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Melatonin is a hormone produced by the pinealocytes in the pineal gland (epiphysis) - a part of the midbrain - of serotonin and controls the day-night rhythm of the human body. Chemically, it is an alkaloid tryptamine structure.
Melatonin is a metabolite of tryptophan metabolism. It is produced in the pineal gland in the gut and the retina of the eye and central pulsatile release under the influence of darkness. Melatonin levels rise in the night by a factor of ten, the maximum is reached about three clock in the morning - with a seasonally changing rhythm. The secretion is held back by daylight. The importance of melatonin in jet lag and shift work is well recognized, application of melatonin is controversial in this context. Through the coordination of circadian-rhythmic processes in the body it exerts its effect as a timer. The melatonin-induced sleep phase is a stimulant for the secretion of growth hormone somatotropin. Such chronic disorders cause premature Somatopause. Other important effects of melatonin are in its effect as an antioxidant, but can not be used therapeutically. Also important is the antigonadotrope effect (reduction is the sex glands), and turn down the many biological and oxidative processes, it is eighth in particular when taking melatonin. Especially a reduction (but also an increase) of melatonin in the blood causes sleep disturbance or disruption of the sleep-wake rhythm.
The biosynthesis of serotonin is, which is obtained from the amino acid tryptophan in two steps: first of serotonin with acetyl-coenzyme A is acetylated N-, acting as a catalyst, the enzyme serotonin N-acetyltransferase (AANAT). Then, the product N-acetylserotonin with S-adenosylmethionine by the methyltransferase acetylserotonin-O-methylated. The first step is rate and the activity of enzyme is indirectly regulated by daylight.
90% of melatonin is metabolized by the liver by cytochrome P450 biotransformation Passage by monooxygenases to 6-OH-melatonin and excreted in the form of sulfated (60-70%) or glucuronidation (20-30%) derivatives in the urine.
Melatonin and seasonal affective disorder
In winter, when daylight holds up just a few hours, is the melatonin level also increased during the day. As a result, you may experience fatigue, sleep disorder and winter depression. As a countermeasure, it is recommended to use the short period of daylight for walking. As an alternative, a light therapy in question.
Melatonin and sleep problems
A low melatonin levels may be associated with sleep disorders. With increasing age the body produces less melatonin, the average sleep time decreases and sleep problems occur frequently. Even with shift work and long-distance travel (jet lag) of melatonin can be disrupted by the change in time budget.
Restful sleep is important for working memory. One of the reasons could be the influence of melatonin on the hippocampus. This region in the brain is important for learning and remembering. By the action of melatonin, the neurophysiological basis of learning and memory, synaptic plasticity, a significant day-night rhythm is subjected.
Melatonin should only be a substitute for clear indications.
Situation in the U.S. and Canada
In the U.S. melatonin is available since 1994 and can be sold as food supplements. The preparations are very popular there. Thus, in California in 1995 more money for supplements melatonin output as for aspirin. The funds will be advertised heavily in the U.S., and it will be attributed to them different - sometimes very questionable - Healing effects:
* Stop or slow the aging;
* Interception of free radicals;
* Fight or prevention of cancer;
* Prevention of arteriosclerosis, stroke, myocardial infarction;
* Prophylaxis of migraine;
* Stimulation of hair growth.
These effects are not substantiated and there are no controlled studies to. Unlike drugs dietary supplements are subject to much less stringent conditions by the FDA. Drugs have to prove their eligibility before their efficacy and safety. When food supplements, the burden of proof is reversed. In Canada, this drug approved for some time and as a food supplement available.
