Listed below are 10 quotes from research articles and scientific papers about melanin. I provided links where I felt it was necessary and understand that this is just the tip of the iceberg and scientists are still researching the extent of the influence of melanin to this very day.
1. Melanin is a dark, biochemical, organic pigment that is made within cells known as melanocytes. Melanocytes are found all over the body and contain specialized "organs" (called organelles) known as melanosomes which are the sites where melano-genesis occurs which involves the synthesis, storage and transportation of the melanin chemical.
2. There is a deep relationship between melanin and the Central Nervous System (CNS) where it is often referred to as neuromelanin. For instance, it has been shown in the lab that neuromelanin has protective properties, due to its attacking of free radicals, that help prevent the development of Parkinson's Disease.
3. Melanin produced outside of the pineal gland, known as extra-pineal melanin, has been shown to be a key signalling molecule for cell-to-cell communication.
4. It has also been proven that the gastrointestinal tract is an important source of melanin along with the skin and retina.
5. Melanin is integral to our circadian rhythm, or the sleep-wake cycle, playing a major role in allowing us to go to sleep on a daily basis. Due to this fact, melatonin has been regarded by many as an adequate way of alleviating insomnia when it is used as a dietary supplement. Black people who lack good nutrition may find the need to take melatonin supplements too
6. According to Llaila Afrika, melanin aids the growth and repair of tissue by controlling the cells ability to increase its oxygen content which creates intra-cellular anti-oxidants. A melanin deficiency causes cells to oxidize (or rust) giving free radicals the ability to damage tissue cells and set off chains of reaction that can do long-term damage in the body.
7. Melanin can absorb any type of energy, including mechanical, and also any wavelength according to Mexican scientists Arturo Solis Herrera and Paola E Solis Arias writing in 2014.
8. Melanin plays a huge role in the immune system of many species, including human beings. This is known because of the presence of melanin receptors in a wide variety of organs and immune cells.
9. In recent decades, melanin has been reported to possess important functions as an anti-viral, anti-biotic, and anti-parasitic molecule.
10. The lower gut contains 400 times more melanin than the pineal gland!