Sunday, July 24, 2011

Menstrual Cycle and Melatonin Hormone

Melatonin, also known as N-acetyl-5-methoxytryptamine, a hormone secreted by the pineal gland in the brain with functions of regulating sleep cycles, other hormones, timing in secretion of female hormones that affect the menstrual cycle, etc. The levels of the circulating hormone vary in a daily cycle, depending to the circadian rhythm is an internal 24-hour “clock”. One important feature, as a role as a pervasive and powerful antioxidant, Melatonin protect our body from free radicals by fighting against damage of the nuclear and mitochondrial DNA of the cells. In a study of "Free Radical-Mediated Molecular Damage Mechanisms for the Protective Actions of Melatonin in the Central Nervous System" by RUSSEL J. REITER, DARIO ACUÑA-CASTROVIEJO, DUN-XIAN TAN and SUSANNE BURKHARDT, researchers concuded that Most recently, melatonin has been shown to increase the efficiency of the electron transport chain and, as a consequence, to reduce election leakage and the generation of free radicals. These multiple actions make melatonin a potentially useful agent in the treatment of neurological disorders that have oxidative damage as part of their etiological basis.

How melatonin hormone affects a woman menstrual cycle. In general, since melatonin and cortisol secreted by the adrenal gland are responsible for regulating the sleep and wake-up pattern, disruption or imbalance can cause sleep disorder, throwing the menstrual cycle out of whack as they can distort the production of other hormone.

How melatonin affects a woman menstrual cycle

1. Premenstrual Syndrome: Women with PMS which begins 2 weeks before menstruation may exerpience abnormality of the levels of melatonin hormone as a result of abnormal production of follicle stimulating hormone FSH, leading to fauty ovulation and abdomianl cramps and pain. Most women with PMS are also associated with the symptom of circadian disruptions. Intake of melatonin suplement may be helpful but it can be addictive. Light therapy can be beneficial if the levels of melatonin hormone is high but it is not common. According to the article of PMS and Melatonin Imbalances by Dr. Teressa Rispoli, she wrote that Parry and other investigators from the Department of Psychiatry at the University of California compared melatonin levels over the menstrual cycle in a group of women with PMS and in a group of healthy women. They found that the women with PMS had an earlier decline in melatonin secretion--resulting in a shorter overall secretion time.

2. Puberty: In a study of Precocious Puberty and Decreased Melatonin Secretion due to a Hypothalamic HamartomaJ.C. Commentza, K. Helmkeb, researcher found that The melatonin plasma levels were low for the chronological age but appropriate for the pubertal status, making a causal relationship between lowered melatonin plasma levels and precocious puberty possible.

According to the article, Melatonin in Humans by Amnon Brzezinski, M.D. published by the New England Journal of medicine, the author wrote that If melatonin inhibits the activity of the hypothalamic gonadotropin-releasing–hormone pulse generator (as in ewes) or attenuates the response of the pituitary gland to stimulation by a gonadotropin-releasing hormone (as in neonatal rats), the onset of puberty in humans may be related to the decline in melatonin secretion that occurs as children grow.3. Amenorrhea: Secondary amenrrhea is defined as period beginning at the appropriate age, but later stops for more than 3 cycles or 6 months. Melatonin may elevate the effect as oral contraceptive pill to cause amemorrhea According to the stsudy of Melatonin and oral contraception by Presl J. researcher concluded that there have been good results in recent research to inhibit the generator of pulsatile secretion of GnRH necessary for ovulation by using melatonin in a new type of oral contraceptive. The oral contraceptive uses melatonin rather than estrogen, either alone or in combination with norethindrone.

4. Perimenopause: Levels of melatonin decreases with age especially with women in the stage of perimenopause. According to the study of Effects of melatonin in perimenopausal and menopausal women: our personal experience. by Bellipanni G, DI Marzo F, Blasi F, Di Marzo A., researchers found that with subjects took a daily dose of 3 mg synthetic melatonin or a placebo for 6 months. Levels of melatonin were determined from five daily saliva samples taken at fixed times. Hormone levels were determined from blood samples three times over the 6-month period. Our results indicate that a cause-effect relationship between the decline of nocturnal levels of MEL and onset of menopause may exist. MEL abrogates hormonal, menopause-related neurovegetative disturbances and restores menstrual cyclicity and fertility in perimenopausal or menopausal women. At present we assert that the six-month treatment with MEL produced a remarkable and highly significant improvement of thyroid function, positive changes of gonadotropins towards more juvenile levels, and abrogation of menopause-related depression.

Finally, I would like to conclude this acticle by memtioning the effect of melatonin on sex hormone estrogen. According to the study of Melatonin, an Endogenous-specific Inhibitor of Estrogen Receptor via Calmodulin by Beatriz del Río, Juana M. García Pedrero, Carlos Martínez-Campa, Pedro Zuazua, Pedro S. Lazo, and Sofía Ramos, researchers found that interestingly, melatonin does not affect the binding of coactivators to ER(estrogen receptor), indicating that melatonin action is different from that of current therapeutic anti-estrogens used in breast cancer therapy.Thus, they target ER(estrogen receptor), at different levels, representing two independent ways to control ER(estrogen receptor), activity. It is, therefore, conceivably a synergistic pharmacological effect of melatonin and current anti-estrogen drugs.

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