Notes on melatonin ingestion
Melatonin supplements should be taken only in case of permanent insomnia and under the guidance of a specialist (psychiatrist and / or neurologist). Self is not very reasonable and in the worst case, even risky. Individual reports describe a positive effect of melatonin in cluster headache prophylaxis. Before prescribing and the administration of melatonin, the endogenous melatonin rhythm should be checked. This can be done by the hospital blood collection, whereas here the effort and costs are considerable, especially since melatonin is not determined routinely in all laboratories. Alternatively, the melatonin levels of non-invasive (no blood) can be determined from the saliva, as are present in the saliva approximately one third of the values in the blood. Such a saliva test for melatonin can also be done at home. The costs assumed for the determination of melatonin and the costs of melatonin supplements are currently only a few funds. In any case, it is reasonable to ask the cash advance, if you do not want to bear the costs themselves.
The administration is around 1-3 milligrams per day. From the age of 60 years should be administered 6 mg. Melatonin should not be used with MAO inhibitors.
Especially with sleep problems can also impact the use of natural, endogenous melatonin Education:
1- Darken the room to sleep
2- Light Therapy
3- In order better to get out of bed, turn on the light. You can also connect a lamp to a timer and thus build a silent "alarm clock melatonin.
Melatonin analogue drugs
The drug agomelatine has a similar chemical structure to melatonin. In contrast to melatonin, agomelatine has not only an affinity to the melatonin receptors MT1 and MT2-type antagonistic properties at the serotonin receptor 5-on HT2c. Valdoxan ® (agomelatine) - received on 20 November 2008 a positive CHMP recommendation for its use in the treatment of adult patients. On 19 February 2009 The European Commission granted the company Les Laboratoires Servier an approval for the marketing of Valdoxan in the entire European Union.
Franz Waldhauser discovered in 1990 that reduced melatonin as a drug the early stages of sleep and prolonged REM sleep.
Scientific evaluation of melatonin
There are several studies that have investigated the effectiveness of melatonin in jet lag symptoms. The data are quite different. A large meta-analysis, published in a Cochrane Review, points to a significant efficacy of melatonin at a dose of 0.5 to 5 mg up to jet lag symptoms. In all of these doses of melatonin has a similar effect. However, the time is to sleep less than 5 mg of the shortest. The effect is greater, the more time zones are crossed and marked with eastward than westward flights. In these studies, subjective sleep parameters were investigated, but other symptoms such as daytime fatigue and well-being. Another meta-analysis could not detect a significant benefit from melatonin for jet lag symptoms. Here, there was no significant reduction of sleep time with sleep disturbances due to shift work. The total sleep time could not be extended significantly. Furthermore, the investigation showed that interactions with antithrombotic agents and anti-epileptic drugs are possible. The short-term melatonin intake (<3 months) has no harmful effects. Criticism of this meta-analysis was the selection of studies (only short-term use, dosage, selected endpoints).
Melatonin is a naturally occurring hormone that is produced by the pineal gland. Melatonin is particularly suggested for insomnia, jet lag, weak immune system, high cholesterol, anti-aging properties and cardiovascular complaints and for deep and restful sleep. Use it as a dietary supplement.
Jet Lag: A dangerous lack of melatonin:
Melatonin role in human health is far more profound than was once suspected. We now know that melatonin has remarkable properties to function as an antioxidant and as a modulator of the immune system. As an antioxidant, it works on several levels. The production of the body's natural antioxidant enzymes, such as superoxide dismutase, peroxidases, catalase and glutathione peroxidase, is supported by melatonin. On the other hand, melatonin triggers other cell-signaling pathways that result in decreased production of harmful, inflammation-producing chemicals such as nitric oxide synthases and lipoxygenases.
Receptors for melatonin molecule are located throughout the body, including reproductive and digestive tract, and it is now known that melatonin is produced by a variety of tissues, including skin, intestine, liver, kidney and white blood cells ( Hardeland et al 2005b, Iwasaki S et al 2005; Kvetnoy I 2002).
