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Melatonin - Supports Glutathione in Neural Tissue


Senior Member
Ashland, Oregon
Hi All,

I've taken melatonin at night before going to bed for years, and have found it to be very helpful for helping me sleep. I just noticed on the NOW brand bottle of melatonin some information I hadn't noticed before:

"""Melatonin is a potent antioxidant that defends against free radicals and helps to support glutathione activity in the neural tissue."""

I'll probably do a little more research into this, but thought I would post this information while I'm thinking of it. Makes me wonder if it would be a good idea to take some melatonin during the day as well.


sensing progress

Senior Member
Tucson, AZ
Thanks for posting this Wayne. I remember reading about melatonin being an antioxidant and being quite surprised for some reason. I started taking it at night about a year and a half ago and it made a big difference in my sleep also. I'd also be curious to know if richvank has any thoughts on this since he seems to be the glutathione expert in these parts.


Senior Member
Melatonin seems to be the one supplement that has a whole lot of substance behind it in terms of nullifying the effects of toxins that create oxidative stress. It has been studied in phosphine and cyanobacteria. Based on that, I would imagine it has the same effect with regard to toxic mold exposures.

However, the doses used in the studies are quite large. Something like the equivalent of 300 mg. Usual recommendation is 3 mg. I've seen some companies (Pure Encapsulations) offering higher dose versions of 20 mg, which may be more likely to help with oxidative stress.

This is one that I personally feel okay about using, if it's helping me anyway.

Best, Lisa
I like the benefits of melatonin too but wonder is there any downside to taking it long term - over a couple of years anyway?
When a supplement is helping it's hard to see that there could be any negative effect but I'd be interested if anyone has any experience or evidence from research papers. thank you.


Senior Member
Hi, all.

Melatonin is a powerful antioxidant, and it has a good safety record. It is a natural hormone, secreted by the pineal gland.

There have been a few adverse effects cases reported, however. See the abstract below.

Best regards,


Actas Esp Psiquiatr. 2001 Sep-Oct;29(5):334-7.
[Safety in melatonin use]

[Article in Spanish]

Morera AL, Henry M, de La Varga M.

Departamento de Medicina Interna, Dermatologa y Psiquiatra, Facultad de Medicina, Universidad de La Laguna, Tenerife, Spain. amorfera@ull.es

INTRODUCTION: The interest on melatonin (MLT) as a psychiatric treatment has increased a lot in the last decade. This is mainly due to MLT safety and its lack of serious adverse reactions. The aim of this paper consists of reviewing the adverse effects to MLT consumption in humans.

METHOD: A 35-year (1966-2000) bibliographic search using the Medline database was carried out. The intersection of the key word melatonin with the group of words adverse effects or side effects or adverse reactions or toxicity was the strategy of the search.

RESULTS: 307 articles were elicited and 9 were related to MLT adverse effects. The range of MLT dose involved in the adverse reactions oscillated between 1 mg and 36 mg. The adverse reactions were: one patient with autoimmune hepatitis, one case of confusion due to MLT overdose, one case of optic neuropathy, four subjects with fragmented sleep, one psychotic episode, one case of nistagmus, four cases of seizures, one case of headache and two cases of skin eruptions.

CONCLUSIONS: Attention should be paid on the necessity of enquiring about the drugs that patients are taking, because this product is not harmless for health.

PMID: 11602091 [PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]


Senior Member
Logan, Queensland, Australia

Melatonin i released during sleep for a reason, I don't think its just to help us sleep. It is a rejuvenating agent for the brain. One of the reasons that 3mg is all that is used in most tabs is that this is a critical threshold. I recall reading (but don't recall where) that above that it inhibits testosterone synthesis.

I do not know the specifics of this inhibition, so what I am saying now is rank speculation. Many enzyme systems actually require free radicals during synthesis of various substances. An effective antioxidant like melatonin could therefore inhibit enzymatic activity. Its all about balance. Now, the issue with testosterone is for otherwise healthy people with normal antioxidant balance. In CFS, with massive oxidative stress, the level of tolerance for melatonin is likely to be much much higher. I have no idea how high, and the only way we would ever know is for a decent study into CFS to look into this.