Considering the increased speed at which the world population is aging, sarcopenia could become an epidemic in this century. This condition currently has no means of prevention or treatment. Melatonin is a highly effective and ubiquitously acting antioxidant and free radical scavenger that is normally produced in all organisms. This molecule has been implicated in a huge number of biological processes, from anticonvulsant properties in children to protective effects on the lung in chronic obstructive pulmonary disease. In this review, we summarize the data which suggest that melatonin may be beneficial in attenuating, reducing or preventing each of the symptoms that characterize sarcopenia. The findings are not limited to sarcopenia, but also apply to osteoporosis-related sarcopenia and to age-related neuromuscular junction dysfunction. Since melatonin has a high safety profile and is drastically reduced in advanced age, its potential utility in the treatment of sarcopenic patients and related dysfunctions should be considered.
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