The COVID-19 pandemic continues to spread across the U.S. and around the globe. And with the surge that experts warned us about last summer, researchers are increasingly turning to drugs and even natural supplements already approved for use against other conditions to try to stem the tide.
Now, a Cleveland Clinic-led study has identified a whopping 34 candidates that could work in Covid treatment and discovered one, in particular, you’re going to want to know about. In fact, they found that a simple, 100 percent natural over-the-counter sleep aid could be your key to winning the COVID battle ahead.
A hormone that regulates the sleep-wake cycle
The supplement those Cleveland researchers found to be effective against COVID-19?
Good old melatonin — the hormone that helps regulates the sleep-wake cycle could also possibly help you avoid becoming another COVID statistic.
The research, published in the journal PLOS Biology, started by using a novel artificial intelligence platform developed by the Lerner Research Institute to determine which possible drugs could be repurposed to fight off SARS-CoV-2, the virus that causes COVID-19.
Overall, they determined that autoimmune (e.g., inflammatory bowel disease), pulmonary (e.g., chronic obstructive pulmonary disease and pulmonary fibrosis) and neurological (e.g., depression and attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder) diseases showed significant network proximity to SARS-CoV-2 genes/proteins and identified 34 drugs as repurposing candidates, melatonin chief among them.
When the AI platform suggested melatonin as a likely candidate, the researchers got to work and hit the ground running.
They began combing through data from close to 27,000 patients in the Cleveland Clinic’s COVID-19 registry, comparing the risk of ending up with the virus with melatonin usage.
The data revealed that melatonin usage was associated with a nearly 30 percent reduced likelihood of testing positive for SARS-CoV-2, even after adjusting for all confounding factors like age, race, smoking history and various disease comorbidities.
And for African American participants, the news was even better. In fact, African Americans experienced a 52 percent reduced likelihood of testing positive for SARS-CoV-2 after adjusting for the same variables.
According to the Cleveland Clinic, “That’s an especially promising sign as African-Americans have been hit particularly hard by the virus.”
How melatonin works against COVID-19
When asked how melatonin could help guard the body against COVID infection, Feixiong Cheng, Ph.D., a researcher at Cleveland Clinic’s Lerner Research Institute, had this to say:
“Melatonin may not directly promote the host defense system against the virus but increase the tolerance of the host to the virus,” Cheng explained. “In other words, in some aspect, to reduce the host defense system, for example, reducing the innate immune response and inflammatory reactions of the host.”
Put simply, this means melatonin may reduce the overreaction of your body’s defenses to the virus, which also reduces tissue and organ damage so that you can survive long enough to adapt and finally kill off COVID.
“There are many possible mechanisms of melatonin in treating COVID-19,” added Cheng, “and our group is actively investigating it using cell-based and pre-clinical models.”
So, if you want to take extra steps to guard against COVID-19 during this fall surge, consider adding melatonin to your nightly ritual. It’s no cure, but you could benefit from better sleep and a lower likelihood of testing COVID-positive, according to this research.
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Melatonin a Promising Candidate for Prevention and Treatment of COVID-19 — Cleveland Clinic
Can Melatonin Help Treat COVID-19? — Cleveland Clinic
Could Melatonin Help Protect Against COVID-19? — Psychology Today
Cleveland Clinic researchers find melatonin potential COVID-19 treatment — Integrative Practitioner
The Latest Supplement Touted As a COVID-19 Treatment? Melatonin — Discover Magazine