Another recently published study examined the effects on the skin of laboratory rodents after removal of their pineal gland. Changes in skin thickness and texture, among others, changes were observed in animals, the pineal gland was removed, but not in animals that had undergone a sham control. As a supplementary melatonin was affected rodents, improve their skin dramatically. These results suggest that melatonin is a highly efficient and ANTI AGING factor, because the levels decrease with age, melatonin treatment, the age-related skin changes (Esrefoglu M et al 2005).
Other studies have suggested that melatonin plays an important role in the preservation of neurological function in spinal cord injury in rats (Gul S et al 2005, Liu JB et al 2004). In fact, melatonin is investigated as a treatment for age-associated neurological disorders such as Alzheimer's disease (Srinivasan V et al 2005). Some of their metabolites are believed to improve the functioning of mitochondrial swelling and inflammation (Hardeland R et al 2005a).
Thus, melatonin plays an indispensable role in synchronizing the body's internal clock with the external environment and is also an essential component of general health and well-being (Claustrat B et al 2005). Jet-Lag, which is a disorder not only the sleep cycle, but a consequence of melatonin secretion is as well not be underestimated as a potential threat to the health
The scientists Melatonin:
Russel Reiter, the world's leading authority on melatonin, has spent his career investigation of the secrets of this critical hormone. Thirty years ago, Dr. Reiter was the first scientist to discover an important biological function for melatonin regulation of seasonal breeding of animals. Discovery launched him on an odyssey that the discovery, culminating in three years with his finding is that melatonin, the body most potent antioxidant.
Dr. Reiter's new book on melatonin (with Jo Robinson) discusses everything currently known about the hormone in clear, compelling language. The book is rich in scientific detail and contains 46 pages of references.
In order not to his credit, Dr. Reiter Melatonin hype. Instead, he carefully weighs and measures the scientific knowledge, gleaning it is known that from animal studies and critically examine the extent to which these results to humans
The result is even more compelling. For example, Reiter said that, five different studies have shown that older women produce more melatonin than older men, suggesting a possible explanation for the observed long-female life expectancy factor. "He details the results show a clear correlation between the functioning of the brain in old age and melatonin levels.
Melatonin DNA shielding against free radicals:
Reiter said melatonin effects on the immune system of aging animals and determined whether these measures also for the people. Most important is that it shows how melatonin is consistent with the free radical theory of aging.
He explained that melatonin is found in greatest abundance in the nucleus of the cell where it protects the DNA molecule from free radical damage better than any other known substance. Reiter descrribes his own studies in which melatonin has protected DNA against free radicals caused by radiation, carcinogens, bacterial toxins and most important, the process of using oxygen for fuel.
What exactly is Melatonin?
Melatonin is a fat-and water-soluble hormone that the body can convert into amazingly fast way. The production of melatonin decreases with age. When man grows old, calcified the pineal gland and produces less and less melatonin. The values of melatonin are abundant in youth, to take after puberty, but a slow fall by 90% by 70 years of age.
Melatonin supplement and its benefits
Melatonin is a product of synthesis exactly identical with the hormone that is produced in the pineal gland and which brings substantial benefits:
* For insomnia melatonin is the best and safest sleeping pills on the market. It's effective in just one hour with up to 90% of the active ingredient. Sleep, which is induced by melatonin is deeper, more relaxing and healthier than that of ordinary sleeping pills. The melatonin-users always wakes up fresh and rested.
* Melatonin is especially effective for jet lag (time shift) and complaints related to the change of the day-night rhythm in combination, especially with shift work.
* The same applies to the seasonal mood disorders in people whose biorhythms are difficult to adapt to the changing conditions of the seasons.
* Melatonin neutralizes the effects of stress and reduces the gradual decline of the immune system that accompanies it.
* Melatonin is the only antioxidant that can directly penetrate into the brain, since both fat and water soluble.
Many studies show that melatonin can protect against cancer and the dangers of toxic chemotherapy.
It provides the functionality of the thymus restores and increases the number of lymphocytes. Research also shows that supplementing with melatonin can reduce high blood pressure, colds can cope better and can stop the effects of the aging process and reduce overall.
