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Melatonin

Researchers believe that melatonin secretion by the pineal gland regulates many of the body’s hormonal rhythms.1 Melatonin may significantly affect physical and psychological disorders such as:

  • Insomnia
  • Delayed Sleep
  • Seasonal Affective Disorder
  • Menstrual Irregularities
  • Immune Disorders
  • Cardiovascular Disease
  • Abnormal Sexual Development
  • Stress
  • Phase Syndrome
  • PMS
  • Depression
  • Infertility
  • Cancer

Melatonin

Melatonin is the major neuroendocrine modulator of annual and circadian bio-rhythms in the body, and has a far-reaching biological influence over most of the autonomic, hormonal, and behavioural functions of the human organism. With its unique ability to pass through all blood barriers in the body, melatonin acts as the central hub of physiological function. Melatonin’s diurnal rhythm is synchronized by the light-dark cycle, and is strongly affected by day length, artificial illumination, electromagnetic energy, exercise, and other factors. Melatonin rhythms also reflect the biological process of aging. Melatonin also has a pivotal role in regulating body temperature, the sleep-wake cycle, female reproductive hormones, and cardiovascular function. Hence disrupted secretion rhythms are wide-spread in many degenerative illnesses.

Melatonin Synthesis

Melatonin is synthesized within the pineal gland from tryptophan via the pathway shown in figure 1. Synthesis occurs upon exposure to darkness, with the increased activity of serotonin-N-acetyltransferase. By the action of hydroxyindole-O-methyltransferase (HIOMT), N-acetylserotonin is converted to melatonin. Melatonin is then rapidly secreted into the vascular system and, possibly, into the cerebrospinal fluid.

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