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Oh The Wonders Of Melatonin

Melatonin is known as the hormone of darkness because it is produced in our bodies when we are asleep at night. Melatonin production peaks in the middle of the night, and gradually declines during the early morning hours. Melatonin is produced by pinealocytes in the pineal gland in the brain and by the retina lens and in the GI tract.

Children have loads of melatonin. You can evidence this when a child is deeply sleeping and you pick them up and transport them to bed. They don't wake up. The reason for this is melatonin. Children have loads of melatonin in their bodies.

As we age, our bodies produce less and less melatonine. Our sleep quality gets poorer, we wake up at a very early hour in the morning or we have trouble falling asleep at night. We grab a pack of "sleep chemicals" at the drugstore, we try to make ourselves sleepy by drinking wine or we go to our doctor who prescribes us some more chemicals.

To assist in the production of melatonin, we should sleep in a room that is totally dark and go to bed early. A dark room for sleeping is necessary because light can reduce the production of this wonderful hormone. Luckily, melatonin is available as an over the counter supplement in health product stores and pharmacies and it is not expensive.

A decrease in melatonin has been linked to an increase in some cancers. It is a powerful antioxidant which prevents the damage that certain carcinogens can do to our DNA. Other antioxidant benefits of melatonin include preventing damage caused by Parkinson's disease and also possibly preventing cardiac arrhythmia. It also may increase longevity after research with mice and melatonin showed an increase to their lifespan. Overwhelming research has shown that melatonin acts with the immune system by stimulating it and helps fight off disease. Much research has been done on melatonin, however more research is still needed.

Melatonin helps with sleep disorders and jetlag. Some people report an increase in dreams. Melatonin research includes the use of it for the treatment of cancer, immune disorders, depression, cardiovascul diseases, SAD (seasonal affective disorder) and sexual dysfuntion. It has also been discovered to be important in the process of learning and memory.

It has also been found to help perimenopausal and menopausal women improve thyroid function and increase production of gonadotropins ( luteinizing hormone (LH) and follicle stimulating hormone (FSH). It can help treat depression, migrains, restorie fertility and menstruation. It assists the body with the age-related decline in hormone production in the thyroid and pituitary glands. When taken with calcium, it has been shown to be effective in treating obesity and the regulation of body weight. Oh the wonders of melatonin!

Although there is no toxicity associated with taking Melatonin, 20 mg might be too large a dose to take daily and may counteract the effects you are trying to achieve. Check with your pharmacist or anti-aging doctor for the correct dosage to take.


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