Melatonin for Oxidative Stress

Epub: Miller et al. Melatonin
reduces oxidative stress in the erythrocytes of multiple sclerosis
patients with secondary progressive clinical course.
J Neuroimmunol. 2013 Mar 18. doi:pii: S0165-5728(13)00050-7. 10.1016/j.jneuroim. 2013.02.012. 

Background: Oxidative
stress plays a major role in multiple sclerosis (MS). Melatonin is a
potent neuroprotectant. 

Objective: The aims of this study were to determine the
actions of melatonin in the reduction of oxidative stress in MS.
Therefore, we estimated lipid peroxidation and activities of main
antioxidative enzymes in the red blood cells (RBCs) from selective group
of MS patients only with secondary progressive (SPMS) clinical form and
verified results with functional state. 

Methods: The sixteen (n=16) SPMS
patients were supplemented with melatonin  for 30 days.
Age matched healthy subjects were used as a control (n=13). We
determined the level of lipid peroxidation by malondialdehyde (MDA) and
activities of main antioxidative enzymes: superoxide dismutase (SOD),
catalase (CAT) and glutathione peroxide (GPx) in RBCs of SPMS patients. 

Results: Melatonin caused statistically significant increase of SOD, GPx
(p<0.0001 and p=0.004065, respectively) and decrease of MDA in
erythrocytes of SPMS patients (p=0.00019). Correlation analysis of
Spearman showed positive correlation between SOD and (expanded
disability status scale) EDSS scale both before (r=0.64, p=0.00756) and
after (r=0.634, p=0.00834) melatonin treatment.

Melatonin is molecule involved in the circadian (awake, sleep cycle) rythmn. It is a nutriceutical readily available in US, not UK where it is on prescription, and is part of my jet-lag avoidance ritual. It is also a suicidal anti-oxidant. This study is yet another nutraceutical study on oxidative stress, but in this study they found more than influence on the anti-oxidant enzymnes, but again what does it all mean? 
Could it be useful as melatonin-related gene has been linked with progression in other studies. The study is too small and short to find any meaningful clinical effect and without some meaningful outcome it is all phenomological and does not inform.

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