Combining our fresh Omega Cure® oil with melatonin started as an experiment of curiosity that triggered some unexpected results, much like the development of penicillin or medical x-rays. I had been working for a long time on finding additional ways to protect Omega Cure during the initial stage of processing the oil. What resulted was perhaps the most exciting discovery I’ve encountered in my long medical career – the synergy between melatonin and omega-3.
The science behind these two substances is fascinating. Thousands of clinical trials and research papers explore melatonin and omega-3 each in their own right, but there is also a small body of literature that points to their relationship. The more you read, the more apparent it becomes: Melatonin and omega-3 not only potentiate each other, but are also important for protecting one of the key cell structures, the mitochondria, from damage.
Why do we care about the mitochondria? Because the mitochondria are the powerhouse of the cell, and perhaps one of the most important factors in determining aging and our proneness to disease.
Before we discuss what the combination of melatonin and omega-3 can do for mitochondria, it’s important to review how melatonin interacts with omega-3. This is, after all, what first drew me to experiment with adding melatonin to Omega Cure.
Melatonin is known as one of the most powerful antioxidants because it works in both lipid- and water-based substances. It has the ability to cross the blood-brain barrier and enter into the central nervous system (1). In addition, melatonin generates a series of metabolites that have added antioxidant properties.
In the body, melatonin protects the omega-3 fatty acids from lipid peroxidation, a process in which free radicals attack and damage the molecules. If the omega-3 fatty acid becomes damaged, it is prevented from carrying out its cell membrane function. During lipid peroxidation, the omega-3 molecule may also break down into harmful byproducts. This is why lipid peroxidation is implicated in a number of diseases such as atherosclerosis, Alzheimer’s disease, asthma, Parkinson’s disease, kidney damage, preeclampsia, and more (2).
It is worth noting that when an omega-3 oil turns rancid, the molecules are damaged in the same way that occurs during lipid peroxidation. This is also why getting a fresh, non-rancid fish oil is crucial for obtaining omega-3 benefits.
|For a better understanding of how omega-3 works in the cell, watch this video.|
Besides protecting omega-3 molecules, melatonin also increases the levels of EPA omega-3 in the brain, improving the omega-6 to omega-3 ratio (1). EPA omega-3’s anti-inflammatory benefits are well known. Scientists have particularly noted the benefits of EPA for specific cell types that are involved in aging and reducing neuroinflammation.
Omega-3 molecules also appear to return the favor by helping keep up the body’s production of melatonin. Omega-3 fatty acids make up a part of the pineal gland, which is one of the structures in the body that produces melatonin. It is believed that the pineal gland might be synergistically regulated by the omega-3 molecules (3).
The final aspect in this equation is the relationship between melatonin, omega-3 and the mitochondria. The mitochondria function as the cell’s powerhouse, providing the energy for the cells. The mitochondria are also connected with cellular aging (4). It is believed that if we can improve mitochondrial functioning and prevent damage to this cell structure, we can delay the onset of age-related and chronic diseases (5).
Interestingly, both melatonin and omega-3 appear to come together to protect the mitochondria from damage. Omega-3, particularly DHA, is important for optimal mitochondrial function (6). In a recent study performed on the mitochondria of D-galatose-aged rats, it was also found that melatonin “exhibited a protective effect on mitochondrial function.”(7)
The beneficial effects of omega-3 and melatonin make even more sense when you look at a diagram of the mitochondria. The mitochondrion is an intricate labyrinth of membrane surface, and omega-3 molecules make up a significant portion of this membrane. It is right on the inside surface of the membrane that the omega-3 molecules meet melatonin during energy creation. While scientists are still trying to understand the intricacies of why the mitochondria becomes damaged and whether mitochondrial damage is a cause or symptom of aging, it is clear that omega-3 and melatonin are crucial for the optimal functioning of this vital cellular structure.
There is a lot we still have to learn about melatonin and omega-3. But the more we discover, it is clear that these substances belong together. Foods containing omega-3 are often rich in melatonin. Cod liver oil, for instance, is a good source of both melatonin and omega-3, but during the refining process, almost all of the natural melatonin is lost.
By putting melatonin and omega-3 back together in Omega Restore™, we believe this combination can have a significant impact on health.
The short answer is: Yes. Melatonin is generally regarded as safe (GRAS) by the FDA.
Some people wonder about the safety of melatonin, especially because of its association as a sleep aid. It is important to understand that melatonin is a sleep regulator, helping to improve sleep quality and reduce daytime tiredness. It is not a sleeping pill.
Reviews examining melatonin have found this substance has an extraordinary safety record. Animal and human studies show that short-term use of melatonin is safe, even in extreme doses. No studies have found that supplementing with melatonin causes serious or lasting adverse effects, although a few minor ones (dizziness, vivid dreams, headache, nausea and sleepiness) have been reported (8).
While regular nightly use is considered safe and well-tolerated, we recommend our omega-3 and melatonin vials primarily to people over the age of 40 who are experiencing chronic inflammation or sleep issues. Do not use the product if you are pregnant or lactating and do not give to children without first conferring with your physician. While melatonin is a popular medication in Europe for children with autism and ADHD, more research about long term use is still needed for this age group.
I feel passionate that Omega Restore can be a powerful new tool to reduce chronic inflammation and improve sleep quality. In the coming months, we’ll be sharing with you relevant research and some of the amazing stories from our users. And who knows? Your own story may be one of them.
1. Sergio A. Rosales-Corral, Gabriela Lopez-Armas, Jose Cruz-Ramos, et al. Alterations in Lipid Levels of Mitochondrial Membranes Induced by Amyloid-ß: A Protective Role of Melatonin. International Journal of Alzheimer’s Disease, vol. 2012, Article ID 459806, 14 pages, 2012.
2. Mylonas C, Kouretas D. Lipid Peroxidation and Tissue Damage. In Vivo, 13 (3):295-309, 1999.
3. Catalá A. The Function of Very Long Chain Polyunsaturated Fatty Acids in the Pineal Gland. Biochimica et Biophysica Act, Feb; 1801(2):95-9, 2010.
4. Newcastle University. Mitochondria Shown to Trigger Cell Aging: Batteries of the Cells Shown to be Essential for Aging. ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 4 February 2016.
5. Ana Bratic, Nils-Göran Larsson. The Role of Mitochondria in Aging. The Journal of Clinical Investigation. 123(3): 951-957, 2013.
6. Stanley WC, Khairallah RJ, Dabkowski ER. Update on Lipids and Mitochondrial Function: Impact of Dietary N-3 Polyunsaturated Fatty Acids. Current Opinion in Clinical Nutrition and Metabolic Care. 15(2):122-126, 2012.
7. Guo XH, Li YH, Zhao YS, Zhai YZ, Zhang LC. Anti‑Aging Effects of Melatonin on the Myocardial Mitochondria of Rats and Associated Mechanisms. Molecular Medicine Reports. 15(1): 403-410, 2017.
8. Andersen LP, Gögenur I, Rosenberg J, Reiter RJ. The Safety of Melatonin in Humans. Clinical Drug Investigation. 36(3):169-75, 2016.