Did you know your gut produces 400 times more melatonin than your brain? Or that your microbiome is on the same schedule as you are? Or that they respond to the circadian rhythm at the same time in the same way that you do?
There is so much you don’t know about melatonin and sleeping, aging, chronic disease, and fasting. Fortunately, this article will help out with that. We will consider how you can facilitate and accelerate your fasting benefits, autophagy, stimulating autophagy, senescent cells, and how to get rid of them.
If you’re looking for a better night’s sleep, if you want to overcome any kind of chronic disease or inflammatory situation, if you want to slow down the aging process, you’re in for a real treat!
MELATONIN: EARLY RESEARCH
There’s so many things that are hardwired to our circadian rhythm and what’s happening right now. Well, let’s start with the early research with melatonin. Researchers took rodent models, and they gave them melatonin and they, obviously, had a placebo group and there was no observable difference. The researchers were like, “We don’t really see any difference in melatonin.”
Not too long after they changed the study around, because in normal environments rodents are basically living at the Ritz Carlton. There’s zero stress. They have nothing to worry about, they’re fed great, so, essentially no stress.
What the researchers then did is they added stress to these rodents, and the way they did that is creating these little tubes and poking holes in the tubes. They then stuffed the mice in there for several hours a day, which as you can imagine could be very stressful. All of these was to mimic stress conditions.
Then melatonin’s benefits really started to shine. They’re seeing the rodents didn’t succumb to a lot of the different diseases associated with stress. You want to think about melatonin as a stress-resilient substance.
MELATONIN, THE SLEEP/WAKE CYCLE, AND EMFS
Let us get into the signaling factors between your sleep and your wake cycle. There are things that happen when we’re awake. Likewise, some things happen when we sleep. The problem is in today’s world, there’s a lot of light pollution.
Consider EMF rays. They actually go and hit your pineal and your pineal thinks its daytime. EMF rays don’t necessarily have to be blue light. Basically, what’s coming off your phone, router, and the like. A good reason to turn your router off at night, because if you can imagine, you’re sleeping and these microwaves penetrate very well, right? They’re hitting that pineal and your pineal isn’t really giving you the strong signal that you need to be asleep. It also suppresses melatonin.
There’s a lot of research that shows that these microwaves, these EMFs, are cancer producing. If you look at how well melatonin has been shown in research to suppress cancer, you start to connect the dots a little bit. You start realizing how massively important melatonin is.
MELATONIN AND THE NERVOUS SYSTEM
In a normal graph, melatonin drops off so dramatically, especially after the age of 40. Even in a normal situation, we just don’t have melatonin as we get older. The need to supplement it is much higher than what a lot of people have traditionally recommended. One common dosage is the 200 milligrams supplement.
That brings us to WHOOP and Aura, where you can measure your stress resilience, heart rate variability, and more. The nervous system also enters the discussion at this point.
You have two sides of your autonomic nervous system. This is a part of your nervous system that is operating behind the scenes. There’s the rest and digest, which we call parasympathetic, and then there’s the fight, flight, or hide, which is the sympathetic. This is where we have a part of our nervous system that’s literally there for us to escape.
Imagine if you had a tiger chasing you. There’s some changes that happen physically to you that shouldn’t be in a chronic situation, but we are locked into this stress response. Even the healthiest, calmest person, just because of today’s world and its many stressors, are going to be a little bit more dominant on the sympathetics.
What that does, is challenges our recovery, because recovery is going to be in the parasympathetic. So, if you’re constantly in this fear, stress state, it really ages you. If you are reading this and have a disease you’re dealing with, be it mold or lime or autoimmune or Hashimoto’s, or, every single cancer, you’re going to survive and thrive if you can get yourself more into the parasympathetic. This is the healing stage. And guess what the biggest promoter of this is? Of course, melatonin!
That’s in the research. It shows the tone to the parasympathetic is incredible. This is when we sleep, our body goes into this massive parasympathetic state. This is where we catch up and we heal our bodies.
Heart rate variability is something that took me a while to understand. Then, I really considered how it relates to Melatonin. What I found is that the heart is controlled by both the sympathetic and the parasympathetic nervous system. They’re both jumping in there, giving the heart signals, and so the variability comes because the sympathetic and the parasympathetic are coming in and controlling it in different stages. It varies because they’re both working on the heart.
