Supplementing with melatonin may decrease the likelihood of contracting COVID, particularly among African Americans.
Researchers analyzed data from an observational study of over 26,000 people from a COVID-19 registry at the Cleveland Clinic Health System and found that melatonin use is associated with a 52% reduced likelihood of a positive SARS-CoV-2 test in African Americans. They also found a 28% reduced likelihood of a positive test due to melatonin use across their study population, which included over 16,000 white, 5,000 black, and 1,300 individuals of other races, after adjusting for age, sex, race, smoking history, and various disease comorbidities (OR = 0.72). Additionally, melatonin supplementation is associated with a reduced likelihood of a SARS-CoV-2 positive test result compared to the use of angiotensin II receptor blockers (OR = 0.70) or angiotensin-converting enzyme inhibitors (OR = 0.69), drugs commonly used for hypertension, heart disease, and type two diabetes among other conditions. The study published in PLOS highlights the potential of melatonin as a potential prevention and treatment for COVID-19, however more clinical trials are needed to test this.
While commonly used for supporting sleep, melatonin also plays a role in reducing airway inflammation and oxidative stress, and strengthening the immune system. It is a hormone primarily secreted by the pineal gland in the evening to help regulate the body’s internal clock, or circadian rhythm. Short-term use of melatonin is generally safe at doses of 3 mg, although interactions may occur with warfarin, nifedipine, and immune suppressing drugs. We always recommend discussing any changes to your health care before you start or stop supplements with your primary care doctor.
Melatonin is synthesized from the amino acid tryptophan; food content of melatonin varies depending on varieties and location and includes tart cherries, goji berries, tomatoes, olive oil, wine, eggs, fish, walnuts, pistachios.