Melatonin in plants

Russel J Reiter, D. X. Tan, S. Burkhardt, L. C. Manchester

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

144 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Once thought to be exclusively a molecule of the animal kingdom, melatonin has now been found to exist in plants as well. Among a number of actions, melatonin is a direct free radical scavenger and an indirect antioxidant. Melatonin directly detoxifies the hydroxyl radical (·OH), hydrogen peroxide, nitric oxide, peroxynitrite anion, peroxynitrous acid, and hypochlorous acid. The products from each of these reactions have been identified in pure chemical systems and in at least one case in vivo; the interaction product of melatonin with the ·OH, i.e., cyclic 3-hydroxymelatonin, is found in the urine of humans and rats. Some of the products that are produced when melatonin detoxifies reactive species are also highly efficient scavengers. As a result, a cascade of scavenging reactions may enhance the antioxidant capacity of melatonin. Additionally, melatonin increases the activity of several antioxidative enzymes, thereby improving its ability to protect macromolecules from oxidative stress. Melatonin is endogenously produced and is also consumed in edible plants. In animal experiments, feeding melatonin-containing foods raised blood levels of the indole. Because physiologic concentrations of melatonin in the blood are known to correlate with the total antioxidant capacity of the serum, consuming food-stuffs containing melatonin may be helpful in lowering oxidative stress.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)286-290
Number of pages5
JournalNutrition Reviews
Volume59
Issue number9
StatePublished - 2001

Fingerprint

melatonin
Melatonin
Peroxynitrous Acid
Antioxidants
antioxidants
Oxidative Stress
oxidative stress
Hypochlorous Acid
Food
Edible Plants
Free Radical Scavengers
animal experimentation
free radical scavengers
acids
blood
indoles
hydroxyl radicals
blood serum
Hydroxyl Radical
anions

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Medicine (miscellaneous)
  • Food Science

Cite this

Reiter, R. J., Tan, D. X., Burkhardt, S., & Manchester, L. C. (2001). Melatonin in plants. Nutrition Reviews, 59(9), 286-290.

Melatonin in plants. / Reiter, Russel J; Tan, D. X.; Burkhardt, S.; Manchester, L. C.

In: Nutrition Reviews, Vol. 59, No. 9, 2001, p. 286-290.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Reiter, RJ, Tan, DX, Burkhardt, S & Manchester, LC 2001, 'Melatonin in plants', Nutrition Reviews, vol. 59, no. 9, pp. 286-290.
Reiter RJ, Tan DX, Burkhardt S, Manchester LC. Melatonin in plants. Nutrition Reviews. 2001;59(9):286-290.
Reiter, Russel J ; Tan, D. X. ; Burkhardt, S. ; Manchester, L. C. / Melatonin in plants. In: Nutrition Reviews. 2001 ; Vol. 59, No. 9. pp. 286-290.
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