Wonders of Melatonin

Melatonin, which is non-addictive, gives her “a great night’s sleep” and leaves you feeling terrific when you wake up.  Melatonin’s has a proven ability to counter insomnia and jet lag, but also  an array of experts are touting it as a wonder drug that can extend life and help to combat a wide variety of illnesses, including AIDS, cancer and epilepsy.  AND it’s very, very inexpensive!

Melatonin is hormone naturally prouduced by the body by the pineal gland, an organ about the size of a kernel of corn that is formed three weeks after conception and located at the center of the brain.  It  also can be produced by marrow cells and epithelial cells .  These form your epihelium tissue which is a type of tissue that lines cavities and surfaces throughout the body.

When the sun goes down at the end of each day, the gland boosts the body’s melatonin levels, inducing a feeling of sleepiness – an effect which an increasing number of insomniacs are seeking to enhance by taking melatonin supplements. That same property, which researchers have demonstrated in several studies using human subjects, also makes melatonin a popular pill among airline workers and frequent flyers who experience jet lag. Ingesting melatonin at bedtime at a traveller’s destination can help to reset the body’s internal clock, the “carcadian cycle”.  Athsmatics and people who suffer with Tinnitus  also find an improvement in sleep and its benefits.   It is also important to note, that with or without Melatonin, you will rest better if  your bedroom is free of electronics and the room is dark.  As it turns out, Melatonin production in the brain is inhibited by light, even at low levels.  The presence of light will reduce your production by 50%.  Melatonin is released into the blood stream and levels peak in the middle of the night.

Russell Reiter, a Texas neuroendocrinologist and author of Melatonin: Your Body’s Natural Wonder Drug, says that the hormone’s most important role is neutralizing free radicals – unstable molecules that oxidize healthy ones by pirating electrons from them. Scientists say that oxidizing molecules play a major role in diseases such as AIDS, rheumatoid arthritis and cancer. Free radicals also contribute to aging by undermining collagen proteins that support the skin, causing wrinkles and sagging jowls. While vitamins C and E are well-known fighters of oxidizing free radicals, Reiter says that melatonin is a much more powerful antioxidant. In 1993, Reiter co-authored a study on rats showing that melatonin shielded the animals’ cells from safrole, a toxic substance that causes cancer by generating large amounts of free radicals. “I was awestruck by the potency of melatonin,” Reiter says.

It may help reduce the amount of seizures with epileptics.

George Bubenik, a physician and associate professor of biological sciences at Ontario’s University of Guelph, has studied melatonin for more than 20 years. In a landmark 1977 study, Bubenik induced epileptic seizures in cats – and stopped them within 10 minutes by injecting the animals with melatonin.

Your immune system is stimulated by melatonin.

Studies in the Mayo Clinic show a positive effect on ADHD children.

Melatonin may reduce intra-ocular pressure for glaucoma patients and delay macular degeneration.

Melatonin helps to lower blood pressure, prevents damage from ischemia of the brain and the heart.  It plays an important role in preventing some arrhythmia.  Those who suffer from Depression and Bi-polar disorder benefit from Melatonin.

Chronic headache sufferers, migraines, cluster headaches and tension headaches will discover  Melatonin to be a benefit to their conditions.

Low levels of Melatonin production has been proposed as a factor in higher levels of cancer for night workers ad modern day lighting practices has bee suggested as a factor in higher levels of cancer incidence in the entire developed world.

Melatonin is also proving to be an important and ‘special’ antioxidant.  It is referred to a s a ‘terminal’ or ‘suicide’ antioxidant because it forms a stable end product upon reacting with a free radical.

Melatonin is believed to protect the DNA and prevent damage from some carcinogens therefore halting some of the mechanisms in the body that cause cancer.

Low levels of Melatonin have been linked to breast cancer; adding Melatonin has been shown to inhibit growth of these cancer cells; has been shown when combined with tamoxifen caused tumors to modestly shrink in 28% of the women.

In prostrate cancer, Melatonin has been shown to block growth of cancer cells and improved survival rates in 9 out of 14 men when used as an adjunct therapy.

