Hey everyone, and welcome back to another
edition of Ask The ND. I’m Dr. Jeremy Wolf. In this episode, I wanted to spend some time
talking to you about a product that you find in almost any drug or supplement store- a
supplement that’s most commonly known for its role in sleep aid, but may have many other
functions in our body. The supplement I’m referring to is melatonin. Melatonin is a
hormone that is synthesized from tryptophan. It is secreted by the pineal gland and also
found in the gastrointestinal tract. In fact, our GI tracts contain at least 400 times more
melatonin than the pineal gland. Melatonin is secreted in a circadian pattern, with the
highest amounts released during night time. This means, as daylight decreases and darkness
increases, our pineal glands begin to pump out melatonin into the bloodstream. Melatonin
is a hormone that may have benefits found all throughout the body. It may function as
a sleep aid, antioxidant, migraine reducer, and might even have cancer-preventing properties.
Some peer reviewed research articles have shown that melatonin may have a protective
role against certain reproductive cancers, as well as may even help individuals on certain
chemotherapeutic drugs. Let’s take a further look into how melatonin functions in the body.
Here’s the rundown. When it comes to sleep there are three areas where melatonin may
help individuals with primary sleep disorders. These areas include the time it takes to fall
asleep, total sleep time, and overall sleep quality. Melatonin may also be beneficial
in helping to attenuate jet-lag or sleep work disorder, as it may help to reset your internal
clock. While researchers are not exactly aware of the mechanism, some new research has shown
that melatonin may be useful for migraine prevention, as well as reducing severity of
migraines. Lastly, melatonin may have neuro-protective benefits for specific conditions such as Alzheimer’s.
Melatonin supplements come in many forms, such as liquid and capsules. It seems that
in order for melatonin to be effective, the right time of day, dosage, and delivery method
are all very important. Talk to your healthcare provider so they can find the optimal dosage
for you. The levels of melatonin produced naturally in our body decline with age. Light
also seems to have an effect on the production of melatonin. This includes artificial light.
It’s important to block any artificial light coming into your room at night for optimal
sleep and hormone production. Thank you for watching another edition of Ask The ND. Make
sure to subscribe to our YouTube channel for weekly tips to help you on your journey towards
happy wellness. From all of us here at LuckyVitamin- spread the wellness!