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

To remove your name from this mailing list, just reply to this email BUT put UNSUBSCRIBE in the subject line. If you have a friend who would like to subscribe visit http://krispin.com/ and scroll to the bottom of the page. Questions or comments? (Questions must be of general interest to be published in the next newsletter) E-mail me at newsletter@leavesofthetree.org  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   Print Friendly and PDF

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. Darkest Night

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 degenerative diseases.

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 fibromyalgia. (54-79)

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.

Shift workers-
If 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 sight-threatening disease-
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 first choice.

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.

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'.

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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.