Those of us older than 50 produce very little
By Tom Cowan, M.D.
Recently, two articles caught my attention. The first, in the February/March edition of the Townsend Letter, was written by the well-known alternative-medicine doctor Frank Shallenberger, M.D. In the article, he presented a summary of voluminous research to support his claim that melatonin supplementation can:
- Protect against viral and bacterial infections
- Prevent cardiovascular disease and support normal blood pressure
- Reduce oxidative stress and inflammation, which may slow the aging process
- Prevent neurodegenerative diseases such as Parkinson’s and Alzheimer’s
- Improve menopause therapy
- Protect against ionizing radiation
- Protect against macular degeneration
- Protect against cancer and improve the outcome when used with most conventional and alternative cancer treatments*
Although it might be hard for us to imagine how a single chemical or hormone can have these wide-ranging effects, if we understand that melatonin — which is actually made not just in our pineal gland but also in our thymus, retina, intestines, bone marrow, skin and white blood cells — is probably our most important anti-oxidant, the picture begins to become clear. Melatonin is made primarily during the night, particularly when we sleep, and its function is to rejuvenate and protect our bodies as we sleep. This literally affects every aspect of our health. Furthermore, as Shallenberger points out, melatonin levels drop as we age, becoming almost undetectable for most of us older than 50.
The second article that caught my attention, which we posted on this site a few weeks ago, was by another well-known holistic doctor, Gabriel Cousens, M.D., concerning the role of non-native EMFs in producing ill health. One of Dr. Cousens’ primary points was that non-native EMF exposure (i.e., WiFi) has been clearly shown to decrease the production and release of melatonin in our bodies. The more EMF exposure, the less melatonin we produce, the more degeneration we incur. This effect might be at least one reason exposure to non-native EMFs can affect our health.
I would like to add another layer to the story of melatonin. As I have described in my two recent books and further detail in my upcoming book, Cancer and The New Biology of Water (due out late summer), cellular health resides in the structure of our intracellular water gels. This gel controls the unfolding and therefore the expression of our DNA, controls which proteins we synthesize in our cells, controls the flow of energy in our cells, and creates the electrical charge in our cells and tissues, which is the basis of life, and much, much more. Healthy gels mean healthy cells and overall protection from disease.
The health of our intracellular gels is a manifestation of what I would call our “water” body, or what Rudolf Steiner refers to as our etheric body. This water body is our primal life force, it is the force that organizes substance into a living being. A plant fundamentally is a combination of this water or life force and physical substance; the two together in their various permutations create the world of plants. And here is the important point: When we sleep, our physical substance and water-life body remain connected, but our soul (awareness) and spirit (self-awareness) leave. This is so our primal life force can act as an unimpeded healing force for us when we sleep. The physical, hormonal correlate of the working of this life force is, of course, melatonin.
Melatonin affects so many disease processes because it is the physical correlate of the action of our life force. When our life force is depleted, we suffer disease. When it is gone, we die.
Dr. Shallenberger makes the case that the physiological replacement amount of melatonin for adults is 180 mg a day before bed. For treatment of the various illnesses for which melatonin seems to benefit, he even suggests 60 mg, four times a day. I suggest people start with 60 mg of pure melatonin before bed and assess their response before using the higher doses. Interestingly, in my experience, melatonin doesn’t seem to help people sleep; rather, it is made while we sleep.
We offer capsules of pure melatonin in the hard-to-find 60 mg dose. There is little, if any, potential toxicity reported from any dose of melatonin and should be considered by all of us older than 50 as an integral part of any health-maintenance program.
- These statements have not been evaluated by the FDA. The product referred to in this article is not intended to diagnose, treat or prevent any disease.