Did you know that Melatonin doesn’t just affect sleep?
In this mind-blowing episode, Dr. LaRosa calls Melatonin the Great Modulator, which is a great name for a great molecule.
We discuss how melatonin can modulate neuroinflammation, GI inflammation, and even affect immunity in the context of COVID.
Disclaimer: The information in this Podcast is for educational purposes only. Vaishnavi Sarathy, Ph.D. is an educator, not a doctor, specifically not your child’s doctor. Please consult your physician before implementing any supplement or diet recommendations.
Hi, friend. Welcome to functional nutrition and learning for kids. I’m your host Vaish and I’m here to help you find the right balance of nutrition and education, and strategies to help your child thrive. We are in a time of extreme unprecedented stress, and it is natural that sleep might be disrupted at times like this. If you have a child with autism, it’s likely that you have tried melatonin for sleep. In today’s episode, Dr. Valerie LaRosa leads us through many other benefits of melatonin, and the amazing connectivity in our bodies. Take lots of notes today and take them to your doctor or practitioner to see if this is a supplement that may work for you and what the doses might be. Please make sure to stay until the end of the podcast even though this one is slightly longer than usual because, at the end, we have a super interesting discussion about COVID melatonin connectivity.
I am super happy to have Dr. Valerie LaRosa again on our podcast and this is her second appearance on this podcast, please check out episode 13 for an excellent discussion on the microbiome. Dr. LaRosa is a licensed naturopathic physician in the state of Oregon, with bachelor’s and master’s degrees in psychology, and a background in behavioral therapies for children with developmental delays. She has over 20 years of experience working closely with families, schools, and other professionals advocating for the best possible care for children. Her practice focuses on pediatric behavioral and developmental conditions, such as autism Down Syndrome pan’s pandas, ADHD, and sensory processing disorder.
She’s a mother of two. And of course, she’s also a physician. So she understands that Each child is unique in their genetics, biochemistry and their temperament, regardless of diagnostic labels. I’m super excited today because Dr. Laros has been talking about some excellent research concerning melatonin, and in ways that we haven’t at least, I haven’t ever heard of or explored before. So Valerie, could you start off by? Actually, before we jumped into melatonin? Maybe Could you start off by distinguishing between melatonin naturally secreted by and present in our bodies and as used as a supplement, and how the research pertains to both of them?
Sure. Thank you guys for inviting me back. It’s so good to talk with you again. So what we’re going to be talking about today is I guess the fancy scientific terms here are endogenous and exogenous just to throw in some fun words. And dodginess means within the body what we make on our own an exogenous melatonin would be the stuff you get at the pharmacy or the grocery store. So outside of the body and taking it as a supplement. Now, I’m going to be talking about research into our own melatonin or body’s own melatonin and also, some limited studies looking at when people are taking it as a supplement. And I will try throughout this to really clarify that because well, maybe I can talk about how I got interested in really delving into this research. Yeah. I mean, I work with
I have met who’s, who’s talked about issues, but not issues about areas at melatonin effects that I had no idea about because I heard you talk about villi. And I heard you talk about immunity information as like, wow, I just give it for sleep. Right?
Yeah. Well, I mean, I’ve worked with, well, kids with all kinds of diagnoses and symptoms for many, many years, but I have really worked with a lot of kids with autism and lots of sleep issues. One of my two children also had a lot of sleep issues that we dealt with early on. And so I’ve always been really fascinated about it that way and understood it as many parents and practitioners do as something to help really just to help fall help a person initiate sleep, right.
A lot of parents struggle with night wakings and say, Oh, I give melatonin my child is sleepy within 10 minutes. And sure enough, they’re up 10 times a night, you know, hours later. So we think of it as just initiating sleep. But in by medical treatment for autism, I had seen some limited studies saying oh, it’s also an antioxidant. And so some early research there was with children with autism and looking at this antioxidant property and then I thought, Okay, well this makes sense because our body makes melatonin so typically our bodies are very wise and multitasking and you know, unlike maybe other medication or I would say more. So pharmaceutical medication where you think, Oh, this is just to decrease this one reaction in the body or this is just to increase the production of one thing in the body. And then of course, that never ends up being true, right? So, so that kind of came about, and then in working more with kids with pan’s pandas, and, I mean, there’s, there could be so much more research into this. And that’s a whole other issue.
