Melatonin is a hormone secreted in the pineal gland with several functions, especially regulation of circadian sleep cycle and the biological processes related to it.
In the introduction to this paper the authors state that “In order to establish the therapeutic use of melatonin for possible improvements in health, it is crucial to establish its bioavailability in humans. Secondly, considering the dietary sources of melatonin, it is desirable to evaluate precisely its content in food products and the expected intake. Finally, its positive effects must be evaluated, preferably in human randomised clinical trials, which are the best to establish cause–effect relationships. Therefore, with this strategy in mind, their review aims to link these three areas, focusing on wine and beer as food sources of melatonin. The review evaluates the bioavailability of melatonin and resulting metabolites, the presence of melatonin in wine and beer, products that include a high range of bioactive phytochemicals and finally the different benefits related to the treatment with melatonin, studied both in animal models as well as mainly in humans”.
From the results of the review, the authors conclude that “the current literature highlights the good bioavailability of melatonin in humans, leading to two active metabolites that should serve to monitor the efficacy and pharmacokinetic properties of melatonin... Moreover, through the interaction with MT receptors in different body organs, melatonin acts as a central synchroniser regulating a wide range of physiological functions, such as glucose and lipid metabolism. Human clinical trials have shown that melatonin may help to reverse/ameliorate certain cardiovascular events.”
Melatonin in the organism acts as an antioxidant, neutralising a large number of reactive molecules, and it indirectly modulates the activity of the endogenous enzymatic antioxidant system. Due to these properties against oxidative stress, as well as the inhibition of different inflammation and apoptotic pathways, melatonin has shown neuroprotective effects in vitro and in animal models of Alzheimer’s Disease, Parkinson or Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis, among others. These findings show the strong therapeutic potential of this promising molecule to combat against these neurodegenerative pathologies. Finally, the high concentration of melatonin in wine and beer, and the frequency of consumption (without aberrant behaviours) of these two food matrices, make them two excellent vehicles for incorporating melatonin into the diet naturally”.
The authors add that clinical trials are needed to ascertain the impact of the intake of melatonin-rich foods for cardio and neurological protection, which can help in the design of new dietary recommendations or functional foods.
Source: Marhuenda J, Villaño D, Arcusa R, Zafrilla P. Melatonin in Wine and Beer: Beneficial Effects. Molecules. 2021 Jan 11;26(2):E343. doi.org/10.3390/molecules26020343.