Research by Dr. Sidney Lang, an expert on piezoelectricity, which is the production of electric fields by pressure on crystalline structures, has shown that the pineal gland has piezoelectrical activity. Dr Lang hypothesizes that this activity is a function of this granular material and if so it may be responding to narrow wave lenghts.
Once melatonin is produced, its ability to pass through the cell membrane allows it to pass directly into the blood stream. Once in the blood melatonin has access to every cell in the body where it passes through the cell membrane to the cell nucleus, which has receptors for it. A few cell membranes also have receptors for melatonin, which may control the 24 hour circadian rhythm of the endocrine system.
In the cell nucleus, melatonin plays a role in regulating gene expression. The ability of melatonin to enter all cells is also essential for one of the other important functions of melatonin, which is to act as a scavenger of highly toxic oxygen-based free radicals. The production of these free radicals is a consequence of the utilization of oxygen by all organisms. About 1 – 2% of inspired oxygen ends up as toxic free radicals which can damage macromolecules such as DNA, proteins and lipids. This damage is referred to as oxidative stress.
Because of its ability to eliminate free radicals, melatonin is probably the most efficient natural cell protection and oncostatic agent in our bodies. At night, melatonin production floods our bodies, eliminating the build up of free radicals that are being produced, allowing the DNA synthesis and cell division to occur with a far lower chance of damage and hence producing more healthy cells. Melatonin also dampens the release of estrogen, prolonged exposure to which may increase the risk of breast cancer.
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