Melatonin, Memory and Macular Degeneration: Important Implications For Chronic Disease

by John Biggs BSc, NCP, OHP on July 14, 2016

Melatonin, Memory and Macular Degeneration: Important Implications For Chronic Disease

At Optimum Health we have always been big proponents of melatonin, ever since its emergence on the market in the 1990's.

What is Melatonin Helpful for?

By regulating daily (circadian) rhythms and normal release of hormones, melatonin is helpful for sleeping, jet-lag, shift work, and menopause (7). It has long been known that melatonin is a powerful antioxidant and anti-inflammatory, as well as an immune activator. Together this means it not only provides widespread protection against infection (14,15), but also high blood pressure (8), heart and cardiovascular disease(10), cancer,(4,5,6) and exerts a very protective effect against exposure to toxins(13). And, as recent research is showing, it can also have extremely protective effects on the central nervous system (9), including brain function, memory, and eyesight.

A recent human study of 1105 men and women, with a mean age of 71.8 yrs, found that the higher their levels of melatonin, the less likely they were to experience any kind of cognitive decline, or depressed mood. (1) Another study of people with mild to moderate Alzheimer’s found that nightly supplementation of 2mg of prolonged-release melatonin improved scores on sleep, memory, and activities of daily living tests. (2) And a third study showed benefits of melatonin for both Alzheimer’s and macular degeneration, and indicates that they are likely different manifestations of the same condition....i.e. inability of the brain and central nervous system to use oxygen, and produce energy properly.(3) 

Read More: What is Macular Degeneration?

Related Article: Wearing Blue Light Blocking Glasses At Night May Help Improve Sleep

Inflammation and Energy Production 

As we have discussed many times in this blog, any time you have inflammation in a tissue, what gets affected is our energy producing factories called mitochondria. Specifically they stop being able to use oxygen, and produce energy normally. And what results is functional failure in these cells...such as occurs in the brain with Alzheimer's or dementia. Our central nervous system is particularly vulnerable to this, because it is so dependent on oxygen. (If you don't believe me, stop breathing and see how long your brain goes unaffected.)

Yet, also in this blog we have discussed how important substances called Nrf2 activators are for activating our antioxidant defenses, normalizing mitochondrial function, and reducing inflammation. And not surprisingly melatonin is a potent Nrf2 activator. (11,12)

Read More About Nrf2 And Inflammation: 5 Health Benefits Of Maintaining An Alkaline Body-pH (Part 1 of 2)

Is Melatonin Safe?

Many of you, no doubt, have heard M.D.s and other authorities criticize melatonin as being unsafe, or undesirable, but invariably what is missing in these warnings is research to back them. At best they are opinion. At worst, a direct attempt to steer people away from an effective natural product.

If you actually take a look at the research on melatonin, which is now substantial, you will find that supplemental melatonin has an absolutely huge window of safety. (17) One researcher was quoted as saying the only way it could kill you is if you drown in it! Indeed, ensuring your melatonin levels is one of the most powerful things you can do to prevent the dysfunctions that come with aging, and for your overall health.

The research on melatonin, and the mechanisms discussed above point directly at processes which underlie virtually all chronic disease....and also show why natural health products are effective at combating them!

Stay tuned to this blog for more information.
Until next time,

Be well!


John Biggs


Sources and References:

















17. www.ncbi.nlm.nih/gov/pmc/articles/PMC1395802/


Disclaimer: The above information is provided for informational purposes only and is not intended to replace the advice of your physician.

Topics: John Biggs' Articles, Sleep, Antioxidants, Brain

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