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Melatonin hormone molecule

Melatonin hormone molecule

C003/3291

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Credit

LAGUNA DESIGN / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY LAGUNA DESIGN / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY

Caption

Melatonin hormone molecule. Computer model showing the structure of the hormone melatonin. Atoms are colour-coded spheres (carbon: dark grey, hydrogen: light grey, oxygen: red, and nitrogen: blue). Melatonin is secreted by the pineal gland in the brain that controls the body's biological rhythm. It is secreted at night and induces sleep. Pills containing melatonin can be taken to prevent jetlag. In middle age, melatonin secretion drops off and may be responsible for aging symptoms such as insomnia and irritability.

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