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Question

Which functional role of melatonin came first?

  • Regulation of the circadian rhythm
  • Defense against oxidative stress
  • Other

Background

I was well aware of the important role melatonin plays in Human sleep behavior, and circadian rhythm regulation, quoting the Wiki page:

Melatonin, also known as N-acetyl-5-methoxy tryptamine,1 is a hormone that is produced by the pineal gland in animals and regulates sleep and wakefulness.2

What I was not so aware of, but now quite fascinated to learn about, is melatonin's role in oxidative stress management. In fact, the quote below is taken from the sentence immediately following the one above, in the same Wiki page:

it functions as a first line of defense against oxidative stress.3


Related Stack Bio Discussion

I also came across this Stack Biology answer to the question "Does melatonin change the appearance of humans?", quoting it:

Melatonin works as an antioxidant and helps in removing free radicals from the body ... I would have to conclude that melatonin could have a part to play in maintaining the beauty of your skin.

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