Do you remember the three blind mice? The rhyme says the farmer's wife cut off their tails with a butcher's knife. But I bet you don't know the rest of the story. These mice actually outlived other mice who weren't blind. Well, at least they could have. Let me explain.
In a recent study, researchers found that blind rats outlived rats that could see. They speculated that the reason was due to their increased production of melatonin.
Melatonin, as you may remember, is the hormone made by your pineal gland in your brain that helps control your sleep and wake cycles. When it gets dark, your pineal gland produces melatonin to help make you tired and help you sleep. For blind mice, it's always dark. So their pineal gland is always working - producing a lot more than normal amounts of melatonin.
So the researchers gave seeing rats high doses of melatonin to see if they could produce the same level of longevity in the blind rats. And that's exactly what happened. The seeing rats lived just as long as the blind rats. But does this work in humans? Studies say yes!
In fact, the authors of one study said a melatonin deficiency, which begins to happen as we age, "is perhaps the basic mechanism through which aging changes can be explained." In other words, ample melatonin means slower aging. And inadequate melatonin means faster aging.
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But how does it do this? The answer just came out in a landmark study. As you may know, one of the biggest contributors to aging throughout the body is the loss of mitochondrial function. Mitochondria are the energy furnaces of your cells. When their function declines, your body ages. Scientists in this new study found that melatonin works in a unique way to fight against mitochondrial dysfunction.
One of the reasons the mitochondria begin to fail is because a hole can develop in its inner membrane. This hole decreases the mitochondria's ability to produce energy. While we've known this for some time, we've never known how to plug this hole. There aren't any drugs that can do it. And we didn't know any supplements that did it either. These scientists found that your body has to produce enough of a particular enzyme to plug these holes. And melatonin helps maintain normal levels of this enzyme.
The researchers also found that the more melatonin you have in your body, the more enzymes you have - and the more your body can plug these holes. When that happens, your body continues to function as it did when you were younger. The good news is, you can start plugging these holes today - no matter what your age. That doesn't mean you'll feel like a teenager again, as some damage and loss of function has already happened. But by plugging these holes now, you can kick start your mitochondria into working better. And you'll feel much younger.
But you have to take enough melatonin to make it work. Most people take only 3 mg of melatonin a day. This might help them sleep, but it's not enough to really fight the aging process. Some studies suggest you need 20 times that amount - or 60 mg daily - to experience these results. That sounds like a lot of melatonin. And, yes, it will help you sleep really well.
You might ask if that amount is toxic. Not at all. In fact, studies have shown that doses as high as 1,000 mg have zero toxic effects. The only side effect is great sleep and maybe a little drowsiness when you first start taking the high doses. So 60 mg before bedtime isn't going to hurt you at all. And it may help you considerably.
Unfortunately, taking 60 mgs a day requires taking 20 of those 3 mg tablets. Well, it used to. There's now one company making 60 mg tablets. You can find Melatonin Max by following this link. If you use the code NI2017MEL when you order, you'll get 10% off your entire order. The thought of taking this much melatonin might be uncomfortable, but it's completely safe. I'll have more detail on this - and all the diseases this size dosage can fight - in future issues of Nutrient Insider.
Your insider for better health,
Steve Kroening, ND.
Lehrer S. Blindness increases the life span of male rats: pineal effect on longevity. J Chronic Dis. 1981; 34: 427-428.
Rozencwaig R, Grad BR, Ochoa J. The role of melatonin and serotonin in aging. Med Hypotheses. 1987; 23: 337-352.
Baburina Y, Odinokova I, Azarashvili T, et al. 2’,3’-Cyclic nucleotide 3’-phosphodiesterase as a messenger of protection of the mitochondrial function during melatonin treatment in aging. Biochim Biophys Acta