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J Oral Implantol. 2012 Apr 16. [Epub ahead of print]

Could the Fountain of Youth Be All in Your Bones?

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Duquesne University, Professor of Pharmacology and Toxicology, Pharmaceutical Sciences, Duquesne University.


Melatonin, a molecule released from the pineal gland in response to darkness, has long been known to keep one's sleep-wake cycles entrained to the light-dark cycle; however, there has been a surge in publications showing that melatonin has protective effects on bone. Disruption of nocturnal melatonin levels by light exposure at night, and through the natural aging process, produces adverse effects on bone. Use of melatonin to prevent bone loss or enhance bone formation has great clinical utility, including preventing maxillofacial bone loss and/or enhancing bone regeneration in maxillofacial bone reconstructive surgeries. This brief editorial comment sheds some "light" into a novel use for melatonin in preventing facial bone loss.

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