ragweed allergy & Melatonin

Jo Robinson jor at teleport.com
Tue Nov 28 12:14:52 EST 1995

Etha Schlemermeyer (etha at genectr.hunter.cuny.edu) wrote:

: This may not be the right postup to 
: ask; but what is the reason why one
: should not use Melatonin if one has a
: autoimmune desease. ?
: This doesn't seem logical - I was under
: the impression that M strenghthens the
: immune system.

: Etha
	Etha - Melatonin does indeed enhance certain aspects of the
immune system, while it suppresses others.  The most precise term
for melatonin in this one regard is that it is an immuno*modulating*
	As for the cautionary remarks for those with auto-immune
diseases.  Melatonin's role in the immune system is extremely complex
and not fully understood.  It may in fact stimulate some of the very
components of the immune system that are already hyperactive in those with
 certain auto-immune disorders.  However, the only evidence I am aware
of that this may be so comes from one rodent study in which mice were given
an experimentally induced form of arthritis along with melatonin injections.
Melatonin made the arthritis more severe. ["The pineal hormone melatonin
exaggerates development of collagen-induced arthritis in mice." J.
of Neuroimmunology 1992; 39:23-20.] 
	As for allergies, melatonin has been taken by hundreds of thousands
of people to date, primarily within the past two years.  Thousands of these
people must have had some type of allergy. yet the FDA has received no
complaints of significant negative side effects related to melatonin.
My guess is that melatonin does not exaccerbate allergies.  Note my
use of the word "guess".  To my knowledge, no one has an authoritative
answer to this question.
	I would suggest that anyone with an allergy who chooses to take
melatonin should do so under close supervision by a physician.

|       Jo Robinson		    |            jor at teleport.com             |
|      (503)284-4676                |     2826 NE 18th Portland, OR 97212     | 

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