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A MASTER HORMONE
The world of health and nutrition is all excited about scienceís newest hormone discover - melatonin - and with good reason! It turns out that melatonin, unknown prior to 1950, is a master hormone that indirectly regulates all other hormones.
Even the mighty pituitary gland and all of its hormones is under the control of the hormone melatonin.
MELATONIN - MASTER REGULATOR!
Scientists have now found that melatonin regulates the way we sleep, our moods, our energy, our heart, our immune system, and even how long we live! Some medical authorities are even saying an imbalance of it may be the cause of everything from Alzheimerís to heart attacks, strokes, PMS and cancer. The list of things science is finding that is related to this hormone now seems almost limitless.
WHERE MELATONIN COMES FROM!
At the back of the brain is a tiny pea sized gland that looks like a miniature pine cone, and thatís why the Greeks gave it the name pineal gland. The gland has been known for centuries, but until recently no one had a firm grasp of what it did. As recently as 1950 most medical authorities were saying it was a useless left over from our early development.
Then shortly after 1960 three things happened, first, the extremely minute amounts of its secretions were isolated. Second, the chemical make up of the pineal secretion was identified, it was synthesized, and it was named. Since it was chemically similar to melanin, the pigment of the skin, they took the first part of its name from that source. However, it was also chemically similar to serotonin so they took the last part from that source, and came up with "melatonin."
FINDING OUT WHAT IT DOES!
I said there were three important things that happened regarding melatonin after 1960, first they isolated it, second they identified its chemical structure, named it, and created lots of it in the lab. The third thing, was to study what it did. Because now that they had lots of it in synthetic form, scientists could give itto lab animals and see what it did. It was like finding a miracle hormone, it seemed to do just about everything. The key to whether or not we made enough melatonin in our body to do all those wonderful things, it turned out, was how much light and darkness we got!
SEEING THE LIGHT!
The pineal gland is tucked away in the dark recesses of the skull, far away from light. Yet, researchers found that it is light, and the absence of light, that controls this gland. Like fine wires, nerves connect the light receiving retina of the eye directly to the pineal gland.
WHEN LIFE WAS RULED BY THE SUN!
For a very long time, the human family lived according to the rising and setting of the sun. There were no artificial lights to blur the distinction between night and day. When the sun went behind the horizon, darkness came and people had to cease their daily activities. They were forced to, simply because they could not see well enough to carry on. When dawn came, they had to rise and get busy. They needed to get their activities completed while there was plenty of light to see.
CHEMISTRY FOR NIGHT AND FOR DAY!
It now turns out that to meet the special demands of a bright day and a dark night, our body created two highly specialized chemicals. One chemical specifically for the night, and a different chemical specifically for the day. Their production was all related to the eye receiving sunlight on the retina and relaying that information by direct nerves to the pineal gland. Or, to not receiving sunlight on the retina, and relaying that information directly over the nerves to the pineal gland.
SEROTONIN BY DAY
When the bright sunlight of the morning hit the retina, it sent a nerve impulse to the pineal gland, at started it making serotonin. Which is both a neurotransmitter (relays information from nerve to nerve) in the brain, and a hormone in the endocrine system. Serotonin says, "get up and get goiní, you gotta make a showiní right away."
MELATONIN BY NIGHT
With sundown, sunlight no longer hit the retina, this informationwas also sent over the nerves directly to the pineal gland, which then stopped making serotonin and started making melatonin. Like a hypnotist, melatonin said to the body, "you are tired, you are sleepy, you canít keep your eyes open, you will obey my will, you will go to sleep and not remember anything upon awakening."
A CHANGED WORLD
Thomas Edison revolutionized the world with the introduction of the electric light. Unknowingly he also introduced a whole new set of health problems because of it. With electricity and electric light people were able to create a whole new and artificial world between sundown and bedtime. A world they did not have the chemistry to handle.
A DEFICIENCY OF MELATONIN
Ordinary artificial light after sundown is not strong enough to stimulate a lot of serotonin production, so people do not feel really energetic after dark. This tends to promote the use of stimulants to keep going. On the other hand, the artificial light is just enough to keep the pineal gland from switching over to melatonin production, so they really donít feel sleepy either.
Thus for most people, they experience from 4 to 8 hours a day in which they are not making the melatonin their ancestors did. They are creating a melatonin deficiency. A deficiency which is most noticed by an inability to fall asleep easily, and as the deficiency progresses, an inability to stay asleep, and an inability to get a sound and restful nightís sleep.
TRAGICALLY ITíS MUCH WORSE THAN THAT
The billions of dollars spent on sleeping pills each year, is a mute testimony to just how many people are seriously bothered by their melatonin deficiency. There is a double tragedy here, first, the use of sleeping pills just depresses the production of melatonin even lower, thus making the deficiency even worse. Second, as wonderful as a good nightís sleep is, it is only one of the minor functions of melatonin. By not producing enough melatonin, we are setting the stage for an enormous array of health problems, including an early death!
