Why You May Want to Supplement With Melatonin During SARS-CoV-2 Infections
Why is melatonin supplementation important during the pandemic?
Because the SARS-CoV-2 virus has been shown to be able to hijack your mitochondria to manipulate mitochondrial functions in order to evade host cell immunity and facilitate virus replication, resulting in many diseases associated with COVID-19 infections .
In humans, more than 95% of all melatonin in the body is actually produced in mitochondria and not the pineal glands . So if the SARS-CoV-2 virus hijacks mitochondria, will it be able to affect melatonin synthesis? Even if it does, why is it important?
What does melatonin actually do in mitochondria?
❤️ Melatonin, as a potent antioxidant, can scavenge reactive oxygen species (ROS) in mitochondria to lower oxidative stress and associated inflammatory signaling. Melatonin can also increase antioxidant activities by upregulating SIRT3 and superoxide dismutase (SOD) .
But more importantly,
❤️ Melatonin (endogenous or exogenous) can inhibit glycolysis and upregulate mitochondrial oxidative phosphorylation (OXPHOS). This function is very important because OXPHOS can increase acetyl-CoA — a necessary cofactor for the rate-limiting enzyme in melatonin biosynthesis .
Therefore, if you supplement with melatonin, you can actually increase melatonin production in mitochondria . Isn’t that amazing?
Conversely, if you are infected by SARS-CoV-2 and your mitochondria are hijacked to upregulate glycolysis , there will be reduced OXPHOS/ATP production, but more importantly, a concomitant reduction in the production of acetyl-coA leading a significant suppression of melatonin synthesis in mitochondria.