Melatonin Induces Circadian Phase Shift

The rise and fall of Melatonin induces Circadian Phase Shifts. Lower lengths of sunlight produces higher levels of melatonin.

Melatonin is primarily thought to be found only in the pineal gland. Melatonin is mainly produced in the pineal gland during the dark phase (night). Its secretion from the pineal gland has been classically associated with circadian and circanual rhythm regulation. However, melatonin production is not confined exclusively to the pineal gland, but other tissues including retina, Harderian glands, gut (400x more that pineal gland), ovary (200X more than gut), testes, bone marrow, thymus and bone marrow of humans and lens also produce it.

Most studies continue to erroneously view Melatonin as the “Sleep Hormone”. There is a dose–response relationship between light intensity or irradiance and melatonin production. A person’s prior light history has an impact on melatonin suppression or production.  Those suffering from autoimmune disease are more likely to seclude themselves in dark rooms. Unknowingly, increasing their melatonin production and increasing their immune system hyper-reactivity.

The sun rises later in the fall and winter and nightfall arrives much easier and this disrupts the timing of melatonin release some patients with autoimmune inflammation, Metabolic syndrome,,  Seasonal Affective Disorder, or producing disruptions to reproductive health and fertility. The seasonal fluctuations of melatonin coincides with the activity of the immune system, possibly allowing the body to anticipate and handle microbial threats more efficiently.

A circadian phase shift occurs when one or more daily circadian rhythms are disrupted in the fall and winter months as the days grow shorter and the nights are longer. Another phase shift occurs during the spring and summer as the opposite occurs. In these situations, one rhythm, e.g. enhance immune response, lags behind or pushes ahead of another rhythm, e.g. decreased Vitamin D production, results in increased inflammation.

After the Summer Solstice – More Melatonin is Produced

After the June Solstice (Northern Hemisphere) or the December Solstice (Southern Hemisphere), patients call because they are having more flairs or cytokine storms. They ask why they were feeling good and happy with their progress; and three to four weeks after the Solstice, they are regressing back to their original condition. It is due to the increased production of melatonin as the days get shorter. Yes, that little bit of increased production of melatonin causes that big of a change in their body.

WARNING: If the Summer solstice is rapidly approaching. Many people will start start having some flair ups. It amazes me how the melatonin produced by an additional six minutes of darkness after the Summer Solstice can provoke cytokine storms. The four supplements mentioned above will help dampen this affect.

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