What is Melatonin ?
Melatonin is an indolamine that is produced in the pineal gland. Its chemical appellation is N-Acetyl-5-Methoxytryptamine or C13-H16-N2-O2.

What is Pineal Gland ?
The pineal gland is a pea sized entity located near the base of the brain. It has a regulatory effect on the hypothalamus gland and influences the functioning of the thyroid,thymus,pancreas and adrenal glands.
What are its functions ?
Research conducted over the past two decades confirm that melatonin has anti-oxidant,immuno protective and sleep regulating properties. It may also prove to be effective as a prophylaxis against osteoporosis and a possible new adjunction in the fight against cancer.
Describe its anti-oxidant capabilities.
Many disease are directly related to free radicals(molecules with unpaired electrons) that can cause cellular damage. A list, to name a few, would include atherosclerosis, emphysema, muscular dystrophy, and cataracts. Among the free radicals produced, the hydroxyl(.OH) oxygen vitro testing have demonstrated that melatonin is four times more effective than glutathione, an important free radical fighter, in scavenging the reactive. In vivo tests in animals utilizing safrole (a potent carcinogen from sassefras oil) demonstrated a significant reduction in damaged hepatic DNA when compared to those who were not pre-treated with melatonin - 99% when administered at a level of 4mg/Kg (reiter et al., 1994). Similarly, an in vitro system used by (tran et al., 1993) showed that hydrogen peroxide exposed to ultra violet light and reacted with melatonin would form six times as less hydroxyl radicals than with glutathione.

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