I probably can tell you more about melatonin than anyone. I conducted self experiments with massive dosages (averaging 90 mg a night) of melatonin over a period of 7 years in an anti-aging experiment. I probably could break world records with the amounts of melatonin I consumed according to the published research and numerous physicians. In this article, I will discuss melatonin; its benefits and functions, and evidence for promoting longevity.
Melatonin is a pineal gland hormone. It is secreted from the pineal gland in the brain. Melatonin easily passes through the blood brain barrier; therefore it affects the entire body.
Melatonin is currently used to induce sleep. It is a natural method that is certainly better than sleeping medications. In fact, if you took melatonin to sleep, you would probably have the best night’s sleep of your life. It takes less than 20 minutes to feel the effects of the hormone on an empty stomach.
Melatonin is a hormone that is secreted at night. It is damaged by light, resulting in wakefulness. It is also generated by the body, when the body temperature increases; such as taking a warm shower. It is secreted in the gastrointestinal tract under conditions of a low calorie diet.
Melatonin is a master hormone controlling circadian rhythms and affecting sex hormones, thyroid hormones, growth hormone, etc. There evidence that melatonin decreases the aging rate, improves skin health and appearance, increases intelligence, and makes you feel younger and more revived. It can also improve the mood.
Individuals who maintain a low calorie diets, without malnutrition, live longer, look younger, and are healthier. This could be due to melatonin secretion from the gastrointestinal tract in cases of low calorie intake.
There is a theory that the greater the brain to body weight ratio, then the longer the individual will live. Smaller dogs have a larger brain to body weight ratio than big dogs, which may be the reason why smaller dogs live longer.The smaller dogs have a greater level of melatonin in their systems, due to larger brain to body weight ratios, than larger dogs. Melatonin acts as a powerful antioxidant. Antioxidants may increase longevity. See my article titled “Vitamin E and Aging”.
When we are born, we have higher levels of circulating melatonin. This is one reason why infants sleep longer. As we age, the levels of melatonin in the body decrease. Time spent in deep sleep decreases with age, because of these lower levels of melatonin.
Melatonin is anti-reproductive. It decreases fertility. Melatonin also drops the sex drive significantly. At dosages above 40 mg it may even prevent ovulation. Testosterone increases sex drive in men and women, affecting their day to day behaviors. Individuals who have higher melatonin levels will have a greater desire to engage in activities other than sex. So, if you want to be successful in school, and your sex hormones are overactive, then melatonin taken over a period of time will dramatically decrease these feelings.
Some people enter puberty later in life. This could be caused by higher levels of circulating melatonin in the body. Melatonin competes with testosterone for influence on the body and mind. As one hormone increases, the other decreases. Higher testosterone levels are generally associated with lower levels of melatonin, and an earlier entry into puberty. Higher melatonin levels may imply lower testosterone levels, therefore delaying entry into puberty.
Melatonin also increases growth hormone levels in the body. Melatonin increases delta sleep (deep sleep), and this results in greater growth hormone production by the body. Small amounts of growth hormone in the body can increase muscle strength, and overall body health. This hormone is naturally higher in teenagers, when they are actively growing. Some teens produce even higher levels than other teens resulting in increased height. Other young adults are deficient in growth hormone, resulting in dwarfism.
Too little growth hormone can be harmful, and too much can also be harmful. There is a certain range where people can benefit from growth hormone. Individuals who produce an excessive amount of growth hormone in their thirties can develop an enlarged forehead and hands; a condition known as acromegaly. As we grow older, growth hormone levels drop, as does our amount of deep sleep. By taking melatonin, we increase our delta sleep, and generate just the right amount of growth hormone that can be beneficial. The small amount of this hormone produced in adults, due to increased delta sleep, can be beneficial for their health.
Melatonin increases the immune system response, so it is suggested that those with autoimmune disorders avoid the hormone.
There is no known limit to the amount of melatonin someone can take. No known level can cause death. It is relatively harmless. Individuals vary in the amount of this hormone they can consume, because of differing biochemistries in the population. Some people can only tolerate 1 mg and others 10 times as much. Some feel groggy with a low dose, and others do not experience this side affect. If there are side effects, they usually decline over a period of weeks.
I started taking this hormone in 1998. I took 90 mg a day for over 7 years. This is an incredible amount of melatonin taken over a long period, which may break world records. The effects of melatonin on my mind and body were remarkable.My skin appeared healthier. I looked younger. My growth hormone levels were higher. My thinking was clearer. My mood was improved.
I only stopped the experiment when my insulin levels became too high due to low testosterone levels. Testosterone has the effect of making the insulin levels more effective, therefore insulin levels drop. In cases where people have high insulin levels this could be due to less effective insulin interaction with body cells, called insulin resistivity. These people tend to gain weight easier, because the higher insulin levels make them feel hungrier. Testosterone supplementation can alleviate this to some extent, by causing the insulin interaction with body cells to be more effective, dropping the insulin levels. Individuals who take melatonin can significantly increase their insulin levels, if their melatonin dosage is too high for a period of time. In this case, testosterone supplementation may be needed to decrease the insulin levels.
So, Beware of taking to high levels of melatonin over a period of time, since melatonin drops testosterone levels; this can have the affect of raising insulin in the blood stream, ultimately resulting in diabetes. So a safe level of melatonin to take daily is ~ 3 mg. If you go any higher, or take this dose for a long period of time, then you may need to supplement your body with testosterone.
Melatonin has numerous benefits. There is evidence that it may increase health, happiness, and longevity. That is why it is, in my opinion, a miracle hormone.