there are many beneficial properties of melatonin towards viral complications, such as viral respiratory disorders associated with inflammation and immune dysfunction. The use of melatonin as an aid in dealing with corona may be something worth studying.
Although the direct mechanism of melatonin against Covid-19 is unknown, the researchers said, its extensive application in animal studies and human clinical trials has shown its efficacy and safety in a wide range of disorders. Therefore, it is suggested that the practical use of melatonin in the current COVID-19 outbreak is beneficial.
In a report published by the American magazine “The Atlentic”, the writer James Hamplin quoted Cheng, that he does not recommend taking melatonin to treat the Corona virus, and believes that it can slow down the work of the central nervous system. In his view, the benefits of melatonin that the study shows may actually indicate a link between sleep, which is the primary function of this hormone, and improvement in the condition of Covid-19 patients.
Hamplin stresses that if melatonin actually helps fight the virus, it will be the cheapest and easiest drug available. Unlike other drugs that have been used previously, such as “remdesivir, antibody cocktail”, melatonin is available as a dietary supplement and can be bought and consumed without the need for a prescription.
And the mechanism by which melatonin works against corona is to promote sleep, which has very important benefits such as enhancing nerve cell functions and resisting infections.
And professor of sleep medicine at the University of Warwick, Michael Miller – in a statement to “The Atlantic” – explains that extreme fatigue is a symptom of the early stages of infection with the Coronavirus, as the body sends signals that it needs to sleep, and with the infection continuing, sufferers find it difficult to sleep well.
“Sleep is important for effective immune function, and it also helps regulate metabolism, including glucose levels and the mechanisms that control appetite and weight gain,” Miller adds. Sleep also has short-term benefits. Getting enough sleep puts the body in a state of complete readiness to fight any disease.
Sleep may have an effect on the vaccination process as well, as it seemed that the effectiveness of influenza vaccines was better in those who had a good sleep in the days before the vaccination. Therefore, sleep can be added to the basic guidelines for preventing the virus, i.e. wearing face masks and physical distancing.
Do we take melatonin as supplements?
1- There is currently no official medical recommendation to take melatonin for the prevention of corona or treatment, if you are thinking of taking it as a supplement, consult your doctor who can determine whether it is suitable for you and does not interfere with any medications you take, and whether it helps you if you have Covid-19.
2- The majority of scholars agree that working to regulate sleep times is better than taking supplements without changing daily habits, so the goal is to get a new amount of sleep to strengthen your immunity.
3- If you suffer from any sleep disturbances, consult a doctor.
4- Social factors and physical activity affect the secretion of melatonin, and doctors refer to a role that exposure to lighting at night, such as television screens, computers and smart phones, plays in causing sleep disturbances and insomnia. They say that this lighting mimics daylight and affects the secretion of melatonin and reduces it, and thus the body thinks that it is still day and it is not time to sleep yet. Therefore, it is advised to reduce the use of these devices, especially at night.
5- According to a research review published in the journal Nutrients, melatonin is found in foods such as:Eggs, fish, and nuts, also some types of mushrooms, grains, legumes, and seeds are good food sources of melatonin. It has also been shown that the concentration of “human serum” melatonin in the body can increase significantly after eating food containing melatonin.