A lot of the physicians, functional medicine doctors that look or that are looking into research have also this is I’ve learned, okay, melatonin is also great for Neuroinflammation. So it, obviously it acts on the brain because it makes us sleepy and our pineal gland and the brain create it. So we know it gets through that blood-brain barrier. And then I thought, well, this is really interesting, it has these antioxidant effects. And now you’re talking about the immune system and an anti-inflammatory effect that even you know has an impact on the brain. And obviously, I’ve so many patients that struggle, not just with the initiation of sleep, but all kinds of sleep disruptions, neuroinflammation, you know, high levels of oxidation, I’m going to dive into this and see what else I can find out.
I want to say there’s so much promise, and in what melatonin does in our bodies that has been examined, but to my mind, it’s we you know, obviously, there’s always more research needed in terms of, okay, we know that when our immune system when our gut when our brain when everything is, is functioning optimally, we create melatonin and every cell in our body. Also, I mentioned this, it’s made in the mitochondria, right? That energy, the energy center of every cell in our body, and some of the work say, you know, more of it is made in the mitochondria than in the pineal gland for sleep.
I was going to ask a question about that. But so is the Pineal Gland signaling for melatonin to be made? Or is it actually making the melatonin?
It’s made in the pineal gland. But yeah, even those relationships, I was trying to really carve them out. And we’re still just understanding it, because I remember reading, you know, kind of having that mind blown moment of oh, there’s, there’s more in the mitochondria or, you know, you see this in different places where it says there’s every cell of the body is four to 500 times more that’s made in immune cells in the GI tract. Wow. But then, you know, thinking okay, then there is in the pineal gland and the pineal gland that’s really that, that sleep initiation that we think of in response to light. But then I read something that yeah, so if it’s in the mitochondria, that means it’s in every cell as well, in the body, but oh, man, I’m gonna lose my train of thought, because
there’s so many I don’t know, this is losing my train of thought, too, because I just,
I was gonna respond to what you’re saying, like, yeah, how is it just is the melatonin in our brain and our pineal gland kind of regulating it in the rest of the body? I did see, I have seen things that say, you know, it looks like the pineal melatonin regulates the production of the mitochondrial and vice versa, which to kind of pull back and big picture, I think, in some ways, our traditional understanding of the brain and the nervous system, the endocrine system, is that the brain is kind of controlling everything else.
Where that has really been flipped for me is that gut-brain connection, right? So we always thought, okay, the brain is telling the gut, you know, send out digestive enzymes and squeeze those muscles and move the food through, you know, and it’s like, you know, yeah, maybe.
Yeah, and those, yeah, just to draw some common threads and kind of bring it. So if the mitochondria can influence the production of melatonin, then then we’re looking at oxidative stress actually getting in the way of melatonin production, which then is an antioxidant-rich, I’m like, vicious cycle.
Yes, yes. There’s so much.
I think I know you, I tried to like I didn’t even did not even put this on here. Well, I should have used the cutesy title that I came up with for all this work referred to it as the great modulator right. So it can, it has modulating effects in the body, like increase something when it needs increased or decreased it but it also has modulating effects like, you know, it’s modulating, you know, pineal melatonin modulating mitochondrial and vice versa. Just to throw something else in the mix. That also seems to be the case in the thyroid, where TSH regulates the production of melatonin in the thyroid and melatonin.
The thyroid regulates the production of the thyroid, you know, there’s this back and forth. So it’s all about modulation and balance, which, I mean, in a way I feel like my job for my patients is always to have a greater and greater understanding of what’s the healthiest physiology and biochemistry that we can have? And then how do we get someone there when they’re dealing with symptoms when maybe they’re dealing with you know, genetic issues like methylation defects or you know, any anything like that?
