Dr. Russell Blaylock, author of The Blaylock Wellness Report newsletter, is a nationally recognized board-certified neurosurgeon, health practitioner, author, and lecturer. He attended the Louisiana State University School of Medicine and completed his internship and neurological residency at the Medical University of South Carolina. For 26 years, practiced neurosurgery in addition to having a nutritional practice. He recently retired from his neurosurgical duties to devote his full attention to nutritional research. Dr. Blaylock has authored four books, Excitotoxins: The Taste That Kills, Health and Nutrition Secrets That Can Save Your Life, Natural Strategies for Cancer Patients, and his most recent work, Cellular and Molecular Biology of Autism Spectrum Disorders. Find out what others are saying about Dr. Blaylock by clicking here.

The Marvels of Melatonin

Thursday, 07 October 2010 10:31 AM

Melatonin — which most people think of as a sleep supplement — is a hormone secreted from your pineal gland. It is critical for sleep, but it is also a powerful antioxidant that can help the body fight many diseases including cancer.

Studies have shown that melatonin increases the levels of several antioxidant enzymes in the brain and possibly other parts of the body.

Recent studies have shown that fluoride, monosodium glutamate (MSG), and aspartate (as in aspartame) shut off the production of melatonin. Since fluoride is common in public water systems and diets are filled with MSG and aspartame, this could explain the proliferation of insomnia in this country. (To read more about the dangers of fluoride, read my special report "Why Fluoride is Toxic.") And we know that chronic insomnia leads to stress, which boosts the risk of cancer and other diseases.

Melatonin is connected with:

• Sleep. Melatonin is known to help promote restful sleep. To use as a sleep aid, start at 1 mg 30 minutes before bedtime and increase as necessary. It will induce dreaming. Do not use it during the day, or you will become sleepy. (For additional tips on how to get a good night’s sleep, see my report "Good Sleep: Stop Insomnia, Reduce Stress, Boost Your Total Health.")

• Glaucoma. All antioxidants help protect the retina from glaucoma. A new study found that melatonin not only reduced free radicals in the retina, but also dramatically reduced the glutamate level in the retina (that is, the excitotoxin level) and did so at concentrations usually taken for sleep — 1 to 3 mg.

• Brain health. Melatonin actually increases the amount of antioxidant enzymes in the brain which protect it against damage by free radicals seen in all degenerative brain diseases. Recent studies have shown that these protective enzymes are low in people who develop Alzheimer’s dementia and Parkinson’s disease. Find more details on how you can protect your brain from dementia and Alzheimer’s by reading my report "Save Your Brain."

• Puberty. Melatonin regulates the onset of puberty in both boys and girls, and young girls who live in cities with fluoride in the water (remember, fluoride lowers the production of melatonin) have been known to begin menstruating five months sooner than their counterparts in nonfluoridated towns.

The amount of melatonin begins to decline with aging, and is one of the reasons for the high frequency of insomnia in the elderly. If you notice you no longer dream, your melatonin levels are probably low.

Is your body producing enough melatonin? The Comprehensive Melatonin Profile measures your melatonin level. In most cases, there is little reason to worry about low melatonin levels until the age of 45. Yet, there are exceptions. Certain drugs (beta-blockers, ibuprofen, steroids, sleep aids, and Prozac), caffeine, alcohol, and fluoride can lower melatonin secretion.

With the widespread fluoridation of water, use of fluoridated medications (such as Prozac), and increasing fluoride in foods, melatonin deficiencies are becoming more common and occurring earlier in life. Low levels have even been measured in infants and are associated with poorer brain function.

For more of Dr. Blaylock’s weekly tips, go here to view the archive.

© HealthDay

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Thursday, 07 October 2010 10:31 AM
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