The Occurrence of the Biogenic Amine Melatonin in Olive Oil: Implications in Health and Disease Prevention

Rafael Fernández-Montesinos, Cristina De la Puerta, Pedro P. García-Luna, Russel J. Reiter, David Pozo

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter

1 Scopus citations


Recent studies demonstrate that dietary combinations of phytochemicals show enhancing health benefits due to their additive and synergistic effects. It is suggested that melatonin and other new bioactive compounds previously found in other physiological contexts account for the positive effects of dietary Mediterranean habits. The parallels between some of the reported positive effects ascribed to melatonin and to olive oil are quite remarkable. Thus, exogenous melatonin has been reported to have a clear immunomodulatory role in different in vivo paradigms. Most studies have confirmed that melatonin administration promotes a clear immunoenhancement in terms of immune tissue morphology. Melatonin administration increases the proliferate capacity of mouse splenocytes and rat lymphocytes. Moreover, melatonin affects non-specific responses that promote an increase in the number of natural killer (NK) cells and monocytes in the bone marrow as well as in antibody-dependent cellular cytotoxicity. In humans, a melatonin-induced enhancement of NK activity has been described. Regarding the humoral response, pineal extracts increase both the number of antibody-forming cells generated and the response against sheep red blood cell immunization in mice spleen. Administration of melatonin to birds also induces a significant increase in the humoral immune responses without prior immunosuppression. An additional function of melatonin in the immune system is the modulation of several immune mediators via regulation of gene expression and production when administered in vivo. Melatonin also participates in the apoptosis regulation of T and B cells. Overall, these data show that situations in which the immunostimulatory effects of melatonin are best demonstrated are those in which the immune system is depressed. © 2010

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publicationOlives and Olive Oil in Health and Disease Prevention
PublisherElsevier Inc.
Number of pages8
ISBN (Print)9780123744203
StatePublished - 2010

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Agricultural and Biological Sciences


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