Amazing antioxidant and disease fighting properties of melatoninMonday, February 04, 2013 by: Mike Bundrant
Melatonin is a naturally occurring compound found in mammals, plants and microbes that in animals fluctuates on a daily cycle. In mammals melatonin is secreted into the blood stream by the pineal gland in the brain and is known as the "hormone of darkness."
That is, melatonin is secreted in the middle of the night in both day-active (diurnal) and night-active (nocturnal) animals, including humans.Endogenous peak melatonin production occurs at 2 AMand ceases when the sun rises, making measurements of melatonin problematic. There are no foods that one can eat to raise melatonin levels, although it is synthesized in the brain from the essential amino acid L-Tryptophan.
Melatonin is available as an over-the-counter supplement and has been studied for the treatment of cancer, immune disorders, cardiovascular disease, depression, seasonal affective disorder (SAD), circadian rhythm and sleep disorders as well as sexual dysfunction and many other diseases and conditions. This is obviously a very large topic, so we will limit this discussion to melatonin's antioxidant and sleep inducing effects, as well as how it prevents and may even help cure cancer.
Many years ago I was attending a bioidentical hormone conference where the speaker presented the case of a 20 y/o woman who had developed bilateral breast cancer. That is very unusual of course, and in the process of a complete diagnostic work-up, it was found that her pineal gland was completely calcified, essentially a piece of stone in the middle of her brain. Since the pineal gland is wheremelatonin is produced, this meant she had no melatonin whatsoever.
This indicates melatonin has very potent anti-cancer effects and when absent markedly increases cancer risk, especially breast cancer.
The World Health Organization has named late night shift work as a probable cancer provoking activity. Reduced melatonin production has been proposed as a likely factor in the significantly higher cancer rates observed in night workers.
Melatonin is a very powerful antioxidant that can easily cross the cell membrane and blood brain barrier. It is a direct free radical scavenger of hydroxide, oxygen and nitrous oxide free radicals. Unlike vitamin C that can be "recycled" which allows it to also be a pro-oxidant, melatonin is reduced to several stable endpoints upon reacting with free radicals, meaning it is a terminal (or suicidal) antioxidant.
Recent studies of melatonin metabolites show it can neutralize up to 10 reactive oxygen or nitrogen species. This makes melatonin capable of creating a "free radical scavenging cascade" that is not possible with other antioxidants. In animal models this superior antioxidant ability can prevent damage to DNA by some carcinogens.
Melatonin's antioxidant activity may reduce cellular damage such as in Parkinson's, as well as prevent cardiac arrhythmia and possibly increase longevity.
The average life span of mice has been increased by 20% with melatonin. Another way in which melatonin may prevent cancer is its radiation protecting effects. Melatonin protects against ionizing radiation via free radical scavenging of the hydroxyl free radical that attacks DNA, proteins and cellular membranes. A systematic review of unblinded clinical studies involving a total of 643 cancer patients using melatonin documented a reduced incidence of death.
Melatonin may have exceptional anti-aging effects as well. Young children hit their peak melatonin production at night. As we age, the peak melatonin production occurs earlier at night, which may explain why adults go to bed earlier, wake up earlier and have more sleep difficulties.
Another study has found melatonin is crucial to slowing the aging process via its effects on specific genes. The administration of melatonin may reverse the gene expression of over 100 genes, making the genes of elderly people similar to those of younger people. Thus, using melatonin supplements may assist in reversing some signs and symptoms of aging by working at a genetic level, influencing the aging process favorably.
Poor sleep is a symptom that plagues millions of men and women. The melatonin signal forms part of the system that regulates the wake-sleep cycle by chemically causing drowsiness and lowering body temperature. Human melatonin production decreases as a person ages. In humans, 90% of melatonin is cleared in a single pass through the liver. This is why those who use melatonin supplements to improve the length and depth of sleep may not find success, as over-the-counter melatonin supplements create a rapid blood spike that is rapidly washed out.
Using a compounded, slow release version with a higher dose (3 - 20 mg) may be a better option that will create a more sustained blood melatonin level. A prolonged release prescription version of melatonin called "Circadin" has been approved in Europe for patients over age 55 for the treatment of insomnia.