When only one of them is predominant, it’s going to be more consistent because you only have one side of the autonomics that’s running the show. Again, is it ever a parasympathetic problem? Never. When you take melatonin, you are strengthening the parasympathetic which allows it to come in and counterbalance the sympathetic nervous system better.
Consider this illustration. When I train at the gym, if I only work my bicep muscle, my tricep muscle, there’s something called reciprocal inhibition. The nerves are going to actually tell this muscle to stop working. It’s all about balance. If you have a strong sympathetic, you’re going to have a weak parasympathetic. You have to take your parasympathetic to the gym.
Breath work, I love getting patients on breath work because it is very good at strengthening the autonomics, particularly, the parasympathetic. You have volitional control to your breathing and you have non-volitional. It’s one of those things where you’ve got the two windows feeding into that. Then there’s sleep and melatonin. If you look at the chart with heart rate variability as you get old, it’s the same chart with melatonin.
You can put those next to each other and they look like almost the exact same chart. Is it possible that people are looking at heart rate variability as this huge indicator for disease, when it’s a reflection of their melatonin?
EFFECT OF LIGHT ON MELATONIN
One question I often get asked is, “Does melatonin production in the body stop at 40?” Well, just having birthdays in general, I think we’re genetically succumbing to that aging process. I think all of our glands and our ability to produce melatonin is worse now than it probably was in early days. We’re not getting enough sun. Sunlight on the eyes is incredibly important for you to produce your own melatonin.
One of the things I see people do is they wake up in the morning and as soon as they walk out their front door, they put the sunglasses on, and they keep them on their drive to work. Right? They get into work, they’re under fluorescent lights. I ditched sunglasses; you should too.
You don’t need them. If I’m on the beach and there’s a lot of reflection, or if it’s in the middle of the day, occasionally, I wear sunglasses. However, I think people are hyper-paranoid about different problems with their eyes based on sunlight. I don’t think that it’s warranted, unless there’s certain scenarios where there’s going to be a lot of strong sunlight.
We’re talking about in the morning, right? You want to get that sunlight in the morning to signal to the body, “Hey, I’m awake. Let’s start making melatonin.” Then at night, in the evening hours, it’s also a good time to let sunlight into your eyes.
Also, one of the things that I did, and this is in my book as well, is I took pictures of my house. I got red light, rope light, which I put into my stairway and then I got lamps that I put around the house with red lights. Then I bought these remote control light sockets. You have this little control panel and you can control the lights.
Literally, by the time I get to my bed, I have one of those control panels velcroed next to my nightstand. I shut everything off and if I wake up in the middle of the night to go to the bathroom, it’s red light. You don’t want that white light, which has a lot of blue and green in it, to signal your body, “Oh, it’s morning” and wake up.
The other thing that I think is important is to wear blue blocking sunglasses when you watch TV or look at your computer at night. Not during the day, though, because you want the blue. The blue and the green light is a signal to say it’s day time and to produce melatonin. Nighttime is to release melatonin.
Just because you make a hormone doesn’t mean you use it. We produce melatonin in the morning, in response to red light, but we don’t officially release it and use it until it’s nighttime. The signal is to store it; then the darkness is to release it.
The melatonin gets stored in the pineal. If we have cancer patients or if we have severe neurological cases or even autoimmune, we’re working a lot with mold and lime cases with these high doses of melatonin, and we’ll even dose people during the day and only about 20% of the population will get groggy. Most people can tolerate even these really high doses of melatonin during the day as long as there’s light.
PRODUCTION OF MELATONIN
Melatonin is actually produced in every single cell in your body. Each mitochondrion uses melatonin to buffer stress. We’re talking about all the way down to the most important part of your cells where you make energy, where energy happens. This is where oxygen and glucose is converted into something called ATP that fuels everything that happens in your body.
What happens is when we have stress, we have cytokines. There are a variety of different cytokines, which are inflammatory compounds, and those inflammatory compounds need to be buffered. What happens is they have an effect on our cells, such that cytokines convert our energy production from a very efficient Kreb’s cycle. Normally, when we make energy, efficiently, we’re making about 38 ATPs from one glucose molecule.
