A wee note about melatonin

Melatonin, once touted as a panacea and lynchpin of the anti-aging pharmacopoeia, went silent for a few years after the mid-1990s hype surrounding it was largely discredited. It still occasionally rears its head in an biogerontological context, however, with recent studies demonstrating beneficial effects of the compound on age-related decline in the brain and skin.

Now, more good news: Melatonin restores impaired contractility in aged guinea pig urinary bladder. It’s especially good news if you happen to be an incontinent guinea pig.



  1. What a great blog! On melatonin, I love the stuff (I take combo of fast and slow acting) but I often to wonder whether (as Graeme asked in your Feb 9th entry about melatonin) you’ve heard of any reports of melatonin receptor down regulation or desensitization with chronic use? Thanks for the blog!

  2. If melatonin receptor were not downregulated as a result of increased ligand levels, it would be the on of the very few receptors in biology that behaves that way. I’m not familiar with a specific study that relates human supplementation with receptor levels (it’s a hard experiment to do), but basically everything else in neurobiology works this way so it would be astonishing if melatonin receptor were different.

  3. I’ve heard several people anecdotally claim that melatonin improved the strength of their pee stream. I’ve only taken the stuff for jet lag, but haven’t noticed any change in “the force.” I guess i’m young enough not to have much problem in that department yet though.

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