Researchers have found a link between the consumption of melatonin and decreased oxidative damage and inflammatory response, two symptoms of the aging process.

In a study, researchers discovered that when mice were fed small amounts of melatonin, oxidative stress and inflammation were neutralized and also delayed, therefore increasing longevity. The study also found that signs of aging in mice begin at five months, which is equivalent to 30 human years.

Melatonin naturally occurs in the body. In addition to its role in regulating sleep cycles (accounting for its popularity as a sleep aid and for jet lag), it is a powerful antioxidant. It also occurs in small amounts in plant products such as corn, oats and rice; aromatic plants mint, lemon verbena, sage and thyme; and in red wine.

The study, conducted by scientists at the Spanish Aging Research Network, concludes that daily melatonin intake from ages 30 to 40, could prevent, or at least delay, illnesses related to aging, including neurodegenerative disorders.