Many of my patients have melatonin in their list of supplements. But does it really work the same for everybody? Do you know what kind of melatonin will be good and helpful for you?
You probably heard about melatonin as a supplement to help with insomnia. It is only one of the effects it has, really.
Melatonin releases from the pineal gland, reaching its peak at night to help maintain healthy cell health throughout the body.
The precursor to melatonin is serotonin, a neurotransmitter that is derived from the amino acid tryptophan. Within the pineal gland, serotonin is acetylated and then methylated to yield melatonin. It is important to note that if you have a genetic MTHFR mutation (common) it can cause your body not to produce the levels of serotonin that you need to boost your mood. As well as not produce enough melatonin which can chronically affect your sleep.
As we age, the secretion of melatonin declines significantly, because the pineal gland becomes calcified. In addition, frequent flights with resulting jet lag, working at night, and poor vision can also disrupt melatonin cycles.
What melatonin really does is keep our circadian cycle in tune. It is actually a hormone pineal gland secretes to maintain cell health, and regulate a system of self-repair and regeneration.
Melatonin also has strong antioxidant properties. It directly scavenges free radicals more effectively than most other antioxidants. Melatonin is important for protecting cellular DNA against damage by inhibiting specific free radical reactions.
Melatonin supplements come in immediate-release and extended-release forms, as well as being a component in herbal sleep assist supplements.
#functionalmedicine #insomnia #adrenalfatigue #chronicfatigue #neurotransmitters #integrativenutrition #melatonin #serotonin
Dr. Maya Sarkisyan
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