Did you know…
For more information on Alzheimer’s disease, see this Brain Talks article: A Beginner’s Guide to Alzheimer’s Disease.
Part of my master’s thesis was showing the benefits of melatonin, in the treatment of Alzheimer’s disease. Today, I’m going to share a bit of that information with all of you. There’s a lot of information, so, I’ve decided to break this into a 2 part series. This article discusses melatonin. In part 2, we’ll discuss phytomelatonin (plant based melatonin) and safe supplement sources.
What is melatonin?
Before I get to phytomelatonin, it’s important to know about melatonin. You have more than likely heard of this hormone as a key to healthy sleep, which is very true. However, It’s far more important to the body than a sleep hormone, which is what I discovered in my thesis research.
Melatonin, N-acetyl-5-methoxytryptamine, is a neurotransmitter produced by the pineal gland. Other melatonin producing sites can be found in the retina and throughout the digestive system. However, melatonin produced in the pineal gland is known to be more powerful and concentrated than is produced elsewhere in the body.
Pineal produced melatonin is also the substance used to regulate the circadian rhythm and internal body clock.
The primary function of melatonin is regulation of the daily light/dark cycles within the body. This light-dark cycle, or circadian clock, controls the production of melatonin. Melatonin is produced from tryptophan, which is converted into serotonin. Through a light-dependent process, part of that serotonin is sent to the pineal gland, where it is converted into melatonin.
Melatonin is then slowly released in the evening, as darkness approaches. This release increases throughout the night, reaching a peak between 2:00 and 4:00 a.m.
In my previous Brain Talks article, I discussed Alzheimer’s disease and possible causes. Here’s a reminder of five main lifestyle causes:
Benefits of Melatonin
As I discovered in my research, Melatonin is a wonder hormone. Here are just some of the wonderful things it does in relation to the 5 causes of Alzheimer’s disease:
TOXINS AND OXIDATION
Melatonin production decreases with age: a 10 year old produces thirty to fifty percent more melatonin than a 60 year old. Research indicates that individuals with Alzheimer’s disease have lower melatonin levels than peers of the same age. This deficit is seen by Alzheimers researchers as a contributing factor in the development of the disease. Some other causes of Melatonin deficiency include:
What happens when you’re Melatonin deficient?
As you can see, melatonin is much more than just a sleep hormone. It is a master hormone, a regulator of regulators. It controls other hormones, levels of inflammation, Alzheimer’s causing amyloid plaque to name just a few. In the next issue of Brain Talks, I’ll touch on phytomelatonin, which is plant based melatonin and safe sources of this whole food supplement.
We covered a lot of science in today’s article. Let me know if you have any questions.
Until next time, Namaste my friends!
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Category: 6 dimensions of wellness, Alzheimer's Disease, Brain Talks, emotional wellness, environmental wellness, intellectual wellness, melatonin, physical wellness, social wellness, spiritual wellness
Welcome to Purple Almond Wellness!
I ’m Tamara Hoerner, MHNE, ROHP/RNCP, founder of Purple Almond Wellness. I am a nutrition consultant and wellness educator. I work with middle-age individuals to help support insomnia, brain health and develop whole body wellness, in order to improve the quality of their mid-life years. Heart and Alzheimer’s diseases run in my family and I struggle with insomnia and weight loss, so I strive to help others with similar conditions. Using only nutrition, I rid my body of seasonal allergies, Psoriatic Arthritis and migraines, as well as cured my insomnia. I know what it takes to use food and whole body wellness, especially in middle age. As a wellness educator and Summa Cum Laude graduate of Hawthorn University, I develop personalized nutrition plans and wellness education sessions, to help clients.
For me, health isn't just about food it's about living a positive, happy, healthy life..
Where food is concerned, I'm all about getting back to the basics, good old fashioned traditional organic, whole food, the kind your great-grandmother used to eat. You'll find no processed foods here. Just good food to heal your whole body.
Stress plays a large part in the physical health of our body. I, therefore, believe in using anything that relieves stress and heals the body, including: mediation, yoga, music, laughter, inspiration and helping others. You'll find all these included in my blog as well.
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