For healthy living and an active daily routine, it’s important to have healthy and complete sleep cycles. During sleep, our body produces a hormone called melatonin which assists in initiating a sleep cycle. There are studies, indicating that melatonin has great benefits for athletes, such as regeneration of body cells, promoting lean muscle tissue growth and fat loss.
Melatonin is generated in absence of light by our pineal gland. It is a vital hormone since it is important not only in the process of sleep cycles but also maintaining our circadian rhythm so as to control our sleep-wake cycle. It is known to protect our body by acting as a strong free radical scavenger and a powerful tumor growth suppressant.
In addition, melatonin has the ability to diffuse effortlessly across membranes of our cells as well as the blood-and-brain barrier, making it a highly efficient antioxidant. Also, it very effectively searches and eliminates substances like O2 and OH, which are by-products of metabolic reactions.
Melatonin is unique because it is a terminal antioxidant. This means that it does not follow the redox cycle that most antioxidant do e.g. vitamin C. Redox cycle is a cycle of changing a cell’s state by oxidation. During a redox cycle, even the antioxidants go through a phase where they break down and generate free radicals, which is not appreciable. In contrast, melatonin breaks into very stable products upon oxidation; hence further reaction with free radicals does not reduce it any further.
Furthermore, melatonin is an extremely powerful agent of our body that protects it from undergoing DNA mutation. Naturally, this makes it a great remedy to cancer. It also performs the heavy function of fighting inflammation and damage inflicted by free radicals on the brain, by helping blood flow more easily across the blood brain barrier. Studies have revealed that it increases the average life of mice by 20%.
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Many studies have also led to the discovery that melatonin makes the cytokines function better. This in turn makes your immune system more sensitive and more coordinated, enabling it to fight better against infections and contagious diseases. This improved coordination brings down chronic inflammatory and auto-immune conditions.