MAY 30, 2018 05:53 AM PDT

Melatonin-It's Complicated

Melatonin is a hormone that regulates sleep and wakefulness through activating the melatonin receptors in the central nervous system. It is naturally produced by the pineal gland in humans and some animals. 

Ever since the discovery of its role in human physiology,  melatonin was considered an excellent agent to facilitate sleeping and treat insomnia. However, things aren't straightforward as they seem.

When taken orally melatonin has very low bioavailability, meaning that only small amount of the dosage reaches the brain whereas the majority get cleared out by the liver. Other types of dosing method such as the nasal spray can reduce liver clearance, allowing more melatonin molecules reach their intended receptor target. But the medical community is still not sure what dosage works the best for insomnia patients, or whether it is effective in helping sleep at all. What makes things more complicated is that FDA regulations that apply to medications are not applicable to melatonin, because it is listed as a dietary supplement, not a drug.

Source: ACSReactions via Youtube

About the Author
  • With years of experience in biomedical R & D, Daniel is also very into writing. He is constantly fascinated by what's happening in the world of science. He hopes to capture the public's interest and promote scientific literacy with his trending news articles.
You May Also Like
NOV 11, 2018
Technology
NOV 11, 2018
Creating Nanoscale-sized Electromechanical Devices.
According to a study published in Nature Communications, researchers at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign discovered new methodology in creati...
DEC 05, 2018
Chemistry & Physics
DEC 05, 2018
Stretchable Ultrathin Electronic Skin Produced from a Desktop Printer
Electronic tattoos or e-tattoos are flexible polymer patches that can sense and transmit electrical signals. e-tattoos have great potential in advancing medical prosthetics and human-machine...
DEC 13, 2018
Chemistry & Physics
DEC 13, 2018
Biochemical Antifreezes: How Do They Work?
How do fish survive in the Arctic ocean where the temperature is under zero degree Celsius most of the year? They rely on a class of polypeptides called th...
JAN 11, 2019
Chemistry & Physics
JAN 11, 2019
Condensation-resistant Liquid-repelling Surfaces
The ability to repel water, or liquids a broader sense, is a much sought-after feature in materials science. Innovative liquid repelling materials can be u...
JAN 20, 2019
Microbiology
JAN 20, 2019
A Mosquito Repellent - Made by Bacteria
Beneficial microbes are already a source of antibiotics. Now researchers have found a microbial mosquito repellent...
FEB 03, 2019
Space & Astronomy
FEB 03, 2019
Explaining the Strange Orbit of 'The Goblin' with... a Ninth Planet?
Astronomers have tried to prove the existence of a ninth planet in our solar system for the better part of the last decade. This hypothetical planet has be...
Loading Comments...