Melatonin is remarkably safe with few side effects.
Next day grogginess, irritability, vivid dreams and/or nightmares and hypothermia have occurred in some people with doses over 3 mg taken at bedtime. Toxicity has not been seen in doses as high as 200 mg/kg bodyweight in mice.
In summary, melatonin is a very safe and potentially very effective hormone treatment for improving sleep, treating jet lag and insomnia that has minimal downside. It may help prevent a number of cancers as well as slow down the aging process.
Even children with autism have been documented to fall asleep faster and longer with nightly doses of 2-10 mg of melatonin.
Other studies have found melatonin may relieve headaches, reduce delirium, and improve mood disorders such as SAD, bipolar disorder and some forms of depression. Vivid dreaming indicates melatonin is increasing REM restorative sleep.
Randy Ice and David Mitzner are with Vintage Medical Group.
This article from last January gives some excellent information on the importance of the Pineal Gland
Why pineal gland and mental health are most important in these times
POSTED IN: COSMIC EVOLUTION, EDITORS' PICKS, HEALTH, SOCIAL EVOLUTION– POSTED ON JANUARY 24, 2012
Clean pineal gland and strong mental health are most important to tell the truth from the lies and take control of your life back to your own hands. While we spend our days being manipulated slaves, science and spirituality are joining up and offering us clues. Today we can say that many of the secrets are right out in the open and that truth and knowledge can come to those that seek them and are able to recognize them. Though this process is individual there are common things that all of us feel when our dormant knowledge bursts into our consciousness.
The pineal gland and mental health
The pineal gland, or third eye, is located in the geometric center of the brain. This correlates to the location of the Great Pyramid in the center of the physical planet.
The pineal gland was called the “third eye” by ancient people. It was thought to have mystical powers. This may be why the French philosopher Descartes decided that the pineal gland was the seat of the human soul, the location of what we call the mind. The pineal does contain a complete map of the visual field of the eyes, and it plays several significant roles in human functioning.
It is the center for the production of the hormone melatonin. Melatonin is implicated in a wide range of human activities. It regulates daily body rhythms, most notably the day/night cycle (circadian rhythms). Melatonin is released in the dark, during sleep.
The pineal gland has been implicated in a number of disorders including cancer, sexual dysfunction, hypertension, epilepsy, Paget’s disease… The pineal gland calcifies with age and melatonin production correspondingly decreases. This decline in melatonin has been suggested to be a trigger for the aging process.
Environmental stresses affect pineal function, impacting overall body alertness, temperature levels, and hormone operation. Stresses that affect pineal function include unusual light and dark rhythms, radiation, magnetic fields, nutritional imbalances, temperature swings, high altitude, and overall daily stress patterns.
Pineal gland contains magnetic material in birds and other animals. It is a center for navigation. This, of course, is important for blind individuals. If the pineal gland turns out to contain magnetic material in humans (researchers are looking), then it may be involved in navigational processing. Magnetic processing is subtle and may be part of the bodies unconscious navigational system. Mobility specialists are aware of this possibility, but we have yet to use it to train students.
Studies done mostly with birds strongly suggest that the pineal gland is a center for navigation. Scientists believe that the pineal body is a magnetoreceptor, capable of monitoring magnetic fields, and helping to align the body in space. Changing the direction of magnetic fields around the heads of birds alters their ability to orient.
Electromagnetic fields (EMF) suppress the activity of the pineal gland and reduce melatonin production. EMF activity therefore disrupts the bodies circadian rhythms.
A recent study published some years ago in the NewScientist, indicates a direct connection between the Sun’s solar storms and human biological effect. The conduit which facilitates the charged particles from the Sun to human disturbance — is the very same conduit which steers Earth’s weather —– The Magnetic Field. Yes, animals and humans have a magnetic field which surrounds them — in the very same way the magnetic field surrounds the Earth as a protector.
