Need sleep? Melatonin helps. Need protection from Covid-19? Melatonin appears to help there, too. So say the results from a new Cleveland Clinic-led study that cites melatonin as a viable treatment option for Covid-19.
The Cleveland Clinic published its findings in PLOS Biology, which revealed that melatonin usage was associated with a nearly 30 percent reduced likelihood of testing positive for SARS-CoV-2 (the virus that causes Covid-19). The data was adjusted for age, race, smoking history and various disease comorbidities. The effects of melatonin were even more pronounced in African-Americans.
Melatonin is an over-the-counter sleep aid that regulates the sleep-wake cycle. While using melatonin certainly would be cost-effective, researchers caution it isn’t for everyone.
“It is very important to note these findings do not suggest people should start to take melatonin without consulting their physician,” said Feixiong Cheng, Ph.D., assistant staff in Cleveland Clinic’s Genomic Medicine Institute and lead author on the study.
“Large-scale observational studies and randomized controlled trials are critical to validate the clinical benefit of melatonin for patients with Covid-19, but we are excited about the associations put forth in this study and the opportunity to further explore them.”
Researchers identified 34 drugs as repurposing candidates, with melatonin rising to the top among the group.
“Recent studies suggest that Covid-19 is a systematic disease impacting multiple cell types, tissues and organs, so knowledge of the complex interplays between the virus and other diseases is key to understanding Covid-19-related complications and identifying repurposable drugs,” Dr. Cheng said.
“Our study provides a powerful, integrative network medicine strategy to predict disease manifestations associated with Covid-19 and facilitate the search for an effective treatment.”