Melatonin and silymarin (a compound found in milk thistle) show promise in the treatment of Parkinson’s disease, according to preliminary study findings from the Journal of Pineal Research. In tests on mice with an animal model of Parkinson’s disease, researchers found that melatonin and silymarin offset loss of function in nerve cells (an effect that may help slow the progression of Parkinson’s).
Both melatonin and silymarin are known to act as antioxidants and knock out free radicals (chemical byproducts that damage DNA). According to the study’s authors, the substances may help fight Parkinson’s by counteracting oxidative stress (a Parkinson’s-associated destructive process that results from overproduction of free radicals).
In past research, melatonin has been found to regulate sleep and aid in the treatment of certain eye diseases (such as age-related macular degeneration). Milk thistle, meanwhile, may help enhance liver health and curb the inflammation linked to liver diseases like hepatitis C.
- ^ Melatonin (altmedicine.about.com)
- ^ milk thistle (altmedicine.about.com)
- ^ Parkinson’s disease (altmedicine.about.com)
- ^ regulate sleep (altmedicine.about.com)
- ^ macular degeneration (altmedicine.about.com)
- ^ liver health (altmedicine.about.com)
- ^ inflammation (altmedicine.about.com)
- ^ hepatitis C (altmedicine.about.com)