There’s a lot of information whirling around media outlets about treatments, medications and supplements to protect against COVID-19, the disease caused by the coronavirus.
I’ve received a deluge of questions asking me, “Can melatonin help me avoid the corona virus”? So, I’ll share the most current research about this matter.
Scientists have been working furiously around the clock and collaborating around the globe to find answers to battle COVID-19.
One of the treatments that’s being investigated is the use of the sleep-aid, Melatonin, to reduce the severity of COVID-19.
Scientific studies have shown that although it’s unclear at this time if Melatonin can prevent you from getting COVID-19, what is clear is melatonin can:
- Reduce the overblown immune response
- Diminish severe damage to the lungs (reducing the number of ventilator dependent cases) and…
- Reduce the severity of the disease overall.
Anti-inflammatory/anti-oxidant powers of Melatonin
Although melatonin has been used as a sleep aid, research has now revealed that it’s so much more.
Melatonin plays a role in regulating the immune system by influencing the production of cytokines (small proteins acting as messengers from the immune system to cells around the body).
Cytokines can wear dual hats: A White Hat and a Black Hat
- White Hat: cytokines can restrict the amount of inflammation produced
- Black Hat: Cytokines can be pro-inflammatory and severely raise inflammation levels
Melatonin has been shown to reduce the production of pro-inflammatory cytokines and acts as an anti-oxidant. It will neutralize free radical cells and limit oxidative stress and damage, which contribute inflammation.
When a person is infected with COVID-19, especially if you’re in the high risk category (see my blog on “Combating the Corona Virus”), a disproportionate response of exceedingly high pro-inflammatory cytokines is released. As a result, this creates a dangerous amount of inflammation which increases the spread of the virus.
Most cases of COVID-19 will develop symptoms like the common cold or flu. However, those in the high-risk category can develop into a critical life-threatening case.
Severe COVID-19 infections lead to acute lung injury and acute respiratory distress syndrome (ARDS), which render the lungs incapable of oxygen uptake and distribution through the body. Now scientists are realizing it can progress much farther. COVID-19 can also affect the brain, heart and blood vessels, eyes and nose.
Brain: Some COVID-19 patients experience strokes, seizures, confusion, and brain inflammation.
Heart and Blood Vessels: The virus can promote blood clots, heart attacks and cardiac inflammation.
Eyes: Infected patients may experience inflammation of the membrane lining the eye and inner lid, called conjunctivitis
Nose: Some patients lose their sense of smell due to the virus damaging nerve endings in the nasal cavity.
What scientists now know is that the coronavirus activates an agent of the immune system known as an inflammasome. Inflammasomes are immune sensors that scout for potential threats and respond to those threats by triggering the production of inflammation to combat the threat it perceives.
COVID-19 activates particular inflammasomes, NLRP3. NLRP3 is a key trigger of an over exaggerated immune response that can lead to acute lung injury and ARDS (a life-threatening lung disorder). The trigger of NLRP3 inflammasomes by COVID-19 launches a “cytokine storm,” flooding the lungs and other organs with inflammation.
Melatonin inhibits NLRP3 inflammasome
Scientists continue to show a great interest in Melatonin due to the documented scientific research showing that it is a potent inhibitor of NLRP3 inflammasome. It’s this inflammasome that causes the tremendous cytokine storm leading to severe and deadly COVID-19 symptoms.
Studies have revealed that Melatonin’s ability to suppress the activation of NLRP3 can counteract the severe inflammatory response by:
- Lowering the production of pro-inflammatory cytokines
- Lowers inflammation
- Reduce Lung tissue injury
- Offers protection against the most severe lung injury
This also means that if a patient, regardless of age, has adequate melatonin, the infectiousness of COVID-19 will be greatly reduced, and the chances of developing ARDS/ALI significantly diminished.
For instance, young children have extremely high melatonin levels, compared to adults. Children under the age of 9 can have ten times the amount of melatonin as a healthy adult 65 and over.
Children 1-5 have melatonin levels of 325 picograms/ml (pg/ml). Melatonin decreases with age so children age 5-11 have lower melatonin levels at 133 pg/m. This is still significantly higher than a healthy adult senior age 65-70 years. They typically have melatonin levels of 49.3 pg/ml and adults over 75 years of age only have a maximum production level of 27.8 pg/ml.
Melatonin is the reason that children only exhibit mild symptoms or even no symptoms at all, even though they have been infected by the coronavirus.
Scientists are optimistic that melatonin therapy may de-escalate the immune response to coronavirus and reduce the severity of COVID-19. Melatonin has been shown in the research to have a high degree of safety with use.
Medical scientists have revealed that both Melatonin and vitamin C can suppress NLRP3 inflammasomes and, when used together, have a synergistic effect. Taking melatonin and vitamin C may be an effective means to reduce the risk of serious, uncontrolled inflammation in COVID-19 infections, researchers say.
