COVID-19 Supplements: Yet Another Study Indicates That Melatonin Can Prevent Severe COVID-19
: Researchers from University of Toronto-Canada, Somnogen Canada Inc. and Pontificia Universidad Católica Argentina have in a new study proposed that melatonin can help prevent severe COVID-19.
The study abstract states that the therapeutic potential of melatonin as a chronobiotic cytoprotective agent to counteract the consequences of COVID-19 infections has been advocated. Because of its wide-ranging effects as an antioxidant, anti-inflammatory, and immunomodulatory compound, melatonin could be unique in impairing the consequences of SARS-CoV-2 infection. Moreover, indirect evidence points out to a possible antiviral action of melatonin by interfering with SARS-CoV-2/angiotensin-converting enzyme 2 association. Melatonin is also an effective chronobiotic agent to reverse the circadian disruption of social isolation and to control delirium in severely affected patients. As a cytoprotector, melatonin serves to combat several comorbidities such as diabetes, metabolic syndrome, and ischemic and non-ischemic cardiovascular diseases, which aggravate COVID-19 disease. In view of evidence on the occurrence of neurological sequels in COVID-19-infected patients, another putative application of melatonin emerges based on its neuroprotective properties. Since melatonin is an effective means to control cognitive decay in minimal cognitive impairment, its therapeutic significance for the neurological sequels of SARS-CoV-2 infection should be considered. Finally, yet importantly, exogenous melatonin can be an adjuvant capable of augmenting the efficacy of anti-SARS-CoV-2 vaccines.
The research was published in the peer reviewed journal: Diseases https://www.mdpi.com/2079-9721/8/4/44
Thailand Medical News had already published about the merits of using melatonin to treat COVID-19 as early as May this year. https://www.thailandmedical.news/news/breaking-covid-19-supplements-melatonin-helps-lessen-severity-risk-in-covid-19-patients-by-preventing-cytokine-storms
The current COVID-19 pandemic is gaining
momentum in this current second wave with daily new COVID-19 infection rates exceeding 600,000 and daily death rates exceeding 12,000. As of Friday, 4th
December, more than 65 million people have been infected with the SARS-CoV-2 coronavirus and more than 1.5 million people have died. In the United States alone, more than 14 million people have been infected with the COVID-19 disease and more than 275,260 Americans have died from the disease.
The COVID-19 pandemic is by far the worst global health crisis in the past century. The magnitude of the disease’s spread stemmed from the number of people who traveled early in 2020 when there were still only a few cases of COVID-19. Of all the victims of the virus, older adults and those with underlying health issues are the most vulnerable and are more likely to develop severe symptoms.
The COVID-19 pandemic is expected to get far worst in the third and fourth waves where it is expected that at least 20 percent of the global population might be perished if no proper drugs and therapeutics appear.
Presently, there is no approved drug that is safe and effective in mitigating severe or critical COVID-19. Certain drugs being peddled by the U.S. regulatory agencies are basically scams perpetrated by the Trump administration including hydrochloroquinine, remdesivir, monoclonal antibodies etc.
Recently, some have recommended melatonin as a potential therapeutic that can inhibit SARS-CoV-2 infection.
The study team from Canada and Argentina has found that melatonin can be an adjuvant to augment the efficacy of anti-SARS-CoV-2 vaccines. They believe that the drug is a potential “silver bullet” to combat the COVID-19 pandemic.
The study team explored the potential benefits of melatonin for COVID-19 patients including evidence showing that melatonin prevents SARS-CoV-2 infection, has anti-inflammatory, immunoregulatory, and antioxidant properties, counteracts chronodisruption, and combats many comorbidities, including metabolic syndrome, diabetes, and cardiovascular diseases.
It is known that the SARS-CoV-2 pathogen enters the cells via the angiotensin-converting enzyme 2 (ACE2) receptor in the lungs and other organs in the body. The virus’s spike glycoprotein on its surface docks onto the ACE2 dimer to infiltrate the host cell and commence viral replication.
Past studies suggest that melatonin may be an effective antiviral agent amid the coronavirus pandemic. https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0168170220310157
Interestingly in one study, the researcher found that a drug combination of melatonin and mercaptopurine effectively hits the HCoV-host subnetwork and was recommended as a possible drug combination for SARS-CoV-2 infection. https://journals.plos.org/plosbiology/article?id=10.1371/journal.pbio.3000970
Also another possible way melatonin may regulate viral infection is related to its effective binding and inhibition of calmodulin, which regulates the surface expression and retention of ACE2 in the plasma membrane. https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/abs/pii/0304416596000256
Besides preventing infection with SARS-CoV-2, melatonin has also been noted for its anti-inflammatory, immunoregulatory, and antioxidant properties. https://link.springer.com/chapter/10.1007/978-1-4615-4709-9_28
It was found that melatonin applies anti-inflammatory effects through sirtuin-1, which inhibits the polarization of macrophages towards the proinflammatory type. Further, the drug decreases the proinflammatory cytokines, which have been tied to severe COVID-19 disease. https://www.jimmunol.org/content/184/7/3487.short
Melatonin has antioxidant properties as it acts as a free radical searcher; it is metabolized to compounds with high antioxidant activity, and triggers the synthesis of antioxidant enzymes. https://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/full/10.1111/jpi.12267
Besides reducing inflammation and cytokine levels, melatonin is also a chronobiotic and cytoprotective agent.
Typically a chronobiotic agent is a drug that affects the physiological regulation of the body clock, which can correct a desynchronized circadian rhythm.
Maintaining and regulating a stable body clock is important to boost energy levels and the immune system. It reverses disruptions in the circadian rhythm. https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/16687313/
The supplement is also a cytoprotective agent, which can help combat the common comorbidities that can heighten the risk of severe COVID-19. These include diabetes, metabolic syndrome and ischemic cardiovascular disease. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4492644/
Melatonin also provides neuroprotection for COVID-19 patients. Some of the common symptoms of COVID-19 patients experience include loss of smell, paralysis, stroke, cranial nerve deficits, delirium, meningitis, seizures, and encephalopathy. It is also a neuroprotective agent as it helps prevent the neurological effects of COVID-19, including cognitive decay and brain fog. https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/31379746/
As a whole, melatonin is a potent drug that can be used in treating COVID-19 patients. It is an antioxidant, anti-inflammatory, and immunomodulatory compound that impairs the complications of COVID-19.
Importantly, it has been found that older individuals have lower levels of circulating melatonin in the body, explaining why some may be more likely to suffer from severe symptoms.
The SARS-CoV-2 coronavirus can induce an increase in inflammatory cytokines, and since older adults have low levels of melatonin, they will have impaired immunity.
The study team concluded, “Therefore, the use of the very safe drug melatonin in adequate doses can prevent the development of severe disease symptoms in coronavirus patients, reduce the severity of their symptoms, and reduce the immuno-pathology of coronavirus infection on patients’ health after the active phase of the infection is over. Furthermore melatonin could be used as an adjuvant for future vaccines since it helps prevents reinfection.”
For more on COVID-19 Supplements
, keep on logging to Thailand Medical News.