9 Must Read Difference between Melanin and Melatonin In Tabular Form

What is the difference between melanin and melatonin?

Melanin and melatonin have some close similarities. These two chemical substances tend to confuse a lot of people due to their close relationship.

The lesson provides some insight into the difference between melanin and melatonin. The difference helps to highlight the structure, function, location, and molecular weight of each.

Difference between Melanin and Melatonin

What Is Melanin?

Melanin is a skin pigment responsible for determining the color of the skin but they are also used to perform other functions apart from skin pigmentation.

Melanin is produced by melanocytes which are found in the ear, hair, skin, and central nervous system of the body.

The distribution of the melanosomes and melanin within the skin determines the individual color of the skin directly.

According to a study, the human skin has melanin that contains two polymers such as pheomelanin and eumelanin.

Pheomelanin is produced by pheomelanosomes and it is responsible for red or yellow color while eumelanin is produced by eumelanosomes which is responsible for dark brown or black colors.

What Is Melatonin?

Melatonin is a hormone secreted by the pineal gland which is located between the center of the brain and it is responsible for doing several works in the body.

The hormone is biosynthesize using the amino acid Tryptophan and it is known for regulating modulation of sleep or wake and photoperiodic.

In general, the hormone act as a human alarm in the body since it helps to control the sleep and wake pattern.

An individual suffering from insomnia is treated used melatonin drugs. Besides that, it can be used to treat anxiety and margarine.

Comparison Chart: Melanin vs Melatonin 

Basic Terms Melanin Melatonin
Function The pigment is responsible for determining skin color and shield the skin against ultraviolet rays. The hormone is responsible for modulating the sleep and wake pattern of an individual.
Definition The pigment produced by melanocytes A hormone secreted by the pineal gland
Synthesis Synthesize by melanosomes found in the melanocytes Synthesize by cells found in the pineal gland, and retina.
Location Found in the skin, hair, ear, eye and central nervous system Found in the brain, liver, blood, intestines, and muscles
Molecular mass 318.288 g/mol 232.283 g/mol
Size Polymer Small molecule
Precursor Tyrosine Tryptophan
Type Pigment Hormone
Release No release Release in the bloodstream

Core Difference between Melanin and Melatonin In Point Form 

  1. Melanin is a pigment whereas melatonin is a hormone
  2. The precursor of melanin is tyrosine while that of melatonin is tryptophan
  3. Melanin tend to have a polymer size whereas melatonin are small in size
  4. Melatonin is stored and released by the pineal gland into the bloodstream while melanin is stored by melanocytes but not release.
  5. Melanin is responsible for skin pigment and protection against UV rays while melatonin is responsible for circadian rhythm.

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Well, melanin and melatonin are two main chemicals present in the body. However, they are not related at all despite the name sounding the same.

Melanin is responsible for the skin color while melatonin for regulating the modulation of sleep or wake pattern for individuals.

Using the above difference between melanin and melatonin will help you understand the role as well as the structure of each chemical.

More Sources and References


Melatonin. Wikipedia 

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