Children under 9 years old (without respiratory diseases or other comorbidities associated with high risk) are protected from COVID-19 because they have ten times the amount of melatonin as adults.
Melatonin & Vitamin C (ascorbic acid)
The following information is for educational purposes only and is not intended to replace medical advice from your physician. Always consult with your doctor regarding COVID-19 treatment, especially if you have comorbidities (CVD, hypertension, diabetes, respiratory diseases and cancer.)
Melatonin dose: Asymptomatic people 0.2 mg – 0.5 mg per day
If you are taking ACE inhibitors, have cardiac conditions or hypertension, you need to consult your physician before taking high doses of melatonin. Melatonin may lower blood pressure and cause hypotension at higher dosages.
Melatonin should be taken at night approximately 30 – 60 minutes before bed and/or 2-3 hours after your last meal. It’s best to keep lighting low once you’ve taken melatonin to prevent disruption in it’s function.
Melatonin dose: Symptomatic people 5.0 mg – 50 mg
The Infection dose should ideally be divided into DAYTIME and NIGHTTIME doses.
DAYTIME – Divide 40% of total daily dose into equal portions. Take every TWO HOURS.
NIGHTTIME – Divide 60% of total daily dose into two portions. Take one dose 2-3 hours after dinner. The final dose at night should be completed by 10 pm (latest).
IF you are diabetic, or have insulin resistance, DO NOT TAKE MELATONIN before 3 pm because it can suppress insulin.
Vitamin C (ascorbic acid) dose: 1 gm/hour up to 10-18 gm per day
If you begin to develop loose stools, you have saturated your system with ascorbic acid and should reduce the dosage to where your stools begin to firm up.
Vitamin C (ascorbic acid) infection dose: 1 gm every 15 to 30 minutes (depending on severity of symptoms). If symptoms are not reversed withing 24 hours – increase to 2 grams every 15 to 30 minutes.
Currently, scientists have not committed to a stance on whether melatonin helps protect you from getting the coronavirus. What they do know for a fact is that melatonin is extremely powerful in lessening the severity of COVID-19 symptoms.
Based on the scientific data of high melatonin production in children, it clearly is not a stretch to conclude that inducing elevated melatonin levels that of a 5 year old by taking melatonin supplements could offer significant protection from COVID-19, in my humble opinion. However, rest assured the research IS VERY CONCLUSIVE that melatonin can drastically decrease the severity of symptoms associated with COVID-19.
Since the coronavirus has an incubation period of up to 14 days (meaning…you can be infected for 2 weeks before any symptoms hit), taking melatonin would certainly be beneficial in order to get ahead of the severe cytokine storm which can lead to deadly symptoms.
We have always used Sleep EZ as our source of melatonin because it’s such a great sleep aid. It’s a liquid making it easy to adjust the dosage and very safe to take on a regular basis. With the advent of the new research on melatonin and its ability to decrease inflammatory cytokines, melatonin became a regular part of our immune protocol.
This blog has been provided by Dr. John Coppola, D.C. and Dr. Valerie Monteiro, D.C. Dr. Coppola and Dr. Monteiro are the founders of the San Antonio Neuropathy Center, and Precision Sport & Spine. They are the leading experts in the field of neuropathy and specifically drug free nerve repair. They are the authors of the critically acclaimed book “Defeat Neuropathy Now …. In Spite of Your Doctor. The doctors have over 25 years of clinical experience.
If you would like to reach the doctors regarding a specific health problem, you may email them at [email protected].
- Zhang R, Wang X, Ni L, Di X, Ma B, Niu S, Liu C, Reiter RJ. COVID-19: Melatonin as a potential adjuvant treatment. Life Sci. 2020 Jun 1;250:117583. doi: 10.1016/j.lfs.2020.117583. Epub 2020 Mar 23.
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- Esposito, Emanuela and Salvatore Cuzzocrea. (2010). Anti-inflammatory activity of melatonin in central nervous system. Current Neuropharmacology, 8(3): 228-242.
- Grailor, Jamison J. et al. (2014). Critical role for the NLRP3 inflammasome during acute lung injury. J Immunol, 192(12): 5974-5983.
- Loh, Doris. (2020, March 14). Covid-19, Pneumonia & Inflammasomes: The Melatonin Connection.
- Zhang, Jun-Ming, and Jianxiong An. (2007). Cytokines, inflammation and pain. Int Anestheiol Clin, 45(2): 27-37.
- Zhang, Yong, et al. (2016). Melatonin alleviates acute lung injury through inhibiting the NLRP3 Inflammasome. Journal of Pineal Research, 60(4): 405-14.
- COVID-19 Mutations, Vaccines & Nitric Oxide – The Vitamin C Connection – EvolutaMente.it
- Mitochondria & The Coronavirus – The Vitamin C Connection (Part 3) – EvolutaMente.it