Happy Holidays to All. May your Christmas be filled with joy and
blessings and your New Year 'the very best of times'. For you all- thoughts on
darkness and light as we approach our darkest days- Dec. 20/21 in the Northern
Hemisphere. Blessings, Krispin
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Information on Melatonin testing is found at the end of the article. To
understand why I write the Newsletter scroll to the very bottom.
Krispin's Sporadic Newsletter- Komments on Nutrition and Health
Volume 1 Issue 1 December 2009
Thanks for being patient with all the 'opt-in' and respond emails.
I don't want to spam and as this is a brand new enterprise for me I am also
learning lots of new things about emails and html and web pages and spam filters
and sending more than 30 emails at a time, quite an experience that I hope will
benefit my clients and my non-client readers. Each topic I choose is because it
strikes me as really important and needing a deeper understanding. Especially
important to me in this newsletter are the implications of children under eight
and seniors not eating enough protein. This is a 'really big deal' and I hope
you will take it to heart and make sure the babes and elders in your life get
what they need.
What is Melatonin? Why Light, Darkness, and Sleep Matter.
The photo shows a compiled satellite picture of
darkest night worldwide. What is stunningly clear is that night isn't all that
dark for city dwellers in industrialized countries. Research demonstrates all
that 'night light' may not be good for us.
Healthy people produce adequate cycling
melatonin and base line melatonin. This is important because without core and
cycling melatonin, depression and disease flourish. The map of 'night light'
correlates with the incidence of cancers worldwide and higher incidences of
degenerative disorders. Our bodies need dark as well as light. What is suggested
in the research is the deregulated dark-light patterns found in developed
countries worldwide are contributing to increased incidence of disease.
If you have insufficient 24 hour gut, retinal,
or skin produced melatonin or too little or imbalanced cycling pineal melatonin
you need to change things, now. If you have a melatonin insufficiency or a
delayed sleep phase you will be more prone to depression, cancer, hypertension,
heart disease, obesity, metabolic disease, and even infection.>
One of the primary reasons melatonin is SO
important is because it regulates cell death. As we age or when we are injured
or exposed to toxins there may be a failure in 'apoptosis' which is how damaged
cells are induced to die. Melatonin has been shown to protect our healthy cells
from early demise while increasing 'death receptors' on damaged and/or malignant
cells resulting in improved treatments in cancer and though not yet clinically
verified, preventing replication of damaged DNA so we all stay healthier,
longer. Though specifics are yet to be explored, it is during the night, when
melatonin is produced in your pineal gland, some amazing processes occur
directing the removal of old, damaged cells while protecting healthy cells.
Getting rid of the old and damaged is critical to the survival all living
organisms. Good housekeeping makes a difference in cells too, and it looks very
much like cyclical pineal melatonin may be our essential 'house cleaner'.
Melatonin is a hormone, meaning a regulator of
cell birth, functioning, and death, altering cells by changes in receptors,
expression of enzymes, and other key elements of cellular regulation. Melatonin
is produced in your intestinal tract, your retinas, and your skin 24 hours a
day, and, in response to darkness, in your pineal gland. The healthy gut
produces 100 times more melatonin than the pineal gland.(1-12) In humans the
largest production of both melatonin and serotonin takes place in the healthy
functioning gastrointestinal tract. The function of gut, skin, and retinal
melatonin are primarily cell signaling while pineal melatonin acts in the
broader hormonal role especially that of regulating the production of DNA and
cleaning up 'debris'. All body production of melatonin depends on sufficient
supplies of l-tryptophan and pineal gland production also requires cycling DARK
and LIGHT. Adequate, high quality l-tryptophan containing protein is absolutely
necessary to produce serotonin and melatonin (and all other neurotransmitters)
throughout your body.
Regulation of your melatonin cycle (pineal
night-time production) requires dark when it is dark and light when it is light.
Artificial lighting (see picture) is strongly associated with impaired total
and/or cycle shifted melatonin and overall increases in cancer and other
IBS-D (Irritable Bowel Syndrome Diarrhea) is partially a result of actual loss
of melatonin producing cells in the gut with a relative imbalance of serotonin
resulting in cramping and uncontrollable bowel movements.(13-21)Other well
documented benefits of adequate base and cyclical melatonin include, antioxidant
protection of brain, heart, arteries, as well as protecting nuclear and
mitochondrial DNA. (22-31) Melatonin protects from cancer, including breast,
prostate, and colon;(32-45); allows improved attention and learning in children;
reduces anxiety and inappropriate anger at all ages;(46-53) Both your 24 hour
production in retina, skin and gut, and your night-time production from your
pineal gland are important to health.
