Melatonin Supplements May Help Treat Fibromyalgia by Aiding Mitochondria, Animal Study Finds

Melatonin Supplements May Help Treat Fibromyalgia by Aiding Mitochondria, Animal Study Finds
Melatonin, an antioxidant, may be beneficial in treating imbalances  in the mitochondria of people with fibromyalgia, a complication known as mitochondrial dysfunction, a study in rats with fibromyalgia-like chronic pain symptoms reports. The study, “Mitochondrial Dysfunction in Skeletal Muscle of a Fibromyalgia Model: The Potential Benefits of Melatonin,” was published in the International Journal of Molecular Sciences. Fibromyalgia is a chronic musculoskeletal pain disorder, with an unknown cause. It has been suggested that this syndrome is linked to problems in the workings of mitochondria — the powerhouses of the cell, responsible for providing energy. Mitochondrial dysfunction also leads to oxidative stress, an imbalance between the production of toxic molecules called free radicals and the body's ability to counteract them, which has also been implicated in the development of fibromyalgia. However, the link between mitochondrial dysfunction, oxidative stress and fibromyalgia is still unclear. Therefore, researchers set out to determine the role of three different mitochondrial proteins — peroxisome proliferator activated receptor gamma coactivator-1alpha (PGC-1α), mitofusin2 (Mfn2), and coenzyme Q10 (CoQ10) — in this disease. PGC-1α is a protein that stimulates mitochondrial biogenesis (production) in cells, Mfn2 helps determine the shape and structure of mitochondria, and CoQ10 is an essential component of the energy-producing machinery in the mitochondria as well as an important antioxidant (molecule that counteracts oxidative stress). Researchers used a rat model of fibromyalgia, called the reserpine-induced
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