It is known that melatonin (MLT) and some of its metabolites act as antioxidants by scavenging
free radicals as well as increasing the activity of antioxidant enzymes in the body. MLT is suggested to exert
beneficial effects via various mechanisms in the treatment of many diseases, such as cancer, neurodegenerative
diseases, epilepsy, diabetes mellitus and obesity. People working in nightshift exhibit decreased MLT
levels that are suggested to be related with increased risk of hormone-related diseases. Similarly blind people were found
to have increased MLT levels protecting against many diseases. This review briefly summarizes the published reports
supporting these beneficial effects of MLT. Furthermore the present review involves recent developments related to the
antioxidant effect of remarkable and multi-faceted molecule MLT as well as its metabolites and its synthesized analogues.
The role of MLT as an inhibitor of bioactivation reactions is also discussed.
Keywords: Antioxidant, bioactivation inhibitor, indole, melatonin, prooxidant.
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