When we have cytokine stress, there is a shift in the way we make energy and they call it the Warburg Effect. Have you ever heard of Otto Warburg? He won the Nobel Prize in the ’40s for discovering that oxygen and cancer can’t coexist. Hitler did not let him pick up the Nobel Prize, unfortunately. It’s back then. He had some early profound discoveries on cancer, which honestly, even today, they’re not embraced because of Big Pharma patentability. I mean, oxygen is not something that you can patent, right?
The Warburg Effect basically says that a cell under so much stress turns into fermentation, which is a primitive form of energy production. What people don’t realize is that whole process basically yields about a tenth of the amount of energy that you would otherwise get. If we’re talking about immune cells that are requiring this energy to fight infections and then all of a sudden they have a tenth of the amount of energy, you can just imagine how an infection could overwhelm them, whether it’s Epstein-Barr, CMV, AHHV6, Lyme Disease.
That’s why Lyme is so destructive to your mitochondria because of the cytokines. Chronic inflammatory response syndrome is what I like to term the whole family of biotoxin illness. It’s more of a situation where people are toxic from the biotoxins and the cytokines are having a negative effect to their mitochondria and then they can’t do what they need to do.
When pyruvate comes down, there’s a whole separate cycle where melatonin is produced, primarily, when there’s too much oxidation. There’s a mechanism in there that detects when there’s a higher level of oxidation and melatonin comes in and quenches that. When that system is overwhelmed, the melatonin can’t do enough because it’s too much stress. We then we shift to this aerobic glycolysis, which is not the fermentation.
What happens is if you give supplemental melatonin, they’ve actually discovered that not only do you calm down all of this inflammation but it actually gets the mitochondria to start making melatonin again. It’s really amazing.
MELATONIN AND GLUTATHIONE
First of all, I think glutathione is very helpful for a lot of different reasons. It’s good for viral immunity. It’s good for detoxification. It’s also one of the sleep-promoting substances. For people to fall asleep, there’s two main sleep promoting substances – neuridine and the reduced form of glutathione. SandMan has been formulated to help with sleep. There’s actually CBD in there. There’s something called magnolia, bark extract, which is really good for sleep, and there’s also linalool, which is the active terpene from lavender. It’s been scienced out to really help.
MELATONIN AND SLEEP
There are no prescription medicines that will give you true sleep. Imagine if you had two people, one person fell, hit their head, and they’re laying on the ground passed out, right? Then you have someone else that has gone into a nice beautiful sleep and you put them next to each other in a bed, they’re going to look pretty much the same, right? When they wake up, they’re going to feel quite different.
These prescription drugs knock you out, but what you have to understand is that sleep is like a symphony. You’re going in and out of REM and deep sleep, and there is all this pulsing. It’s this beautiful song that’s being played throughout the evening, and you’re just suppressing all of that.
The world has got a lot of mitochondrial dysfunction and that’s leading to insomnia, which is leading to immune-compromised people. Millions of people across the country and the world, in general, as seen over the last year are immune compromised. It is leading to all these diagnoses, yet what we’re trying to do is treat these diagnoses with medications that are destroying the mitochondria even more, suppressing melatonin, glutathione and contributing to more possibilities for infection and toxicity.
We weren’t built to be resilient to as much stress as we’re being exposed to. We have a familiar zone, right? We’ve got this familiar zone and people want to stay in that familiar zone. When you go just outside of that familiar zone, you go into this realm. As long as you don’t venture too far out, you go into this realm that actually stimulates signaling pathways in your body to make you stronger.
What I see is melatonin expanding that rim around the familiar zone, so that you can venture out and you can give your body more exercise stress, you can give yourself more mental/emotional stress. You can do more chemical and toxic stress, infection stress, all of those things, your body can handle more with proper melatonin.
You can move into more hermetic stressors. To be clear, that means a little bit of stress. This isn’t like chronic stress but a little bit of stress, like an ice bath or a fast. So, melatonin is going to assist you in adapting to that stressor. It’s going to also allow you to take on more of that cold, so it’s going to increase that ceiling.
MELATONIN AND FASTING
Today, we promote melatonin for the post-fast component, but you could take it all the way through. I think one of the most amazing things that any human being can do, especially if they’re over 40, is do a full three months of daily melatonin and just watch what happens.
The majority of the world is poisoning themselves every single day when they eat, so if we can’t change the food industry, if we can’t change people’s food habits, why don’t we get them fasting so they can at least click in and repair a little bit?