THE MASTER COORDINATOR
The delicate balance between the right amount of serotonin and melatonin, determined by direct exposure to sunlight and then darkness, has created a natural rhythm to the organs and tissues of the human body. A rhythm that is coordinated by the alternating and balanced production of serotonin and melatonin.
The pituitary is a small gland on the underside of the brain just behind and between the eyes.
It produces hormones that regulate the activity of the thyroid, the adrenal glands, the male and female hormone cycle and other tissues as well. Much of its instructions come directly from the brain, largely as a result of what we are thinking and feeling. The rest of what it does is determined by the hormone melatonin, the master coordinator.
A PITUITARY OUT OF PHASE
When melatonin production is delayed by 4 to 8 hours a night due to staying up in artificial light after sundown, the pituitary gland fails to get the timely direction it needs. As a result, the pituitary may fail to regulate the female hormone cycle in a proper and coordinated way. Everything from spontaneous abortion and Pre-Menstrual Syndrome to breast and uterine cancer can result. The thyroid may not be regulated properly and inadequate energy is produced and obesity develops. The list of health problems which can arise from a dysregulated and out of phase pituitary is enormous.
BODIES DESPERATELY OUT OF BALANCE
In an artificial world of electric light, huge numbers of people are developing deficiencies of melatonin. As a result, the natural rhythm of the body chemistry is being thrown completely out of synchronization.
The entire body gets out of balance. Instead of organs, glands and tissues becoming active at the time they should - in order to provide their end products to other organs, glands and tissues - when they need them, they are out of phase. This lack of synchronization causes different glands, organs and tissues to turn on or off at the wrong time. Completely out of phase with the needs of the body as a whole. Without the coordination provided by regular and adequate melatonin production, the efficiency of the body declines significantly in a wide number of areas.
Organs, glands and tissues which should be resting and repairing, are unable to do so. Failure to get adequate rest and repair for the glands, organs and tissues, results in their failure to function properly, and eventually their breakdown.
FIGHTING THE FREE RADICALS
While you sleep, the body does its best to repair the damage done throughout the waking and working day. Among the most important repair processes it does, is to mop up the free radicals that are being released in your body as a result of drugs, food, exercise, illness and plain old body metabolism.
All of the above items are involved with the chemistry of the human body. A by-product of that chemistry is a lot of molecules which have only been partially used. They are carrying an electrical charge, which when it strikes other molecules can damage them. These are called free radicals.
To stop the destructive attack of these free radicals, the body has developed several defense mechanisms. It uses several nutrients such as vitamin C and E as well as the mineral selenium to stop these free radicals. It also has several enzyme systems, such as super oxide dismutase, catalase and glutathione to do this.
MELATONIN - THE BEST ANTIOXIDANT!
Oxygen is the most active, useful, and dangerous element in the body. As a free radical you can see it destroy iron, literally overnight on an iron tool left in your yard, itís called rust! Most of the human body is water, which is just hydrogen and oxygen - H20. As the chemistry of the body proceeds, that water is processed over and over again as part of chemical reactions.
Frequently water molecules are broken apart and one of the hydrogen ions are used up. Left behind is a partial molecule of an oxygen ion hooked to one hydrogen ion. This is known as a "hydroxyl radical," and it is one of the most active, destructive and numerous "free radicals" in the body. Fortunately, melatonin is the most efficient anti-oxidant in the body. It mops up dangerous hydroxyl radicals with ease. That is one of its most important functions as it sweeps through the body at night as you sleep.
There is also something very special about melatoninís ability to do this. Most other anti-oxidant neutralizers eventually get broken down, and when they do, they often release another harmful substance. This is not true with melatonin! As a free radical neutralizer, it never breaks down into other harmful by-products!
MELATONIN - THE CELL PROTECTOR!
More and more scientific evidence is piling up to indicate that our bodies do not actually wear out. There is growing evidence that most of our physical decline comes as a result of free radical activity that causes them to suffer "rust" damage similar to that iron tool left on the lawn overnight. Iíve already mentioned the body has many nutrients and enzymes to help minimize this damage. However most of them have to do their work in the blood and spaces outside the cells. Very few are able to reach the center of the cell, the nucleus, and yet it is here that free radical damage leads to destruction of the DNA, which causes cell abnormality, cancer or cell death. Melatonin is able to enter the cell nucleus where it has been shown to protect the DNA from alteration by free radical and oxidation damage.
Research has shown that those organs and tissues which deteriorate the most as we age, are also those which have the highest amount of free radical activity. As the top free radical fighter in the body, keeping the level of melatonin at an optimum level is vital to our health and longevity.
MELATONIN PROTECTS THE BRAIN!
New research shows that Alzheimerís patients have fewer nerve fibers from the brain to the pineal gland. This results in a reduced level of light and dark signals reaching the pineal gland, creating a disturbance in the rhythmic production of serotonin and melatonin. This altered rhythm of pineal hormone production leads to the disturbed awake and sleep cycles which are common to those with Alzheimerís.