The NewScientist study states: “The most plausible explanation for the association between geomagnetic activity and depression and suicide is that geomagnetic storms can desynchronize circadian rhythms and melatonin production,” says Kelly Posner, a psychiatrist at Columbia University in the US. The pineal gland, which regulates circadian rhythm and melatonin production, is sensitive to magnetic fields. “The circadian regulatory system depends upon repeated environmental cues to [synchronize] internal clocks,” says Posner. “Magnetic fields may be one of these environmental cues.”
Function and official research on pineal gland
This gland is activated by Light, and it controls the various biorhythms of the body. It works in harmony with the hypothalamus gland, which directs the body’s thirst, hunger, sexual desire and the biological clock, that determines our aging process.
The pineal gland was originally believed to be a “vestigial remnant” of a larger organ. Dermatology professor Aaron B. Lerner and colleagues at Yale University, hoping that a substance from the pineal might be useful in treating skin diseases, isolated and named the hormone melatonin in 1958.
Melatonin is N-acetyl-5-methoxy-tryptamine, a derivative of the amino acid tryptophan, which also has other functions in the central nervous system. The production of melatonin by the pineal gland is stimulated by darkness and inhibited by light. Photosensitive cells in the retina detect light and directly signal the SCN, entraining its rhythm to the 24-hour cycle in nature. Fibers project from the SCN to the paraventricular nuclei (PVN), which relay the circadian signals to the spinal cord and out via the sympathetic system to superior cervical ganglia (SCG), and from there into the pineal gland.
Melatonin is a very ancient hormone that is found throughout the animal kingdom. In reptiles and birds the pineal is close to the skin and needs no interaction with the eye to register day/night cycles (this is where the notion of the ‘third eye” comes from). In these animals, the pineal gland is the master clock. In mammals, however, the pineal gland is subordinate to the eye/SCN system. Light severely curtails the production of melatonin.
Melatonin has been shown to inhibit the growth and metastasis of some tumors in experimental animals, and may therefore play a role in cancer inhibition. Removal of the pineal gland and/or reduction in melatonin output have been implicated in the increased incidence of breast cancer in laboratory animals. Patients who have breast cancer have lower levels of melatonin in the blood. The hormone has also been shown to be protective against genetic damage, and it has a stimulatory effect on the immune system.
The anticancer role of melatonin in humans is not established yet, but in a study involving blind women, melatonin production was found to be higher at all times. This finding was associated with the finding that breast cancer in this study was correspondingly lower for these blind women compared to the general population.
The abundant melatonin levels in children are believed to inhibit sexual development, and pineal tumors have been linked with precocious puberty. When puberty arrives, melatonin production is reduced. Calcification of the pineal gland is typical in adults.
Apparently the internal secretions of the pineal gland inhibit the development of the reproductive glands, because in cases where it is severely damaged in children, the result is accelerated development of the sexual organs and the skeleton. In animals, the pineal gland appears to play a major role in sexual development, hibernation, metabolism, and seasonal breeding.
Pineal cytostructure seems to have evolutionary similarities to the retinal cells of chordates. Modern birds and reptiles have been found to express the phototransducing pigment melanopsin in the pineal gland. Avian pineal glands are believed to act like the SCN in mammals.
Studies on rodents suggest that the pineal gland may influence the actions of recreational drugs, such as cocaine, and antidepressants, such as fluoxetine (Prozac), and its hormone melatonin can protect against neurodegeneration
Cleaning the pineal gland
Cleaning up the pineal gland is useful for those wishing to develop their multidimensional perception. The Pineal gland will naturally make its own DMT when fully operational and we will be able to remain in a visionary state most of the time. An awakened pineal gland brings the ability to consciously astral travel, explore other dimensions, foresee the future…
It is said that when the pineal gland or ‘third eye’ is awakened, one is able to see beyond space time into time space. It raises the frequency on which one operates and moves one into a higher consciousness.
When the pineal gland awakens, one feels a pressure at the base of the brain. This pressure will often be experienced, when connecting to higher frequency. A head injury, can also activate the Third Eye – Pineal Gland.
While the physiological function of the pineal gland, has been unknown until recent times, mystical traditions and esoteric schools, have long known, this area in the middle of the brain, to be the connecting link… between the physical and spiritual worlds.
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