Amid the battle between rivals Pfizer, Moderna, and AstraZeneca to bring the most effective COVID-19 vaccine to market, research companies continue to study alternative treatments to preventing the novel coronavirus. NIAID Director Anthony Fauci anticipates vaccinations will begin in late December, with health care workers and those with underlying medical conditions slated to receive the first available doses.1 For the general public, vaccinations will likely not become available until spring 2021, which means COVID-19 prevention methods will remain in full-swing for months to come.
What’s new in the COVID-19 prevention lineup?
Following numerous studies on the exciting potential of CBD, new research from the Cleveland Clinic shows melatonin, a hormone that regulates the sleep-wake cycle, is a top alternative contender for staving off COVID-19. In a study of nearly 27,000 individuals, those consistently given melatonin were 28 percent less likely to test positive for COVID-19, an even higher figure among African Americans.2
How does melatonin impact COVID-19?
While the exact mechanism is unknown, researchers believe the answer lies in proteins consistent in diseases with similar symptoms, or as the study’s senior author referred to them, “shared biological targets.”2 Because melatonin has shown positive results in treating respiratory distress syndrome and sepsis, the similarities in COVID-19’s proteins led the Cleveland Clinic to investigate melatonin as a treatment option and conclude it is effective enough to move forward with additional testing.2
Why do some people take melatonin to begin with?
A person’s circadian rhythm is an internal process operating on a 24-hour cycle that determines when you are asleep and awake in response to natural light.3 For people with sleep disorders, melatonin is sometimes taken to aid in falling and staying asleep when users intend to. In addition to regular exercise and limited electronic use before bed, many irregular sleepers also list CBD as a convenient, natural sleep remedy.
How important is adequate sleep?
Getting enough sleep affects almost every function of our bodies, including hormone production, immune system response, blood pressure, cardiovascular disease, and appetite. Sleep is essential for the body to perform nightly self-repair activities, so it is no wonder an increasing number of people are turning to artificial melatonin to regulate their sleep-wake cycles and fend off impending disease.
As a natural alternative to melatonin supplements, CBD also shows great potential in improving sleep conditions such as insomnia with consistent use. Some believe the endocannabinoid system, like melatonin, plays a role in regulating circadian rhythms. Combined with the positive research surrounding CBD as a potential COVID-19 treatment, it is no surprise the new Cleveland Clinic findings also contribute to a whole-body picture of the novel coronavirus, one in which small components of wellness become critical prevention tools.
Cohen, E. (2020, November 16). Moderna's coronavirus vaccine is 94.5% effective, according to company data. Retrieved November 16, 2020, from https://www.cnn.com/2020/11/16/health/moderna-vaccine-results-coronavirus/index.html
Liu, A. (2020, November 13). Cleveland Clinic team draws a link between COVID-19 protection and the sleep aid melatonin. Retrieved November 16, 2020, from https://www.fiercebiotech.com/research/does-sleep-aid-melatonin-work-as-a-covid-19-treatment
Melatonin: What You Need To Know. (2019, October). Retrieved November 16, 2020, from https://www.nccih.nih.gov/health/melatonin-what-you-need-to-know