Message Number: YG4785 | New FHL Archives Search
From: Jackie DeCarlo
Date: 2001-06-22 22:44:00 UTC
Subject: Melatonin info ((long))

I know this subject has been discussed before and as you can see I am
really interested in it...I have found an article on it when I did a
search on "Melatonin in animals". It is very interesting and I just
need to know if this may be something for our fuzzies to be taking to
help regulate their schedule since they are being exposed to
artificial lighting more and more...I for one am going to try it and
I believe Mike said 1 mg 8 hrs after sunrise...>>would it reduce it's
effectiveness if it is given later than the 8hrs since the majority
of us work and it would be tough to run home to give it to them<<..I
hope I am not getting my hopes up too much...Well here goes:

The hormone Melatonin is found in every cell of every living organism
and is responsible for regulating biological rhythms both in humans
and in animals. The release of Melatonin--which occurs when our eyes
register darkness--is what makes us feel drowsy at night. Much of the
data that has been gathered relates to its role as timekeeper and its
resulting ability to induce sleep, reduce jet lag, and untangle
confused body rhythms induced by shift work.
Exciting research suggests that Melatonin has a wider range of
actions. These include anticancer, anti-aging, and antioxidant
effects, as well as effects on fertility, sex drive and the immune
Melatonin levels normally go up when it turns dark, and they are low
during daylight hours. This hormone is also an antioxidant/free-
radical scavenger that appears to slow the aging process. The
production of Melatonin is high in youth and declines steadily with
age. Many signs of aging are associated with this loss of Melatonin
production, but cause and effect have not been proven. Large doses of
Melatonin have been administered to animals and humans without any
known side effects.
Supplements of Melatonin, taken at night, often help with insomnia
and in overcoming symptoms of jet lag (for jet lag, it is taken near
the bedtime in the new time zone for two or three days before
departure and after arrival). Unlike most medications for insomnia,
Melatonin is not addictive. When it is used for insomnia, it does not
leave you with any hangover or withdrawal symptoms. Some animal and
human studies have shown benefits in reducing cancer and enhancing
immune function. In animal studies, there is a clear increase in
longevity (unfortunately, it is difficult to do longevity studies in
humans). In humans, it has helped in treating depression and also in
lowering the eye pressures in patients with glaucoma.
Maintaining levels of Melatonin may prove to be just as important in
retarding the aging process, protecting against degenerative diseases
and increasing longevity, as is maintaining optimal levels of other
antioxidants, such as Vitamin C and E, and Selenium.
Aging and menopause is associated with a decline in Melatonin
secretion and the symptoms of menopause, such as deranged sleep
cycles and fatigue.
Remarkable studies demonstrate that adding Melatonin to conventional
cancer treatment improves the outcome of the treatment while reducing
its toxicity.

Animal studies have shown that melatonin supplementation increases
life span by an average of 25%. This is comparable to 20 extra years
in human terms. Other studies show that melatonin helps prevent both
the initiation and promotion of cancer, and when the production of
melatonin is reduced, it leaves the cells of the body in a vulnerable
state and susceptible to cancer-causing agents. This is especially
important for people who live in and around electromagnetic fields
caused by overhead power lines, computers, microwave ovens, household
appliances and cellular phones. Avoiding such exposure is virtually
impossible because electromagnetic fields are everywhere.