What fasting does as well is repair the mitochondria.
Basically, what I was looking at is being able to provide the stronger signaling for fasting. Fasting is a stressor, so it’s like a hermetic stress. Things that we can do that can expand that out of the familiar zone and allow us to dip into that stress zone and have a more powerful healing reaction to that.
One of the things I thought of, was charging the mitochondria before the fast with NAD. The benefit to NAD was very obvious early on. We talked about sleep, and poor sleep is one of the biggest drainers of NAD.
NAD is a rate-limiting substance that the mitochondria needs to make energy. We become depleted of this NAD from stress and the two biggest ones are toxins and poor sleep. Among the toxins are drugs and alcohol.
The other thing nobody is talking about with NAD is senescent cells. First of all, let’s talk about a senescent cell – why do you want to know about it, the harm it can do to your body, etc. In your body, you have cells that have not been cleared out and recycled. Especially as we get older, if we’re in disease states, these accumulate and these are like old cars that need to be cleared off the road. They’re spewing pollution, they’re hogging too much gas, and they’re not doing any work.
These are called senescent cells and they’re incredibly inflammatory. We all have to deal with these. Things that we do to clear out senescent cells is primarily fasting, because that causes autophagy, which clears out senescent cells in your body.
Fasting is a signaling, but there are also plant extracts that are considered senolytics and the most powerful of these senolytics is Fisetin. You can get this from strawberries, but you have to eat a truckload to get the amount. Curcumin is also a powerful senolytic. A lot of these really colorful plant extracts are very good to take while you’re fasting, because they give you an extra push for autophagy and clears out senescent cells.
The reason I’m bringing this up with the conversation about NAD, is that NAD supports senescent cells just as much as it supports your other cells. You don’t want to take NAD every day, especially when you’re fasting.
What we recommend people do is they pulse the NAD. You don’t want to take NAD every day. You just take it a few times a week. Our Mito Fast, we have people take, depending on what type of fast they want to do, if they want to do a two day or a three day or a longer, it’s three phases.
In the first phase, we load them with NAD. The second phase is the actual fast. We have them fast during phase two. Lucitol has fisetin, general stilbene, green tea extract, ginkgo, and lutein. It is a product that comes in a suppository and it also in a liposomal for those that would prefer an oral delivery system. That’s done while you’re fasting.
Lucitol will help you get a greater effect from a shorter fast. For people that don’t want to do a five day fast, you’re likely to be able to get into autophagy much quicker, stronger and deeper.
The other thing that’s important for people to understand is that, just as important as the fast is, the post-fast is also important – the repeating.
I think so many people miss out on that part because the body is just primed to do a few things. One is you’ve broken down a lot of different cells and cellular components, now it’s time to rebuild them.The biggest trigger to that rebuilding is a gene called mTOR, so you want to activate mTOR and the biggest activator of it is amino acids and proteins.
We recommend people use PerfectAmino. I designed a product called StemTOR. The primary amino acid that really activates mTOR is Leucine. but deer antler velvet is a good activator as well as Rhodiola. We have all of that wrapped up into StemTOR, which you take in phase three. We recommend that you increase your dietary proteins and also take something like essential amino acid.
WHAT HAPPENS AFTER FAST?
After the fast, we have to think about a few other things. This is where things might get a little complicated. I want people to understand that they can leave it at that. That is the basic fast. There’s another level. The other level is the microbiome. The microbiome is stressed when you deprive it of nutrients. It’s going to be survival of the fittest. You’re going to get rid of a lot of the bad guys. The healthier bacteria are going to be left.
There’s something called microbiome swarming. Well, your gut produces 400 times more melatonin than your brain. Your microbiome is on the same schedule as you are. There’s a sleep/wake cycle. They respond to the circadian rhythm at the same time, in the same way, that you do. While you’re sleeping, your microbiome goes into a swarming effect and it is basically rate-limiting based on melatonin.
The gut is going through their repair phase and their rebuilding phase when we sleep. What we like to do in the phase three as an added upgrade is we’ll like to have people do the SandMan or a high dose melatonin.
There are basically three optional upgrades on the phase three. Imagine after you’ve done your fast, you’re also going to release a bunch of stem cells. We do stem cells here. We had a case just yesterday, we pulled bone marrow and we’re doing this guy’s rotator cuff ,hip and spine.
