Aging and Melatonin
Melatonin is probably best known as a sleep aid and is often used to counteract jet lag or shift changes for people with changing work schedules. Most people believe that this hormone causes you to sleep, which is an incorrect assumption.
Melatonin is secreted by the pinneal gland located in the brain, it is what the ancients referred to as the "third eye", likely due to its connection to the optic nerves. Melatonin regulates sleep/waking cycles based upon light from the environment and helps regulate the cyclic release of other hormones in the body. It is the master clock by which the bodys functions are ordered to happen based upon the rising and setting of the sun. In the modern world with artificial lighting, sleep cycles and secondarily all other cycles are thrown off. This causes stress on the body and can actually speed up the aging process! Little did Thomas Edison know that he was giving he world another environmental factor that affects aging! There is no real difference in the quantity secreted between males and females.
Apart from determining when it is time for you to sleep and time for you to wake up, melatonin also has been shown to reverse aging, return sex hormones to youthful levels, strengthen the immune system, lower stress, and in one study on rats, extend the longevity of rats up to 40%! Not only did the rats live longer, they were still healthy and reproductive even after the control group had died of old age.
Again, like all good hormones, melatonin declines in our bodies with age. To reverse the aging process, we must restore this crucial hormone to youthful levels. After all, it is the clock that drives our hormone release during youth, doesn't it make sense to keep it wound?
With all of the benefits of melatonin in the human body, one would expect this superhormone to be expensive and controlled. Nothing could be further from the truth. It is available off the shelf at most drug stores for about ten dollars for a month's supply.
Use of melatonin when combined with DHEA, HGH, Pregnenolone and other hormones do not conflict with each other usually. Instead, these hormones seem to work together in synergy to reinforce one another's role and, in some cases, share overlapping roles.