Dr. Andy’s Desk: Can Melatonin Help in Treating COVID-19?

Dr. Andy’s Desk: Can Melatonin Help in Treating COVID-19?


As you may know, melatonin is a naturally-occurring hormone that regulates our internal clock and helps promote good sleep. As a supplement, melatonin has been shown to improve sleep quality, and it’s been studied as a way to reduce anxiety and manage headaches. We’re big fans of it for providing relief to both kids and adults alike. 


But did you know? Alongside COVID vaccine and boosters, melatonin is now being studied for its role in both preventing and treating COVID-19. How can melatonin prevent infection of Covid-19?

According to a Cleveland Clinic study, melatonin reduced the likelihood of study participants of getting COVID-19 by 28 percent, and for the Black American population, infection likelihood was reduced by 52 percent. 


Viruses, such as coronavirus, induce cytokines (a category of small proteins important in cell signaling) and reactive oxygen species that cause inflammation within the body. Melatonin’s natural antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties are thought to be the reason that it can help with preventing COVID-19.


How Can Melatonin Assist in Treatment of Covid-19?

Melatonin is also being studied for treatment,  For those who have COVID-19, research has suggested that because of its anti-inflammatory, immunoregulatory and antioxidant properties, melatonin has helped lessen severity of COVID because of its affect on many comorbidities, including metabolic syndrome, diabetes, and cardiovascular diseases.


About 55 percent of COVID patients have reported at least one lingering symptom at least six months after their infection. These can include “brain fog,” headaches, fatigue and difficulty concentrating. Researchers believe these neurological issues occur when coronavirus enters brain cells via a receptor called ACE-2.


Recently, French researchers shared data suggesting high doses of melatonin blocked the coronavirus from entering the brains of mice, and that melatonin also reduced swelling in their brains.


Of course, dosing in these applications is different from what you or I may take for sleep, but early research on how melatonin can positively address COVID-19 is very promising. 

Sleep is Always Important

And speaking of sleep, another study suggested that taking melatonin to improve sleep two weeks prior to vaccination could help enhance the body’s immune response to the vaccine – and even increase the duration for which a person has immunity to COVID-19 post-vaccination.

As more research is underway on how melatonin can alleviate symptoms of and prevent COVID-19, there’s one thing we already know: good sleep is crucial to proper immune function.

With the pandemic’s unpredictability and the stress it brings, our sleep is more disrupted than ever. If you’re looking for ways to improve your sleep quality, consider taking a (tasty!) melatonin supplement to help with more restful nights and to keep your body in fighting shape if and when illness strikes. 


As always, please consult with your physician prior to taking any new supplements.