Melatonin and functional disorders of the upper gut
Melatonin secretion has been shown to be reduced in certain categories of patients with IBS, GERD and Upper Gastrointestinal disorders such as Functional (Non-ulcer) Dyspepsia. Supplementation with Melatonin has a positive effect in alleviating the symptoms of the above conditions. This piece focusses on Melatonin supplementation and its positive impact on symptoms of motility disorders of the Upper Gastrointestinal Tract.
Date: 12/5/2013 11:21:00 PM ( 7 y ) ... viewed 3134 times
For many organisms (including humans), Tryptophan is an essential amino acid. This means that it is essential for human life, cannot be synthesized by the organism, and therefore must be part of our diet. Tryptophan functions as a biochemical precursor for Serotonin (a neurotransmitter), synthesized via Tryptophan hydroxylase. Serotonin, in turn, can be converted to Melatonin (a neurohormone), via N-acetyltransferase and 5-hydroxyindole-O-methyltransferase activities.
The main extra-Pineal source of Melatonin is the gastrointestinal tract, where it is produced by Enterochromaffin cells. The gastrointestinal tract generates about 400-500 times more Melatonin than the Pineal gland.
The disorders Fructose Malabsorption and Lactose Intolerance cause improper absorption of Tryptophan in the intestine, reduced levels of Tryptophan in the blood, and depression. Therefore if Tryptophan is poorly absorbed, then less Melatonin and Serotonin can be manufactured by the body.
In my case, Fructose Intolerance/Malabsorbtion was caused by a long-term infection with intestinal parasites, which when eliminated, still left me with ongoing Post-infective IBS in the form of Functional (Non-ulcer) Dyspepsia.
It has been shown that patients with IBS, Functional (non-ulcer) Dyspepsia, GERD etc. may have lower levels of Melatonin. The amount of Melatonin produced in each patient depends of course on a number of difficult-to-quantify variables. For example: the number of Enterochromaffin cells they have, how they developed their condition, how long they had the condition, concurrent diagnosed or undiagnosed infections, medication interactions, diet and lifestyle factors, and so on.
Supplementation with Melatonin may alleviate these conditions in certain categories of above-listed patient groups.
I am having very positive effects by supplementing with 3mg nightly roughly half an hour before bedtime.
The Melatonin supplementation provides the same level of symptom reduction as my using Domperidone (Motilium) and Omeprazole (Nexium), and I would much rather supplement with a hormone the body manufactures normally, than with the above drugs, because I was not keen on some of the side effects.
A further benefit (for me) is that supplementation with Melatonin has pretty much stopped the migraines I have had for four years, and there is also some new research coming out: ("Melatonin in Alzheimer’s Disease" - Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2013 - http://www.mdpi.com/1422-0067/14/7/14575) which indicates that it can have a protective effect against Alzheimer's disease, which unfortunately runs in my family.
Please see the following references for more information:
"Does Melatonin Homeostasis Play a Role in Continuous
Epigastric Pain Syndrome?"
Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2013, 14, 12550-12562; doi:10.3390/ijms140612550
"Secretion of melatonin and 6-sulfatoxymelatonin urinary
excretion in functional dyspepsia"
World J Gastroenterol 2011 June 7; 17(21): 2646-2651
ISSN 1007-9327 (print) ISSN 2219-2840 (online)
"Role of Melatonin in Upper Gastrointestinal Tract"
Journal of Physiology and Pharmacology 2007, 58, Suppl 6, 23-62
"Nocturnal Secretion of Melatonin in Patients with Upper Digestive Tract Disorders"
Journal of Physiology and Pharmacology 2006, 57, Suppl 5, 41-50
"Melatonin, a Potential Therapeutic Agent for Smooth Muscle-Related Pathological Conditions and Aging"
Current Medicinal Chemistry, 2010, 17, 4150-4165
"Fructose malabsorption is associated with decreased plasma tryptophan"
Scand J Gastroenterol. 2001 Apr;36(4):367-71
"Fructose malabsorption is associated with early signs of mental depression"
Eur J Med Res. 1998 Jun 17;3(6):295-8
"The study on the role of inﬂammatory cells and mediators in
post-infectious functional dyspepsia"
Scandinavian Journal of Gastroenterology, 2010; 45: 573–581
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