Melatonin role in the SAD:
Melatonin, a hormone that is in the pineal gland, responsible for the regulation of sleep and core body temperature at night (Arendt J et al 2005). The role of melatonin in SAD is complicated and the subject of some controversy. Under normal circumstances, the proportion of melatonin increase the evening, before bedtime, peak in the middle of the night, and gradually as the day approaches (Macchi MM et al 2004). Among the people with SAD, excessive duration of melatonin secretion was involved, but the researchers are far from this theory as the main cause of sad. However, low-dose melatonin at night has proven to be effective in improving mood in patients with SAD (Lewy AJ et al 1998a; tube UD et al 2002).
What causes SAD?:
The 24-hour sleep-wake cycle, called circadian rhythm, in part by the regular rise and fall of hormones, especially melatonin. Melatonin is the master bedroom hormone, it is in the pineal gland. The researchers have a regular ebb and flow to human physiology and behavior during a normal 24-hour cycle (Hirota T et al 2004). Our global pattern of the wake-sleep depends on the smooth functioning of an internal circadian clock, which lies deep in the brain. This circadian clock works with photo sensors in the eyes to the dark sense. When darkness falls, the body begins to secrete melatonin, which is one of the factors that lead to that sleep. Melatonin is secreted remains all night, although changing the levels, and reduces this direction, melatonin secretion gradually, so that the guards in the morning.
If it can be a problem with this system, sleep disorders and other mental problems. Recent research has a number of possible anomalies, which may help explain, sad, and offer therapeutic targets.
The melatonin theory:
Early research focused on the shorter photoperiod in winter, hypothesizing that shorter days led directly to sad. The researchers first tried with some success to extend the photoperiod by individuals to bright light in the morning and evening (Rosenthal NE et al 1984; Winton F et al 1989). The researchers focused more on the secretion of melatonin, which the wake-sleep cycle. Although the 24-hour rhythm of melatonin secretion is generally the same function in SAD patients and controls during the winter months, researchers suspected that people with SAD had increased duration of melatonin secretion in the early morning hours (Checkley SA et al 1993; partons T et al 1996). This would explain why people with SAD have trouble waking up and not feel alert in the morning. Experiments with drugs to block melatonin secretion in the morning, thus reducing the duration of secretion, found the symptoms of SAD were relieved (Schlager DS-1994
New addition as Einschalfhilfe found by scientists - Melatonin:
Dr. Richard J. Wurtman, professor of neuroscience at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, confirmed by some studies that melatonin may be regarded as a sleep hormone. It confirms that generally, even in small doses is the case. "Our test persons with melatonin ergänzgen fall, after only five or six minutes into sleep while it lasts in the placebo group about 15 minutes," says Dr. Wurtman.
Dr. Judith L. Vaitukaitis, director of the National Center for Research Resources, said the results of the MIT give hope for a "natural and non-addictive alternative that could change the sleep patterns of millions of people." In the MIT study, 20 men various doses of melatonin and placebo products were administered before being placed on the middle day in a dark room where they should close their eyes for 30 minutes.
"In today's stressful environment, which forces us could sleep on call to allow our volunteers this is already achieved after 6 minutes, while the placebo group often required even 25 minutes," said Dr. Wurtman. Subjects with melatonin could also sleep twice as long as the participants in the placebo group, he added, led.
Melatonin regulates sleep-wake rhythm:
Another hormone whose production declines with age, is the melatonin. This is formed primarily after dark during the night. Melatonin regulates sleep-wake cycle, regulated in this way, many other biorhythms that are subject to day-night variation, melatonin seems to continue to strengthen the immune system and counteract the formation of malignant tumors. In addition, melatonin acts as contrary to the so-called radical premature aging by reactive charged molecules which act as so-called cell-and tissue-damaging free radicals, chemically neutralize "can."
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