The melatonin-cytokine connection in rheumatoid arthritis

I must say that this one caught my eye.  There has been much research lately into how much melatonin protects the brain from oxidative stress, but like any natural compound, there is a potential downside.  Melatonin has an ability to up-regulate the immune system.  While this may be a good thing for someone with a suppressed immune system, it may be a bad thing for someone with a Th1 dominated autoimmune condition–in this article rheumatoid arthritis.

I know that I, for one, will no longer recommend melatonin if there is any concern for autoimmune conditions.  Interesting to note, though, is the vit D, sunlight and melatonin connection.  Sunlight suppresses melatonin production and stimulates vit D production.  Might this interaction somewhere play a role as well?  Picture today’s typical office job–indoors most of the day with little vit D production (which is known to protect against some autoimmune disorders) and maybe elevated melatonin levels at inappropriate times of the day.  This may be a recipe for disaster.

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James Bogash

For more than a decade, Dr. Bogash has stayed current with the medical literature as it relates to physiology, disease prevention and disease management. He uses his knowledge to educate patients, the community and cyberspace on the best way to avoid and / or manage chronic diseases using lifestyle and targeted supplementation.