The circadian rhythm is such a huge factor when we are trying to address our nutritional deficiencies, toxic metals, and chronic infections.
Let's look at this from a biochemical point of view and try to understand the mechanism of the two altering rhythms of life between sleep and wake cycles, or we could say between melatonin and the adrenals.
But first we need to connect the pineal gland to the HPA axis (hypothalamus, pituitary, adrenal axis) in order to provide a more concise depiction of neurohormone feedback loops.
The hypothalamus is analogous to grand central station because it receives all the sensory, neuronal, and hormonal information to interpret, process, and respond for the greater good of all the activities going on in the body.
So in essence, the hypothalamus controls body temperature, hunger, thirst, fatigue, childbirth, emotions, growth, milk production, salt and water balance, sleep, weight, and all circadian cycles through its action on the pituitary and the pineal gland.
The physiological function of the pineal gland has been relatively unknown until recent times.
Only mystical traditions and esoteric schools have long known this gland to be the seat of the soul, a term coined by the late philosopher Renee Descartes.
The pineal gland is the connecting link between the physical and spiritual worlds.
In ancient lure, it has always been considered the most powerful and highest source of ethereal energy available to humans because of its importance in initiating supernatural powers.
An even more compelling aspect is that it activates the most potent psychedelic molecule known to mankind, DMT, which is the spirit molecule that opens the portal into our multi-dimensional universes.
DMT may provoke the mystical encounters on the border between life and death that are often reported by those who die and are revived.
It is the organ of higher vision, otherwise known as the all-seeing eye or the third eye.
The pineal gland works in a delicate balance with the hypothalamus to oversee the body's centers that regulate thirst, hunger, sexual desire, and the biological clocks that determines our aging process.
The pineal gland, being the all-seeing "third eye" of the brain, delegates the brain activities on perceiving whether it is day or night.
In essence, it controls the body's hormonal systems, sleep-wake cycle, and all the other "circadian cycles" of the body.
In other words, it is the body's internal clock.
The pineal gland releases melatonin in humans and other mammals living by the 'master' circadian clock.
This 'clock' is located in a region of the hypothalamus called the suprachiasmatic nuclei.
Here, the expression of a series of genes known as clock genes takes place.
The term 'clock' genes comes from the very fact that they oscillate continuously throughout the day.
This is synchronized to the solar day via light input from the eyes.
The suprachiasmatic nuclei are linked to the pineal gland through a complex pathway in the nervous system, passing through different brain areas, into the spinal cord, and finally reaching the pineal gland.
During the day, the suprachiasmatic nuclei stop melatonin production by sending inhibitory messages to the pineal gland.
At night, however, the suprachiasmatic nuclei are less active, and the inhibition exerted during the day is reduced.
This ultimately results in melatonin production by the pineal gland via the signal from the hypothalamus that allows it to regulate the sleep and wake cycles.
The precursor to melatonin is serotonin, a neurotransmitter that itself is derived from the amino acid tryptophan.
However, if we have low Na, low K, zinc, vitamin B1, and vitamin B6, we will not make stomach acid efficiently, thus, we miss out on the breakdown of proteins to give us the amino acids for the raw materials needed to make our neurohormones.
Furthermore, a low stomach acid environment predisposes us to the infectious organisms.
Try this experiment.
Put some pieces of melon in the fridge for a couple of weeks and watch the white fungus overtake the fruit.
The substantial growth of this white fungus is Candida Albicans.
Stomach acid kills the fungi, but in low stomach acid environment, we lose the ability to neutralize these pathological organisms.
And how many of you are walking around in a zinc-depleted, copper toxic state with low Na and K?
A decrease of stomach acid will make it chemically challenging, if not impossible, to pull apart the molecular bonds in our food that allows us to absorb all the vitamins and minerals we need to thrive.
Without the raw materials to make sufficient quantities of stomach acid, our digestion will slow, and we will likely suffer from leaky gut, chronic infections, poor mineral absorption and overall poor digestion as a result.
Also, deficiencies in folate, B12, choline, TMG, and betaine will cripple the enzyme speed of our methyl cycles, which is like trying to run a sprint with lead sneakers on our feet.
