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What Are the Benefits of Melatonin?

By Amy Pellegrini

According to, melatonin is a hormone that is naturally produced in the brain. Melatonin is released and stimulated in the brain by darkness, and is suppressed by both natural and artificial light. Although melatonin is naturally produced, melatonin supplements are prescribed and used for a variety of reasons. Consult your health care provider to find out more information about melatonin and how you can benefit from the hormone.

Neuroprotective Benefits

Melatonin acts as a powerful antioxidant, according to Life Extension Magazine online. It helps to protect lipids and proteins in the body against damage from free radicals. Since it easily absorbs into cells, melatonin can effectively shield the brain from harmful neurodegenerative diseases. For these reasons, melatonin may serve as a valuable defense against Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s diseases and stroke. It works by easing the effects of sleep troubles including confusion and agitation that inhibit proper sleeping.

Migraine Reduction

In addition to protecting the brain, melatonin may also reduce the occurrence and severity of migraine headaches, according to Life Extension Magazine online. People who suffer from migraines may take melatonin supplements regularly or when they are experiencing a migraine to reduce the effects of the headache. Migraines are improved through melatonin supplementation because of its anti-inflammatory and antioxidant effects that reduce pain and promote sleep.

Better Sleep

Perhaps one of the most common benefits of melatonin is its use to promote healthy sleep patterns. People who suffer from insomnia due to work, travel or stress can take melatonin supplements to induce and sustain lasting sleep and promote healthy sleeping patterns over the long term, according to Life Extension Magazine online. This effect occurs because of melatonin’s sleep-inducing and sedative effects work naturally with the body’s sleep needs and rhythm.

Cancer Prevention

According to Life Extension Magazine online, melatonin may also help to battle a number of different types of cancers. The hormone may serve as effective protection against breast, liver and lung cancers, among others. Women who are susceptible to breast cancer can take melatonin supplements to increase positive response to chemotherapy. It works by hindering the enzyme that is in charge of the synthesis of the female hormone, estrogen. Additionally, melatonin may help to fight prostate cancer in men by slowing down the reproduction of existing cancer cells.

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