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GSE MEALTONIN - The Darkness Hormone - Body's Natural Sleep Aid

MELATONIN - The Darkness Hormone / Natural Sleep aid

MELATONIN is a hormone and a neurotransmitter, produced /secreted by the pineal gland (pea-sized gland located in the center of the brain) during darkness under control of the body's master “Biological Clock” (Body's central circadian pacemaker / Suprachiasmatic nucleus (SCN) in the hypothalamus)

–   The master biological clock (SCN) generates a circadian and annual rhythm of MELATONIN

✔ During darkness the SCN stimulates the release of Norepinephrine (NE) (from superior cervical ganglion), which activates MELATONIN secretion.   MELATONIN production is inhibited by light.

✔  MELATONIN Production

✔  MELATONIN peaks in the middle of the night.   Then gradually falls during the second half of the night

✔  MELATONIN is not stored in the pineal gland.    Activated by darkness, MELATONIN leaves the pineal cells through simple diffusion into the bloodstream. We cannot rely on yesterday's MELATONIN for today and so need a liberal supply each evening

✔  MELATONIN production peaks at puberty.   Then levels rapidly decline until middle-age, continuing the decline until almost negligible in the over 60's

MELATONIN can also be produced directly by the retina, lens, GI tract, skin and other tissues/cells (E.g. bone marrow cells, lymphocytes and epithelial cells are not regulated by light/dark).    These cells do not directly release MELATONIN into the blood, but act on local target cells (i.e. by paracrine action).

–    MELATONIN produced by enterochromaffin cells of the GI mucosa represents the most important extra-pineal source of MELATONIN.   The GI tract secretes ~400 times the amount of the pineal gland. This MELATONIN enters circulation, where it has an indirect, but profound, protective effect on the GI tract and organs via the brain-gut axis.

✔  MELATONIN affects GI motility, is protective of duodenal epithelium and pancreas, prevents GERD and ulcers, and much more

MELATONIN Production

MELATONIN is both lipid and water soluble.   Facilitates passage both in the blood and across cell membranes.After release into circulation, it gains access to various fluids, tissues and cellular compartments (E.g. saliva, urine, cerebrospinal fluid, pre-ovulatory follicle, semen, amniotic fluid, milk). MELATONIN is rapidly metabolized (chiefly in the liver) and is excreted in the urine.

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