Revista Colombiana de Endocrinología, Diabetes y Metabolismo
One thousand and one nights of melatonin
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oxidative stress
circadian rhythm

How to Cite

Saavedra-López, H. F. ., García-Pérez, M. J., & Arteaga-Díaz, J. M. . (2022). One thousand and one nights of melatonin. Revista Colombiana De Endocrinología, Diabetes &Amp; Metabolismo, 8(4).


Background: Melatonin was first introduced in 1958 by dermatologist Aaron Lerner from a bovine pineal gland. Around 1970 was discovered its role in the regulation of the circadian rhythm and sleep-wake states, a role on which most clinical studies have focused. Its synthesis occurs from tryptophan through hydroxylation and acetylation processes,
later converted into melatonin. Since its discovery, multiple effects have been raised, all based on its effects as a regulator of oxidative stress; that is why clinical studies show that the supplementation of this hormone, in addition to regulating the circadian rhythm, has possible effects in the management of chronic non-communicable diseases
Objective: To report new evidence about the physiological and biochemical mechanisms of melatonin and discuss its possible therapeutic use.
Methodology: Literature review in the PubMed and Scopus database using the MeSH terms: “melatonin”; "circadian clocks"; "circadian rhythm"; "Cancer"; “oxidative stress”.
Results: There is great bibliographic evidence about the history of melatonin and its possible metabolic effects, which goes in line with its role as a regulator of the circadian rhythm, through the sleep-wake and light-dark states.
Conclusions: Melatonin can serve as an adjuvant in the management of chronic diseases such as cancer, obesity, fatty liver disease, mucositis and in the management of critically ill patients.
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