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Comphensive Guide to Accessory Nutrients and Essential Oils


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Meschino Health Comprehensive Guide to Accessory Nutrients and Essential Oils
Accessory Nutrients and Essential Oils
Melatonin
General Feature
Melatonin is a molecule that has been found in every animal and plant studied to date, from hum an beings to the most
primitive one-celled algae that evolved more than three billion years ago. In each organism, Melatonin’s molecular
structure is identical. This sameness is a rare occurrence in biology.
In all the life forms studied, Melatonin has been produced in the same circadian (daily secretion pattern) rhythm, with
higher levels produced at night than during the daytime.
In humans, Melatonin is produced and secreted by the pineal gland in the brain. It is synthesized from serotonin,
which itself is synthesized from 5-hydroxytryptophan and tryptophan. In the human body Melatonin acts as a
hormone, neurotransmitter, antioxidant and immune system modulator.
It is best known for its ability to induce sleep and elevate mood. Humans produce five to ten times more Melatonin at
night than during the day, a circadian rhythm found in animals as well. Peak amounts occur around two or three
o’clock in the morning.
After puberty the body’s production of Melatonin declines. By age 40 humans produce approximately 60 percent less
Melatonin than a 10 year old and by age 70 or 80 Melatonin levels may be undectable.1
With respect to its antioxidant properties, Melatonin is unique in that it is both a water-soluble antioxidant and a fat-
soluble antioxidant. Some studies suggest that as an antioxidant it is twice as effective as Vitamin E, five times as
efficient as glutathione, and five hundred times more effective than the synthetic DMSO. However, Melatonin is
produced in picograms (a trillionth of a gram – the smallest amount of any hormone), whereas Vitamin E, and other
antioxidants, are present in much higher concentrations.2
Comment [c31]: Melatonin is capitalized as per
instructions of Arlene.
Supplementation Studies and Clinical Applications
1. Insomnia
Low Melatonin secretion at night which commonly accompanies aging, can be a cause of insomnia. Several
double-blind trails show that Melatonin supplementation can be useful in the treatment of insomnia. Taken within
one hour of bedtime, Melatonin has been shown to shorten the time needed to fall asleep, reduce the number of
night awakenings, and improve sleep quality. Low Melatonin levels are an extremely common cause of insomnia in
the elderly, who manufacture 90-99 percent less Melatonin than a ten-year old.3-10
2. Jet Lag
Several double-blind studies demonstrate that Melatonin is very effective in relieving jet lag. The best approach
appears to be taking Melatonin in the first evening after arriving at the new destination (where there is a time zone
change). Shift workers may also take advantage of this strategy to reset the body internal wake-sleep cycle.11-16
3. Other Considerations
As Melatonin is also an antioxidant, an immune system modulator and a core temperature regulator it is being
tested for various other health applications:
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