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Front Physiol. 2018 May 17;9:528. doi: 10.3389/fphys.2018.00528. eCollection 2018.

Cardiovascular Benefits of Dietary Melatonin: A Myth or a Reality?

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Cardioprotection Group, Hatter Institute for Cardiovascular Research in Africa, Department of Medicine, Faculty of Health Sciences, University of Cape Town, Cape Town, South Africa.


The role of the diet as well as the impact of the dietary habits on human health and disease is well established. Apart from its sleep regulatory effect, the indoleamine melatonin is a well-established antioxidant molecule with multiple health benefits. Convincing evidence supports the presence of melatonin in plants and foods with the intake of such foods affecting circulating melatonin levels in humans. While numerous actions of both endogenous melatonin and melatonin supplementation are well described, little is known about the influence of the dietary melatonin intake on human health. In the present review, evidence for the cardiovascular health benefits of melatonin supplementation and dietary melatonin is discussed. Current knowledge on the biological significance as well as the underlying physiological mechanism of action of the dietary melatonin is also summarized. Whether dietary melatonin constitutes an alternative preventive treatment for cardiovascular disease is addressed.


antioxidant; cardiovascular diseases; hypertension; melatonin; myocardial infarction

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