You have heard me rave about the many attributes of melatonin before. How it stops cancer growth and kills cancer cells. How it prevents macular degeneration, dementia, Parkinson’s, and viral infections. How it’s an effective remedy for heartburn, GERD, and reflux disorders. How it helps to regulate post-menopausal hormone replacement therapy. And how it protects the body from radiation. But did you know that melatonin is also a very effective remedy for cardiovascular disease?
Researchers recently published a review article on melatonin and cardiovascular disease in the Journal of Cardiovascular Pharmacological Therapy. The authors note that, “The possible therapeutic role of melatonin in the pathophysiology [cause] of coronary artery disease is increasingly being recognized.” The article goes on to point out that studies show that patients with high blood pressure have low levels of melatonin. Still other studies show that melatonin lowers blood pressure.
One of the ways that melatonin reduces blood pressure is by decreasing the levels of adrenalin. Adrenalin acts to increase blood pressure, especially in stress related situations. There are drugs called beta blockers that doctors commonly use to lower blood pressure that work by interfering with adrenalin. Also, excessive adrenalin can cause anxiety, tension, and panic disorders. So you have to wonder if melatonin may be effective for these problems as well.
Another effect of taking melatonin is that it reduces the pulsatility index in the internal carotid artery. An elevated internal carotid pulsatility index is associated with an increased risk of stroke and small blood vessel dementia. So, melatonin not only reduces blood pressure, a major cause of strokes, it also decreases risk by improving blood flow to the brain. But that's not all they report.
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Melatonin also decreases platelet aggregation. Platelets are particles in the blood that form clots when they aggregate (stick together). Patients with high platelet aggregation are at an increased risk of developing dangerous clots that can cause a heart attack or a stroke. There are several drugs out there that doctors prescribe to decrease platelet aggregation. But here we see that melatonin has the same effect as these drugs with no side effects.
What about heart disease? The authors report on several studies showing that patients with coronary artery disease and congestive heart failure have low circulating levels of melatonin. The report concludes with the statement: “It can be concluded that melatonin deserves to be considered in clinical trials evaluating novel therapeutic interventions for cardiovascular disorders.” Of course, we can all wait another 15 years for these trials to be completed. Or better yet, why not start taking melatonin now? Unfortunately, there are no studies showing how many milligrams of melatonin would be optimal in each case to prevent or even treat cardiovascular disease, but two things are worth noting.
One, there's no known toxic dose of melatonin. I take 180 mg of pure melatonin every night, and I often prescribe the same doses for my patients. One of the world's leading experts on melatonin, Dr. Russel Reiter, has been taking 100-200 mg every day for the last 20 years and his only complaint is that he feels every bit as good as he did when he first started.
Two, when you add it all up, I think there's enough evidence to say that melatonin is probably the single most important anti-aging supplement any of us can take. There seems to be no age-related condition that it doesn't prevent. You can buy pure bulk melatonin powder at www.purebulk.com. You can buy pure 20 mg capsules from Allergy Research Group from several distributors online. And you can buy 60 mg capsules at www.perfectvitaminproducts.com or 800-876-2555.
Yours for better health,
Frank Shallenberger, MD
Pandi-Perumal, S.R. and A.S. BaHammam. “Melatonin and Human Cardiovascular Disease.” J Cardiovasc Pharmacol Ther. 2016 Jul 21.