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5.0 out of 5 stars Informative guide to Melatonin, 6 Jan 2007
This review is from: Melatonin: Nature's Sleeping Pill (Mass Market Paperback)
Melatonin is a natural hormone produced by the pineal gland. It assists in setting and controlling the clock that regulates the body's natural rhythms. Supplementation is useful for inducing sleep and curing jet lag. In this regard, the substance enhances the REM phase of sleep. But it has other benfits as examined by the author in this highly readable book.

Since melatonin secretion declines with age, supplementation boosts the immune system by restoring the function of the thymus gland and increasing the production of T-cells, as numerous studies have shown. It is also a very potent anti-oxidant or scavenger of harmful free radicals. Because of the small size of the molecule, it penetrates where other anti-oxidants cannot, protecting the mitochondria and cellular DNA.

In particular, it is a powerful scavenger of hydroxyl, one of the most harmful free radicals. Various clinical studies reveal that the hormone boosts the body's anti-tumor activity and enhance the immune system in general. It also seems to stimulate the body's natural anti-oxidant systems in various ways. Other benefits may include the reduction of blood pressure and the prevention of migraine headaches.

The author mentions its side effects, one of which is vivid dreaming. Others may include depression, grogginess, lethargy and depression. Sahelian cautions against the regular, prolonged use of melatonin and believes that tolerance may develop.

This highly informative book is an easy read because of the author's gift for translating medical terminology into everyday language. I also recommend his other books such as Pregnenolone: Nature's Feel-Good Hormone, DHEA: A Practical Guide, and Mind Boosters: A Guide To Natural Supplements That Enhance Your Mind, Memory And Mood.
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