Your brain and melatonin-
Your brain needs melatonin. While many are familiar with the
use of light for SAD (Seasonal Affective Disorder) you may be surprised to learn
melatonin's important role in all forms of depression. The clinical literature
shows both total melatonin and melatonin rhythm are critical to brain function
(memory and clarity of mind) and to sustain a good mood. We all recognize poor
sleep makes for a less productive day but impaired nighttime melatonin also
contributes to bipolar disease, Parkinson's Disease, and menstrual and menopause
associated mood disorders including foggy brain and anxiety AND even
Children and melatonin-
Melatonin and sleep disorders are also implicated as
problematic in children with ADD, ADHD and general learning disorders. (46-53) A
study in Japan found significantly lower levels of both serotonin and melatonin
in infants and children 8 years old and under if BREAKFAST did not contain
sufficient l-tryptophan containing protein. The children with insufficient
dietary protein, and thereby lowered serotonin and melatonin, suffered from
sleep phase disorders which has symptoms you will recognize- difficult to wake
up, easily frustrated and/or angered, difficulty learning, and difficulty going
to sleep. (80)
It is important to note the children in the
study from birth to eight years old suffered symptoms on the DAY of the morning
with insufficient protein. Each day's breakfast counted. As young infants and
children have extremely high protein needs for rapid growth breakfast, lunch,
and dinner must be protein sufficient. L-tryptophan is found in complete
proteins, meat, fish, milk, eggs (a particularly rich source), poultry, some
nuts and seeds, but never in large amounts (not even turkey) so both overall
quality and quantity count.
Seniors and melatonin-
Similarly seniors often have difficulty sleeping. A university study found
seniors 65 and older rarely got sufficient protein on a daily basis. In fact, on
the suggested dietary protein intake of 0.8 grams per kilo of body weight, 55
grams for a 150 pound person, 65 grams for a 180 pound persons, not one senior
remained in nitrogen balance (they lost more protein every day than they took
in). While this study did not look at l-tryptophan, it does suggest some of the
sleep issues in seniors may be related to low protein intakes. The researchers
did note the protein insufficiency contributed to weakening muscles and poor
energy which may keep them inside during daylight hours further disrupting
dark-light melatonin rhythm.
Make your own-
Before you take a drug or undergo a 'sleep study' consider improving your
protein, restoring your gut (see Practical Nutrition Workbook), getting some
sunlight during the day and keeping it dark at night. Exercise and daylight
exposure are both important factors for melatonin production and balance
(outdoor exercise please) as well as keeping things dark at night. We don't need
to TAKE melatonin. We need to make sure our guts are healthy AND sleep in the
dark (very dark, use light blocking curtains if necessary) and wake in the
light, very bright (don't wear sunglasses outside all the time). If you must
stay up late use special blue blocking lights and sunglasses so that your
melatonin rhythm is not disrupted.
you are a shift worker you need to get extra help. Find a book or work with
someone who understands how to mimic natural day and night. It will prolong your
life and help you avoid depression and immune problems and perhaps even some
types of cancer and degenerative diseases.
Darkness and Light-
Darkness AND light equate to pineal (cyclical) production of melatonin. The
brighter and then darker it is, the more melatonin produced by your pineal
gland. Aids to darkness include light blocking shades or curtains, and/or blue
blocking sunglasses or lights in the rooms where you spend your night-time
hours. Blue blocking lights or filters block the band/s of light that suppress
pineal melatonin production. Darkness in the daylight hours may deregulate your
melatonin cycle as may bright light at night. We are born for certain rhythms,
in this case darkness and light, which improve quality of waking and sleeping
and both quantity and quality of life.
Melatonin and kidney disease, cancer, or
While I don't believe healthy persons
need to supplement melatonin, in persons with kidney disease on dialysis
there is a failure of melatonin regulation. The cause is not yet known but
these patients may benefit from melatonin supplementation. As there are many
abnormalities when on dialysis, working with a clinical nutritionist or
other health care practitioner experienced in use of supplements in kidney
disease, is critical. This is not a do it yourself project. Cancer patients
may also benefit from melatonin supplementation during and after treatment
because their bodies may no longer regulate cyclical melatonin. As these are
very serious conditions make sure to work with someone who has both
knowledge and experience.
The other exception may be persons with
age-related macular degeneration (ARMD). Melatonin combined with zinc and
selenium has shown success in slowing or even reversing macular degeneration.
Melatonin ZN SE has been clinically shown to be effective. This strongly
suggests consuming adequate protein, zinc, and selenium AND maintaining your
light-dark cycle will contribute to avoiding macular degeneration, your best
The dose of melatonin used to slow and/or
reverse dry ARMD is 1-3 mg. nightly plus adequate zinc, 10-25 mg daily, and
selenium from foods or if not possible from supplements. When adding selenium
read labels. Excess or inorganic selenium is toxic. Never exceed 200 mcg daily
from all sources. The preferred form of selenium for eye protection is
selenomethione because this is the form shown to increase glutathione.
