The pineal transplants showed that young pineal tissue could rejuvenate atrophied thymus glands in aging mice. Since the thymus is the master gland of immunity, this finding suggests that melatonin and other pineal hormones may be able to boost declining immune function in middle and old-age animals.
Experiments In Italy
Further experiments at the National Institute For Research On Aging (INRCA) in Ancona, Italy have demonstrated that melatonin can counteract the atrophy of the thymus gland to restore the organ's youthful ability to generate mature T-cells.
It has also been shown that melatonin increases interleukin-2 (IL-2) production and improves the effectiveness of natural killer cells -- two important components of the immune system.
Among the mechanisms of action proposed for melatonin's immune boosting effects have been that:
- Melatonin has a direct stimulatory effect on immune system tissues;
- Melatonin affects immune function indirectly through its effects on thyroid-stimulating-hormone;
- Melatonin influences zinc metabolism, which, in turn, plays a major role in strengthening immune function.
Links To Other Anti Aging Therapies