This is a big reason why people with methylation problems are riddled with digestive issues!
The stomach cells that make your HCL also release intrinsic factor that is needed for B12 absorption.
Therefore, when the stomach cannot produce enough stomach acid, it also cannot produce enough intrinsic factor.
Over time, this will diminish B12 absorption and disturb our methylation cycles even more, leading to anemias, neurological diseases, dementia, and even death.
Now I'll show you how melatonin is related to serotonin, an extremely versatile neurohormone that regulates digestion, growth, reproduction, aging, bone metabolism, and cardiovascular function.
In the brain specifically, it modulates learning, memory, and psychological well-being.
Serotonin is principally produced by the liver and intestines and is delivered throughout the body via the cardiovascular system.
Again, all roads lead to the liver, and most are walking around with stagnant fatty livers that decrease the overall efficiency of it.
Hence, there is a decrease in serotonin production.
Anyone that has gotten gastric bypass surgery to lose weight commonly develops depression.
Why do you think that is?
The pineal gland also produces serotonin and stores it as well; in fact, it contains the most serotonin-rich tissue in the human body.
Within the pineal gland, serotonin is acetylated and then methylated to yield melatonin.
But, what if we are deficient in methyl donors because we are not making sufficient stomach acid, and as we know HCL is monumental in making our methyl groups.
Melatonin is a derivative of serotonin (serotonin + one methyl molecule).
So with all this in mind, let's come back to sleep cycles.
Melatonin is acting to reduce the proton production in the cells, which is actually down-regulating pro-oxidant enzymes.
In essence, the body is slowing down and this is the time the cells should be restocking.
So, failure to produce efficient melatonin will block the movement of nutrient ions from the blood into the cells, acting like a channelopathy.
The take-home message is that nutrient uptake at night is facilitated by melatonin, which comes back to my main point about sleep being the most essential nutrient in mineral balancing.
Then the day crew kicks in, consisting of the adrenals and the longevity hormone DHEA that is responsible for telling the liver to dump the garbage.
So melatonin is allowing the body to restock, and DHEA is responsible for getting this toxic load out.
But if we are not sleeping well (most of the population), the production of DHEA goes down along with your health.
As we know, DHEA is modulated by melatonin, which explains why sleep goes hand in hand with longevity.
Hence, the term the "longevity hormone DHEA!"
Low DHEA can also show on an HTMA as low excretion of the toxic metals that you may call a poor eliminator pattern.
This is because DHEA is an out-bound channel facilitator to move the metals and toxins out of the cells.
So maybe supplementing with melatonin could be wise when seeing a four low pattern and a poor eliminator pattern.
But I would be remiss without talking about copper and its relationship to poor sleep and depression.
High estrogens and high copper decrease DHEA, which will increase fatigue while increasing insulin.
This leads to increasing fat gain that further accelerates more estrogens and thus, more copper.
Too much copper increases dopamine, which decreases epinephrine.
Excess dopamine has been notoriously implicated in the etiology of psychotic behavior and schizophrenia for well over 40 years in the literature.
For the average copper toxic person, it will contribute to the overstimulated brain that is wired, anxious, paranoid and nervous with poor sleep patterns.
Now coming back to melatonin–a derivative of serotonin (serotonin + one methyl molecule).
Many of the inhibitory pathways of melatonin synthesis and secretion use GABA as the neurotransmitter.
Hence, medications that affect GABA receptors, such as the benzodiazepines like Xanax and Klonopin, can reduce melatonin secretion at night.
In addition, calcium blockers, beta-blockers, and prostaglandin inhibitor medications affect the GABA receptors and can profoundly reduce melatonin levels as well.
If sleep is not at the top of your health list priorities, you will never balance your minerals to the optimal levels of health and longevity.
I work one-on-one with patients to restore their health to an optimal level and give them an exact plan to follow, but it is up to you to make sure that your health is #1 on your list of priorities in order to the best results.
Discuss your health problems with me one-on-one and I can come up with a custom care plan based on your test results to get you on the right track naturally.