Selenomethionine also shows promise in protecting us from the damaging effects
of mercury exposure.
What you need to know AND follow are
the three keys to lifetime optimal melatonin production:
1. Adequate protein, a minimum of 1 gram for
each 2 pounds of body weight for adults and significantly more for infants,
children, and pregnant and nursing women. After 65, or when recovering from
injury, you need somewhat more than this.(81;82) AND for children eight and
under and infants do make sure breakfast is a PROTEIN meal. Cereal does not
count, not even high protein cereal.
2. Make sure you have optimal microbiota, your
"living shield' of good bacteria 100 trillion strong covering all your mucous
membranes. Having the 'right' microbes reverses all forms of bowel dysfunction,
restores gut integrity, repairs your immunity both innate and acquired and
restores the balance of serotonin and melatonin producing cells. The protocol is
in the latest edition of the workbook.
3. Get clear-cut, time appropriate, light-dark
exposure (daylight not 'lights' and darkness not 'lights') to regulate pineal
melatonin production. Get up, go out in the light. Go to bed at night. Establish
a healthy rhythm.
Though melatonin can be
purchased, respecting rhythms and cycles, and providing your body with all
essential elements to produce your own melatonin will benefit you in more ways
than a melatonin supplement ever could. Winter darkness produces more melatonin
in all of us. Enjoy the darkness. Know it as a time of regeneration and rebirth.
It is in the darkness clean-up, repair, healing, and renewal occur, preparing us
for new light, a new day, a new year. Happy New Year!
If you have increased your
l-tryptophan containing protein, gotten up in the morning and exposed yourself
to light, made a point to sleep in the darkness at a regular hour, and have
restored your healthy gut microbes (Gut Restoration Protocol), and still find
difficulty sleeping or waking consider a 24 hour melatonin test. 24 Hour
Melatonin Testing Available: Call or email (current clients only) to order a
(saliva) test kit. You'll pay me for postage ($5) and a phone appointment (cost
determined by time) after your results arrive. This is a saliva test, no blood
or lab visit needed. Your cost to the lab (sent with kit) will be $61.00
1-775-831-0292 or send me an email.
1. Bubenik GA. Thirty four years since the
discovery of gastrointestinal melatonin. J.Physiol Pharmacol. 2008 Aug;59 Suppl
The new edition, 12/2009, of the workbook,
Practical Nutrition, now has over 300 pages and contains information on how to
count and get sufficient protein and (brand new) information on how to restore
optimal gut and body microbes using high potency probiotics (400+ billion
multi-strain bacteria per dose) to ensure healthy melatonin and serotonin
production and improved immunity and longevity. It is currently on special $50
including shipping and extra copies or other items are just $25 each (max 2
extra items) when shipped with one order. Great for gifts. Order from
http://sunlightd.org/ If ordering for a Christmas present let me
know so that I send it 'fast'.
2. Konturek SJ, Konturek PC, Brzozowski T, Bubenik GA. Role of melatonin in
upper gastrointestinal tract. J.Physiol Pharmacol. 2007 Dec;58 Suppl 6:23-52.
3. Czesnikiewicz-Guzik M, Konturek SJ, Loster B, Wisniewska G, Majewski S.
Melatonin and its role in oxidative stress related diseases of oral cavity.
J.Physiol Pharmacol. 2007 Aug;58 Suppl 3:5-19.
4. Konturek SJ, Konturek PC, Brzozowska I, Pawlik M, Sliwowski Z,
Czesnikiewicz-Guzik M, Kwiecien S, Brzozowski T, Bubenik GA, Pawlik WW.
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The Krispin's Sporadic Newsletter is my way of sharing with my clients and
friends the things I believe are truly important. I find the constant
'selling' of products, pills, potions, powders, for health and longevity to
be in direct opposition to my beliefs about how our bodies were meant to be.
There are 'basics', things we all need to eat to live long and healthy lives
and then there are the 'tweaks', things some of us may need and others may
not, BUT most of these 'things we need' will be found in FOOD. Our bodies
are designed to take the elements from our foods and work their magic,
transforming 'life from life'. Science seems, at times, to suggest taking
the latest 'element found' in a pill will help us all live to be 100+ yet
every centenarian alive today does not and did not take supplements.
The secrets of health
and longevity, while not yet all discovered, include eating whole real food that
is fresh and appropriate for your genetic heritage, exercising every day,
getting some sunlight every day, and surrendering daily to darkness for clean-up
and repair. Oh, and always, to the best of your ability, avoid people, places
and things known to be toxic. We can only handle so much 'junk' in a lifetime. I
look forward to writing again when time and topic dictate.