Clinical aspects of melatonin

Russel J. Reiter, Ahmet Korkmaz

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

54 Scopus citations


Melatonin is produced in the human pineal gland, particularly at night, with the circadian rhythm of blood melatonin levels closely paralleling its production within the pineal gland. Light exposure at night, or rapid transmeridian travel severely compromises the circadian production of melatonin. The disturbed melatonin rhythm contributes to jet lag and sleep inefficiency, both of which we improved by melatonin administration. Melatonin is also a highly effective direct free radical scavenger and antioxidant In this capacity. melatonin reduces experimental cataractogenesis, traumatic injury to the spinal cord and brain, and protects against oxidative damage to neurons and glia in models of stroke, Parkinsonism, and Alzheimer's disease. Additionally, melatonin and its metabolites are highly effective in protecting against ionizing radiation. Finally, melatonin may be a treatment for hypertension. Melatonin's high efficacy, its high safety profile, and its virtual lack of toxicity make it of interest in clinical medicine.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1537-1547
Number of pages11
JournalSaudi Medical Journal
Issue number11
StatePublished - Dec 1 2008

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Medicine(all)


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