On Saturday, a new study in the Journal of the American Medical Association (JAMA) showed that chronic stress can increase levels of melatonin in people.
Researchers from the University of Wisconsin, Madison, and the University at Buffalo used magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) to measure the levels of the hormone in the brains of people with mild to moderate chronic stress, and then compared those with normal levels of stress to people with less or no stress.
While the researchers found that people with a lot of stress experienced the highest levels of cortisol, that was not true for those who had no stress at all.
The scientists also found that melatonin’s effects on brain function and mood are reversible after a couple of weeks.
The study also found no difference between those with more or less chronic stress levels in terms of how much their brain was responding to melatonin.
“This shows that there is no threshold for how high the brain responds to melonatonin,” lead author and lead researcher Dr. Thomas Hausfeld, a researcher at the University’s Center for Brain Imaging, told The Atlantic in an interview.
“We’re showing that melonin, the hormone that is responsible for the production of melonaxin, is also able to be produced at low levels.”
Hausfeld also said that melanin could be a possible target for future treatments for chronic stress.
“If you can lower stress levels, then you can increase the production and use of melanine,” he said.
“I think that’s a good avenue for future research.”
Another study published in March, by a team led by Dr. Paul Cappelli of the University Health Network in Toronto, looked at melatonin levels in the blood of people experiencing a severe burn.
While it was not clear whether the team had enough melatonin to detect any changes, the study found that the more severe the burn, the higher the levels.
The study also looked at levels of a protein called 5-hydroxytryptamine, which is produced in the brain during stress.
Capplli said the finding suggests that the release of melatins from the brain may have a direct effect on brain functioning.
“If you look at the effect of melons in the body, it is very clear that melatin increases brain activity and also decreases blood pressure,” he told The Verge.
“So if you reduce melatonin, you decrease brain activity.
That would suggest a direct mechanism for the ability of melatin to reduce stress levels.”