Melatonin is a natural hormone produced in various tissues of our bodies, but primarily in the Pineal gland in the brain. Melatonin is synthesized in this Pineal gland and then secreted throughout the body in a circadian (daily cycle) rhythm, more prominently at night. Today we want to share a little bit about emerging evidence around the role that Melatonin plays in the gut and how, in turn, it affects inflammation in the body.
Melatonin is a rhythm-setter in the body, a hormone that regulates the circadian “clock” within each one of us. Its role in regulating the functions of sleep, biological rhythms, intestinal reflexes, protecting against inflammation and even acting as a mediator between vital organs like the gut and liver, makes it a pretty intelligent communication agent.1 In 1958 it was discovered that Melatonin was being produced in various areas of the gut2 and most specifically in the lower intestine.
Interestingly serotonin3 plays an imperative role in synthesizing Melatonin. Knowing this is an essential piece of the puzzle as the majority of serotonin is produced in the gut. With all this in mind, Melatonin plays a significant role in gut function and not just our sleep/wake cycles. Research suggests that 400-500 times more Melatonin is produced by the gut than the pineal gland, and is produced mainly in serotonin-producing cells in the gut.4
Melatonin is also found in the mucosa of the GI tract, which means that it plays a role in protecting the lining of the gut so that conditions such a “leaky gut”5 can’t develop. There is also evidence that suggests it can prevent the development of non-alcoholic fatty liver 6, which can develop from insulin dysregulation and weight gain.
The difference between the Melatonin released by the Pineal gland and the Melatonin produced by the gut is that food intake seems to be the stimulant to its release.7 That is why having a healthy gut microbiome and reducing inflammation in the GI tract can play a role in the sleep-gut connection.8 This is an important conversation, too, as research is suggesting that our gut, and the microbiome it produces, works to a circadian rhythm, just like our sleep cycles.9
In conclusion, Melatonin is a hormone that is highly skilled in its ability to set cyclical rhythms in our body. From our gut to our sleep cycle, Melatonin can be taken as a supplement to help our bodies rest and maintain a healthy gut mucosa ready for when it is time to digest and process food and reduce the risk of disease.
You will find Melatonin in our CBD and CBA recovery formulas called Replenish Nectar. It works in synergy with other inflammatory fighting ingredients that help repair the body while we are resting. We also have a children’s product called Sleepy Sloth, which helps children relax, achieve sound sleep, and even support brain regeneration and mental focus.
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