However, research has shown that melatonin does far more than help the brain have a good nightís sleep. Studies have shown that the most active areas of the brain have the highest amount of free radical damage. This is because high intensity nerve transmission produces a large amount of free radicals as a by-product of their metabolism. Fortunately, when there is plenty of melatonin in the brain, it not only neutralizes the free radicals, it even re-routes brain signals away from overworked neurons. This reduces the actual production of free radicals in high activity areas and protects the neurons from damage.
MELATONIN AND THE IMMUNE SYSTEM
It has been found that the immune system is controlled by the brain and other tissues by a constellation of neuro-transmitters, hormones and other biochemicals. Melatonin may be the most important of these.
The activity of the immune system rises and falls over the 24 hour day-night cycle. The production of white blood cell lymphocytes rises throughout the day. If unchecked, this rise could become excessive, leading to many health problems. However, about 5 hours after the rise of lymphocytes begins, a rise in melatonin takes place. As melatonin rises in the blood, the lymphocyte production slows, until they both reach their maximum level at the same time, and then they fall in unison. Which explains why those who are ill will reach a crisis in the evening and then fall back and sleep during the night, as melatonin exerts a calming effect on the brain and immune system.
It is now well known that the thymus gland is the key to a well functioning immune system. It is also well known that this gland shrinks and declines dramatically in its ability to protect us as we age. Interestingly enough the decline of the thymus gland parallels the decline of the melatonin producing pineal gland as we age. In experiments with animals it was found that if the melatonin level could be kept constant as they age, the shrinkage of the thymus gland could be greatly retarded. This provided greater immune protection for a longer period of time, and this in turn increased the animalís life span.
MELATONIN AND IMMUNE DISORDERS
As we have already seen, melatonin exerts a calming effect upon the immune system and keeps it from over-producing lymphocytes when they are not needed. Some people have a health problem classified as an auto-immune disorder. These are health problems caused by the immune system becoming so excessive that it attacks the individualís own body. If melatonin prevents excessive immune attacks, could it be that those with auto-immune disorders are too low in melatonin? Researchers examined those with rheumatoid arthritis and found that they were indeed low in melatonin. Although research has not yet been conducted to see if supplements of melatonin would have a calming effect on their condition, or other auto immune disorders, it certainly seems that it might.
MELATONIN AND CANCER
Doctors at the Centers for Disease Control reviewed 100,000 hospital records of female patients with breast cancer and were surprised to find that the condition was only half as frequent among women who were blind, versus those with full vision. Researchers specializing in the pineal gland believe this is because the level of melatonin is higher among women without sight.
As far back as 1940, researchers had found that cancer and tumors grew faster in animals which had their pineal glands removed. They had also found that by adding an extract from pineal gland tissue to a group of cancer cells, that it would inhibit their growth. Today, they know that pineal extract was melatonin.
Some cells of the body contain receptors on their surface for the sex hormones estrogen and/or testosterone. If these sex hormones become excessive, they trigger the development of cancer in these tissues. The discovery of breast cancer is highest in the late spring after melatonin levels have fallen from their winter highs, and again in the fall after several months of low melatonin levels throughout the summer. Doctors at Tulane University School of Medicine found that adding melatonin to cancerous breast tissue cells growing in the laboratory reduced their growth rate to Ĺ to ľ of similar hormone responsive cells not given melatonin.
Interleuken-2 (IL-2) is a natural biochemical of the immune system. It attaches to cancer cells and thus guides cancer destroying white blood cells directly to the cancer cell. Doctors in Italy found in 1993 that giving patients with already metastasized cancer, low doses of IL-2 and melatonin increased the one year survival rate from 15% to 46%. Newer studies have shown even more promising results for the use of melatonin in the prevention and treatment of cancer.
CAUTION: No one should undertake the treatment of cancer with melatonin unless it is being done by their physician. Some types of cancer may be stimulated with an increase in melatonin. Even the time melatonin is taken can change the results from positive to negative. When researchers gave melatonin to mice with tumors, morning melatonin made the tumor grow, while evening melatonin retarded growth.
MELATONAZYME - Melatonin Just For YOU!
For those of you past the age of 35, a decline in the natural production of melatonin by your pineal gland has already taken place. The older you are, the more severe and complete that decline is. With that decline come disturbed sleeping patterns, reduced immunity, an inclination towards cancer, arthritis, excessive free radical damage with accelerated aging, and heart problems.
Modern research has shown that modest supplements of melatonin can bring blood and tissue levels back to more youthful levels, and with it, the good nightís sleep and other health benefits associated with youthful levels of melatonin.
The Vitality Corporation, through their distributors offers a product known as Melatonazyme.
It contains 3 milligrams of the finest grade of melatonin. It also contains the amino acid taurine which is the raw material for brain and muscle relaxing neuro-transmitters, in combination with brain, muscle, heart and blood vessel relaxing magnesium, as magnesium taurate. Finally it is complexed with a special formula of plant enzymes for fast assimilation. Take one capsule one hour before bedtime and you will have the best nightís sleep in years, plus all the other youth and health promoting benefits melatonin provides.
Vitality Product Code: #3037 Melatonazyme (60 capsules)