Melatonin and the Eyes
Most people use Melatonin as a sleep aid, and that’s it’s main purpose, but that doesn’t mean it isn’t affecting other parts of your body. So I wanted to take a moment and talk about how Melatonin works in your eyes. Enjoy the show.
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Hello, everyone, it’s Dr. Sam, I’d like to welcome you to my EyeClarity podcast. This is a show that offers cutting edge information on how to improve your vision and overall wellness through holistic methods. I so appreciate you spending part of your day with me. If you have questions, you can send them to firstname.lastname@example.org.
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Alright, today’s show, we’re going to talk about melatonin. You know, most people think melatonin is asleep aid. And that’s basically it. But today I want to talk about how melatonin influences our eye health. So just a little backstory about melatonin. It’s a hormone that’s produced in the pineal gland in the brain, it helps regulate our body’s sleep wake cycle. But you know, it’s also present in the eyes retina. And it’s pretty interesting when you have melatonin in the retina.
And also, it’s also regulating our circadian rhythms, as well as protecting the retina against oxidative stress and inflammation. Those are some of the reasons why we start developing retinal conditions. Because we are accumulating oxidative stress or free radicals, we start developing inflammation. And here we go that we have another ingredient melatonin that might help us. So there have been some studies that show that melatonin can act as an antioxidant in the retina helping us protect against, you know the the damaging blue light that we get from artificial light from our screens. And that melatonin can protect us against certain types of retinal degeneration. I’m going to talk about some specific research studies in a few minutes. But melatonin is another ingredient that may help stave off age related macular degeneration. So we know that the let the retina is a light sensitive tissue that captures the photoreceptors or captures the light, the photoreceptors capture the light, turn it into an electrical impulse, and then it goes back to the brain where we begin to access, vision and perception. And so when these receptors of course, in the retina, what they can do is they can actually increase our connection to our morning, afternoon and evening cycles.
Of course, melatonin is used sometimes as a supplement to improve our sleep. It’s also been known to help improve our immune system. But the bottom line is that melatonin can help us with reducing oxidative stress in the retina. Okay, I’d like to talk about one study that combines melatonin, zinc and selenium before you go to bed. And in this study, it actually helped improve age related macular degeneration and I will put the research paper in the notes so that you can look it up. In another study, researchers found that there’s a strong correlation between mitochondria function and our maquilas. Now we know about this through the red light research done by the Jeffrey’s lab but in this specific incident melatonin actually helps improve mitochondria function in the macula. So I want to talk about glaucoma and melatonin. So first let’s just say this that in glaucoma This is a vascular disease. And in open angle glaucoma for example, the eye pressure is very high. So at night, the eye pressure tends to reduce. And in correlation with the melatonin, the melatonin is at the highest level in the evening. The ciliary body is the part of the eye that helps produce the fluid and the aqueous flow. And so in glaucoma, either you’re not producing enough fluid, or there’s obstacles in the fluid flow.
Well, in this study, by taking melatonin, this increased the receptors in the ciliary body to work better. So this, in fact, could help lower eye pressure. So bottom line, increasing your melatonin might reduce your eye pressure. Okay, let’s talk about night vision. I get a lot of questions on night vision night blindness. And there was another research discovery which showed that there’s a relationship between melatonin and glutathione. And that if you increase melatonin, you actually increase glutathione levels. Now, this isn’t known very well, but glutathione actually can also help improve nightvision we know it improves lens health, because I’ve talked about the relationship between cataract formation and low glutathione levels. But now the discovery is when we increase our glutathione levels, we can see better at night. And some other studies that condition UV itis which which is an inflammation of the UV, that’s the mostly the middle part of the inner eye. A lot of times UV itis is connected with autoimmune disease, or just chronic inflammation and infection. But the studies show that taking melatonin may reduce UV itis.
It also may reduce the diabetic condition that we get called diabetic retinopathy. And the third condition that melatonin may be able to help is optic neuritis. So the optic nerve is the disc that’s in the back of the retina where all the nerve fibers connect into the brain. We’ve got conditions like glaucoma, which affects the optic nerve we also have conditions like Ms. optic neuritis papilla Dima, anything that that causes inflammation in the optic nerve. The studies are showing that adding melatonin can reduce the inflammation of the optic nerve. So aside from supplementing with melatonin, you can actually get melatonin from certain foods. So I’m going to go through a list cherries, cage free, organic eggs, grapes, walnuts, strawberries, bananas, barley, lentils, mushrooms, green beans, coffee, sprouted soy beans, tomatoes, and oats. Alright, let’s talk about one of my favorite subjects.
And that’s blue light. I’m talking about the artificial light that’s emitted from all our digital devices. So studies show that when you’re exposed to blue light, especially after 6pm, this can suppress melatonin, and it affects your sleep, it’s a good idea to stop using your digital devices two hours before you go to bed. So you allow your body to reset and be able to produce the melatonin that it needs. Now later in the broadcast, I’m going to talk about the Healthy blue light that we get exposed to during the day from the sun. And that’s a very positive aspect and influence on our vision and our health. So stay tuned for that. So this last point is interesting. It’s related to melanopsin, which is a type of photo receptor that’s in the retina. And this particular photo receptor is very helpful for a couple of things. First of all, when we get light stimulation and I’m talking about sunlight or natural light, this actually can improve our memory, our mood, our concentration, and our peripheral vision.
In one study I read The researchers found that spending two to 10 minutes being exposed to natural sunlight in the morning would help your alertness, your concentration, your memory, and your mood. This is why it’s very important to get outside, especially in the morning and get that hit of natural sunlight. And the sun also puts out a type of blue light that’s very helpful in activating and balancing our circadian rhythms.
This particular blue light stimulates the melanopsin cells which are in the retina, which help us develop better circadian rhythms and connections to ourselves during the day. So bottom line, it is essential for your biology and your psychology to expose yourself to outdoor sunlight. And even if it’s cloudy, you still get the benefits two to 10 minutes a day without sunglasses, preferably in the morning. This is very important as a way to not only improve your vision, but have a very strong effect on improving your health and wellness. So that’s our show for today. I want to thank you so much for tuning in. Until next time, take care.
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