The potential of melatonin supplements in preventing AMD

Researchers have found a decreased risk of developing age-related macular degeneration in patients who took melatonin supplements

Pink and mauve tablets are displayed in blister packs
Pixabay/Michal Jarmoluk

Writing in JAMA Ophthalmology, scientists have described an association between melatonin use and the chance an individual will develop age-related macular degeneration (AMD). 

Researchers from Case Western Reserve University School of Medicine and Cleveland Clinic examined a national database of electronic patient records in the US.

They analysed the records of 121,523 patients with no history of AMD aged 50 years or older between November 2008 and November 2023. The also looked at the case records of 66,253 patients with pre-existing nonexudative AMD over the same time period. 

The scientists identified those patients in the group that had at least four instances of melatonin medication codes on their records, with each entry occurring at least three months apart. 

They found that patients without AMD were less likely to develop the condition if they took melatonin supplements, while patients with nonexudative AMD were less likely to progress to exudative AMD if they took melatonin. 

“Melatonin use was associated with a decreased risk of development and progression of AMD. Although lifestyle factors may have influenced this association, these findings provide a rationale for further research on the efficacy of using melatonin as a preventive therapy against AMD,” the researchers concluded.