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Supplemental Melatonin Lowers Blood Pressure

November 2004

LE Magazine November 2004
Supplemental Melatonin Lowers Blood Pressure

If you have a heart attack, it is more likely to occur in winter, at the beginning of the week, and in the early morning.1,2 A deposit of arterial plaque is likely to break off, travel to your right coronary artery, and block blood flow.3,4 If you are under the age of 65 and this is your first heart attack, you have an 85% chance of dying from it. There is a 50-50 chance that you had no previous symptoms of heart disease.

One indication that you are headed for a heart attack is high blood pressure. Many people ignore this condition when it is diagnosed, writing it off to high salt intake or stress. But high blood pressure has little to do with salt or stress.

Heart attacks most often occur when blood flow is most constricted—about 6 a.m.5 This is also when levels of the sleep hormone melatonin drop precipitously and those of the stress hormone cortisol increase. Melatonin interacts with blood vessels through receptor sites on the coronary arteries.6 Researchers recently discovered that if men take melatonin before bedtime, their blood pressure may decrease as much as if they were taking a antihypertensive drug.7 The participants in the study took 2.5 mg of melatonin for three weeks. Melatonin also increased their quality and quantity of sleep.

Other beneficial effects of melatonin that were not measured in the study include enhanced memory, increased growth hormone levels, and decreased cortisol levels.

—Terri Mitchell


1. Buff DD, Fleisher JM, Roca JA, Jaffri M, Wyrwinski PM. Circadian distribution of in-hospital cardiopulmonary arrests on the general medical ward. Arch Intern Med. 1992 Jun;152(6):1282-8.

2. Sayer JW, Wilkinson P, Ranjadayalan K, Ray S, Marchant B, Timmis AD. Attenuation or absence of circadian and seasonal rhythms of acute myocardial infarction. Heart. 1997 Apr;77(4):325-9.

3. Tanaka A, Kawarabayashi T, Fukuda D, et al. Circadian variation of plaque rupture in acute myocardial infarction. Am J Cardiol. 2004 Jan 1;93(1):1-5.

4. Moruzzi P, Marenzi G, Callegari S, Contini M. Circadian distribution of acute myocardial infarction by anatomic location and coronary artery involvement. Am J Med. 2004 Jan 1;116(1):24-7.

5. Otto ME, Svatikova A, Barretto RB, et al. Early morning attenuation of endothelial function in healthy humans. Circulation. 2004 Jun 1;109(21):2507-10. Epub 2004 May 10.

6. Ekmekcioglu C, Haslmayer P, Philipp C, et al. 24h variation in the expression of the mt1 melatonin receptor subtype in coronary arteries derived from patients with coronary heart disease. Chronobiol Int 2001 Nov;18(6):973-85.

7. Scheer FAJL, Van Montfrans GA, van Someren EJW, Mairuhu G, Buijs RM. Daily nighttime melatonin reduces blood pressure in male patients with essential hypertension. Hypertension. 2004 Feb;43(2):192-7. Epub 2004 Jan 19.

Fish Oil Helps Relieve Lupus Symptoms

A recent study found that fish oil rich in omega-3 fatty acids is helpful in relieving the symptoms of lupus.*

Lupus is a chronic inflammatory disorder that can manifest with symptoms such as fatigue, joint pain, fever, skin eruptions, neurological changes, and kidney problems.

Fish oil rich in the omega-3 fatty acids EPA and DHA is known for its anti-inflammatory activity and beneficial effects in treating rheumatoid arthritis and other inflammatory conditions. Copper is an essential trace element that plays a role in collagen synthesis. Both fish oil and copper have demonstrated therapeutic effects in rat studies of lupus.

In this double-blind, placebo-controlled trial, 52 individuals with lupus were assigned to four treatment groups. One group received 3 grams of fish oil and 3 mg of copper, one group received 3 grams of fish oil only, one group received 3 mg of copper only, and the final group received placebo only. Disease activity was measured using the Systemic Lupus Activity Measure (SLAM-R) and blood samples, with measurements taken at baseline, 6, 12, and 24 weeks.

At the end of the trial, a significant decline in SLAM-R scores was seen in patients taking the fish oil. No significant effect on SLAM-R scores was observed in the patients supplementing with copper. The study concluded that dietary supplementation with fish oil may be beneficial in managing the symptoms of lupus. Copper supplements, however, do not appear to offer symptomatic relief for individuals with lupus.


* Duffy EM, Meenagh GK, McMillan SA, Strain JJ, Hannigan BM, Bell AL. The clinical effect of dietary supplementation with omega-3 fish oils and/or copper in systemic lupus erythematosus. J Rheumatol. 2004. Aug;31(8):1551-6.

Health Freedom Celebration Honors Life Extension

Life Extension Foundation founder William Faloon was among the honorees at the Celebration of Freedom, a two-day gathering held September 3-4 in Big Sky, MT. Organized by the Washing-ton, DC-based law firm of Emord & Associates, PC, the event honors those who fight for the cause of health freedom in America.

From left to right: Julian M. Whitaker, MD; Kyl L. Smith, DC; Richard A. Passwater, PhD; Robert I-San Lin, PhD, CNS, FACN; Michael John Glade, PhD, CNS, FACN; Joel D. Wallach, ND, DVM; Luke Bucci, PhD, CCN; Durk Pearson and Sandy Shaw; Roy Upton; Hon. Berkley Bedell; and Charles B. Simone, MD, MMS.

Throughout the weekend, awards were bestowed on researchers, journalists, politicians, and physicians who fight for the right to inform the public about the benefits of nutrients and dietary supplements. One such honor, the Guardian of the Constitution Award, was given to the Life Extension Foundation in recognition of its efforts to further the cause of health freedom. Other award winners included legendary First Amendment warriors Durk Pearson, Sandy Shaw, and Dr. Julian M. Whitaker. Another honor, the James Lind Scientific Achievement Award, recognized such stellar scientists and researchers as Bruce N. Ames, PhD, Denham Harmon, MD, PhD, and Life Extension’s William Faloon.

According to program organizer Jonathan W. Emord, the event was a success. “We designed it to be inspiring, uplifting, and moving,” he said. “But I didn’t expect it to overwhelm people like it did. During some of the speeches, people were crying.”
Ultimately, Emord and his colleagues believe that government-created obstacles that attempt to separate health care consumers from honest health care information are doomed to failure. “While the government may succeed in individual cases, these policies are destined for the trash heap of history,” he said. “I think we’re in a state of unlimited progress, because I’m an optimist and because we’re committed to fighting for this indefinitely.”

—Jon VanZile

To Honor Scientists and Researchers Whose Brilliant Discoveries
Have Paved the Way to Greater Health and Longevity
  • Bruce N. Ames, PhD
  • The Hon. Berkley W. Bedell
  • James M. Blum, PhD
  • John A. Borneman III, RPh
  • Luke Bucci, PhD, CCN
  • William E. Connor, MD
  • Mary G. Enig, PhD, FACN
  • William Faloon
  • Michael John Glade, PhD, NS, FACN
  • Denham Harman, MD, PhD
  • Robert I-San Lin, PhD, CNS, FACN
  • Ralph W. Moss, PhD
  • Durk Pearson
  • Gerhard N. Schrauzer, PhD
  • Sandy Shaw
  • Charles B. Simone, MD, MMS
  • Kyl L. Smith, DC
  • Roy Upton
  • Joel D. Wallach, ND, DVM
  • Phil D. Whanger, PhD