It’s fabulous technology, really. It’s like these amazing things that we can do now to help people and without surgery. We know that if I inject stem cells from somebody’s bone marrow into their knee, the difference between someone that might get great results and people that might get mediocre results are the amount of stem cells that will go senescent.
Now people know what senescent cells are, right? The big conversation that all of the scientists that do stem cells have is they want to limit senescence with the stem cells. When they put stem cells, whether intravenously or into a joint or epidural or wherever you’re putting the stem cells, there’s going to be a certain population that are going to survive, proliferate, and do what you want to do to heal the body.
We want to limit the senescence of the stem cells and what I’ve found as I did some hard research is CoQ10, obtained from brown algae called Fucidin, are extremely powerful survival substances for stem cells and they limit stem cell senescence. This is in a product called StemZen.
We also will have people, if they do any type of regenerative medicine, PRP or Prolotherapy, or if they’re doing anything where they’re trying to repair something, this StemZen can be a really interesting hack for them to do for a period of time.
You also do this right away. When you start re-feeding, you’re releasing these stem cells. Support them, keep them, think about it as stem cell survival. It’s all about the terrain. If I inject stem cells into a knee, if the inside of that knee is more vital and robust, more of those stem cells are going to work.
If I have somebody that’s depleted and they’ve got deficiencies, then less of the stem cells are going to be able to survive. More of them are going to go senescent. By providing them with adequate CoQ10 and fucidin, it’s been shown to really help with the survival.
CONTRIBUTORS TO SENESCENCE
A 50-year-old today has more senescent cells than a 50-year-old 25 years ago. Think about all the toxins being dumped into the ocean for a minute. It is reported that we’re going to have zero fish in our oceans by 2042. We’re just dumping so many toxins into our environment and those are finding their way up to the top of the food chain, which is us.
We’re the ones that are accumulating these toxins, which can contribute to senescence. I’ve been in healthcare for 25 years and I just walk around in a bizarre awe of what’s going on in the human body right now. 2020 definitely gave me a whole other sense of something’s not right with the human body, because everything that I know about how the human body is supposed to repair, tells me that it can handle new viruses, tells me that it’s not supposed to start aging or even, let’s use, menopause. It’s not meant to go into menopause at 35 years old. The only thing I can think of is that the human body is not thriving in this modern world.
Let’s just look at aluminum, for instance. Aluminum causes the immune system to be quite stifled and, in fact, it activates retroviruses. The reality is that there’s a lot of aluminum being found in our environment and in our foods. We cook in aluminum cans. That has a detrimental effect. We’re just talking about one toxin. We can talk about mercury. We can talk about plastics. They all have one common theme – they don’t allow us to thrive.
If you have Lyme disease and you are going to a doctor that is putting themselves out there as Lyme literate, they’re the expert or whatever, and they are using antibiotics on you, you need to find another doctor. They will not work. You will feel better temporarily but it will come back. It’s because they’re obliterating your microbiome.
Now I’m not saying we don’t use antibiotics in my clinic, but we make pulse and IV antibiotic maybe once a week. But I know early on, I used a lot of antibiotics and I’d feel better, just these little glimmers. People really need to start paying attention to how important our microbiome is. Its everything. Even one round of antibiotics can obliterate your microbiome and it takes two years to recover.
EXPERIENCE WITH BIOHACKING
Imagine standing on nails while doing yoga. They’re like these plates with all these nails on it, which is activating all the different spots in the feet. My friend, Anthony DiClementi, was telling me this story while we were at the beach and I look over and there’s these really sharp rocks. I’m like, “Anthony, let’s go up there and let’s do it.” We’re standing on these really sharp rocks and we’re doing these different stretching techniques and it felt so good.
I can’t wait. He’s going to design this Russian technique. He’s going to be bringing some of this technology to the US. That was kind of the newest, strangest thing I’ve done. This was on lava rocks on the beach.
SETTING THE DAY UPRIGHT?
Joe Dispenza meditations! I’ll wake up at 4 A.M. and sometimes I’ll even meditate for two hours. I do that and then I’ve got Japanese hot and cold plunge so I do the hot and the cold. Then I get in front of my red lights and I’ve got a bio charger that sometimes I’ll sit in front of and do a little bit more meditation.