Melatonin may help improve platelet count due to cancer therapies.

It show promise in reducing damage to the brain caused by the onset of Parkinson’s.

Lab research shows that Melatonin increases longevity by 20%.

It may help couter-act acquired immunodeficiency.

Melatonin may help fight viral and bacterial infectious diseases.

Melatonin stimulates cells called osteoblasts an promotes bone growth thereby aiding in the prevention of osteoporosis.

Melatonin has been shown to relieve depression and anxiety for post menopausal women. It causes a sure in your serotonin levels.  Low Serotonin levels are believed to be the reason for many cases of mild to moderate depression which can lead to symptoms like anxiety, apathy, and fear, feelings of worthlessness, insomnia and fatigue.

Melatonin benefits Rheumatoid Arthritis.
Low levels of Melatonin have been found in ASD—autistic children and their non affected parents.
Melatonin receptors appear to be important in the mechanism of memory and learning.
Melatonin is useful for Alzheimer’s – it prevents neuronal death in the brain caused by toxic proteins in the brain in Alzheimer’s patients—-it also has been shown to help lessen and prevent ‘sundowning’ in Alzheimer’s patients which is heightened afternoon agitation.
Because Melatonin controls the timing and release of reproductive hormones in peri-menopausal women it helps prevent depression, migraines and cluster headaches and improves Thyroid function.

Arthritis and You

Arthritis is one of the most common medical problems and a major cause of disability in America. The word arthritis is a blend of the Greek words arthron, for joint, and it is, for inflammation. In other words, arthritis literally means, “joint inflammation.” Although arthritis is often referred to as one disease, it’s not. Arthritis has more than 100 forms.

Arthritis in America

  • 66 million people have arthritis (nearly 1 in 3 adults)
  • One of the most prevalent chronic health problems and the nation’s leading cause of disability among Americans over age 15.
  • Second only to heart disease as a cause of work disability.
  • Limits everyday activities such as walking, dressing and bathing for more than 7 million Americans.
  • Results in 39 million physician visits and more than a half million hospitalizations.
  • Costs to the U.S. economy total more than $86.2 billion annually.
  • Affects people in all age groups including nearly 300,000 children.
  • Baby boomers are now at prime risk. More than half those affected are under age 65.
  • Half of those Americans with arthritis don’t think anything can be done to help them.
  • Refers to more than 100 different diseases that affect areas in or around joints.
  • Strikes women more often than men.

Arthritis is one of the most common conditions causing joint pain and disability. Nearly 1 in 3 Americans have arthritis or a related condition. Osteoarthritis is the most common form of joint disease. It’s often called wear-and-tear arthritis because it involves the wearing away of the cartilage that caps the bones in your joints. Over time, if the cartilage wears down completely, you lose shock absorption capabilities and may be left with bone rubbing on bone. This may eventually damage the ends of your bones. Osteoarthritis can affect almost any joint in your body.

Rheumatoid arthritis isn’t associated with the overuse or injury of a joint. In rheumatoid arthritis, the synovial membrane that protects and lubricates joints becomes inflamed, causing pain and swelling. Rheumatoid arthritis can be more disabling than osteoarthritis, and it sometimes results in deformed joints. It can affect any joint, but wrists, knuckles and small joints of the feet are among the most common sites.

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Wonders of Melatonin

Melatonin is involved in regulation of body weight especially when combined with calcium.

Improves sarcodosis, the development of fibrous tissue in lungs and other tissues in the body. The amounts needed was 20 mg per day for 4-12 months.
Melatonin has proven to be effective even in small doses. In research Melatonin was to shown to be as effective over time in small doses as the larger doses.
Remember keep your rooms dark and remove electrical appliances, move your electric alarm clock at least 6 feet from your bed and NO night-lights. Night-lights even for children impair their valuable Melatonin production through the night.

Canada NFR # 24785, US # 24785

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ref:  Maclean’s December 18, 1995, Author PAUL KAIHLA, Melatonin – Darlene Long, University of Maryland Medical Center

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