Determining melatonin levels can be a critical tool for accurately diagnosing endocrine dysfunctions, effectively treating mood and sleep disorders, and revealing contributing factors in the pathology of various diseases. Melatonin has a pivotal role in regulating body temperature, the sleep-wake cycle, female reproductive hormones, and cardiovascular function. It can also serve as a chronobiological indicator of the aging process because of its important antioxidant contributions.Melatonin is the major modulator of annual and daily biorhythms in the body. With its unique ability to pass through all blood barriers in the body, melatonin acts as the central hub of physiological function, orchestrating the complex interactions between mind, body and the environment.
Melatonin’s diurnal rhythm is synchronized by the light-dark cycle and is strongly affected by day length, artificial illumination, electromagnetic energy, exercise and other factors. Secretion levels peak in childhood and diminish over an individual’s lifespan. Since melatonin exhibits strong regenerative and integrative influences over the body, gradual decreases may explain the age-dependent weakening of immune function.
An increasing number of laboratories offer saliva testing as a convenient way to check melatonin status. See our links page for some such labs.
Test Melatonin Levels can help with the following
|May do some good|
The only hormone secreted into the bloodstream by the pineal gland. The hormone appears to inhibit numerous endocrine functions, including the gonadotropic hormones. Research exists on the efficacy of melatonin in treating jet lag and certain sleep disorders. Dosages greater than l milligram have been associated with drowsiness, headaches, disturbances in sleep/wake cycles and is contraindicated in those who are on antidepressive medication. It also negatively influences insulin utilization.
Chemical substances secreted by a variety of body organs that are carried by the bloodstream and usually influence cells some distance from the source of production. Hormones signal certain enzymes to perform their functions and, in this way, regulate such body functions as blood sugar levels, insulin levels, the menstrual cycle, and growth. These can be prescription, over-the-counter, synthetic or natural agents. Examples include adrenal hormones such as corticosteroids and aldosterone; glucagon, growth hormone, insulin, testosterone, estrogens, progestins, progesterone, DHEA, melatonin, and thyroid hormones such as thyroxine and calcitonin.
Pertaining to the heart and blood vessels.
A chemical compound that slows or prevents oxygen from reacting with other compounds. Some antioxidants have been shown to have cancer-protecting potential because they neutralize free radicals. Examples include vitamins C and E, alpha lipoic acid, beta carotene, the minerals selenium, zinc, and germanium, superoxide dismutase (SOD), coenzyme Q10, catalase, and some amino acids, like cystiene. Other nutrient sources include grape seed extract, curcumin, gingko, green tea, olive leaf, policosanol and pycnogenol.