How can we get their body you know, functioning optimally? And so again, this is kind of part of that disclaimer about the difference between our melatonin and supplemental is the more I look at this, you know, with an eye towards helping people with gut-brain immune issues, the more I realize, yes supplement supplemental melatonin can be really great for regulating sleep for decreasing oxidative stress, decreasing inflammation doing a lot of different things.
My long-term goal is always getting your body you know, doing it, you know, making its own everything right in this case, melatonin right? So how do we So looking at this research? I think also there’s, it’s, telling us that there are so many beneficial functions that melatonin serves in our body and our body needs to be making it right it needs to be making it in our gut immune system, because I kind of refer to that as like one thing, right? The gut immune system, the immune cells in the gut, it needs to be making it in the brain, it needs to be making it in the mitochondria, that’s about you know, the research is showing us what, what is normally functioning and then when that research starts to look at specific symptoms or populations of people and they say, you know, oh, look, people with you know, Autism Spectrum Disorders, they seem to have lower melatonin. People with Down syndrome seem to have lower melatonin.
People with irritable, sorry, not irritable, inflammatory bowel disease and irritable bowel syndrome, right. So functional gi conditions, you know, gi pathologies, you know, oh, allergies, right people with allergies, allergic rhinitis, allergic eczema, lower levels of melatonin. So that’s also someplace we’re at with the research, which is just figuring out Well, now, this is interesting people that have some specific symptoms, whether it’s GI or immune, they seem to have lower levels of their own endogenous melatonin. Right?
So, that kind of may also help some of these conditions. Yes, yes. But I feel like I just want to run and start supplementing everyone with melatonin.
Thank you. Yeah, that’s exactly how I was feeling this is kind of Yeah. I always refer to it as like the, well, let’s put it in the water phenomenon. Like, I know, who wouldn’t benefit from this. I mean, I haven’t even begun to list some of the other areas, liver toxicity, gallbladder. And again, you know, you and I are focused a lot in our work on children with neurodevelopmental conditions and subsequent, like, immune and GI issues. But you know, and that’s, that’s my main focus. But this really expands out to a lot of different areas. So then, yeah, you think this is amazing, we should put it in the water? Well, it’s like, well, it’s in our bodies, right. So so then I have to remember.
I said, my approach right now is like, yes, in the short term, you know, using it, whether that’s to initiate sleep, or seeing if it can bring down some symptoms, whether that’s, you know, behavioral symptoms of neuroinflammation, symptoms of allergy or high histamine, you know, and that’s kind of an often with, with my patients or my children, that I’m giving this to, you kind of it’s an at least a two for one benefit, because chances are a lot of folks that are having GI and immune disruption aren’t sleeping great either. So, so supplementing, to try to get sleep back on track, supplementing to try and bring down, you know, some of these harmful processes, whether it’s, you know, allergic inflammation, highest mean neuroinflammation, whatever. And just, I mean, I think I’m at the stage with a lot of my patients where it’s like, let’s, let’s see if that’s this helps bring about some changes. But in the long term.
You know, if we think about where melatonin is made in mitochondria, gut, immune system brain, my ultimate goal really is the supplementing should be more on a short term basis. And on a short term, when functional medicine would probably even be more like on the level of like, a year or two, you know, but then let’s address and this is kind of where I’ve tried to look in the research. How do we get this person’s body to make optimal levels of melatonin on their own right? How do we get that physiology? Back and balance or imbalance for the first time.
And I’m sure that varies from person to person, but the work that we’re doing to bring down inflammation and to address microbiome even without thinking about melatonin, do you think that is the primary work, even if we are thinking about increasing body production of melatonin? Is that what we’re looking at reducing inflammation in the body reducing, you know, increasing gut health?
So I think that goes back to that idea of like, well, great, let’s just pump everybody full of more melatonin because we’re, we’re dealing with conditions that are really challenging. But yeah, I think I think regulating the microbiome, which we talked about last time, and I talked about that a little bit in relation to melatonin because I thought there’s got to be a relationship there, you know, that plays such a role in gut-brain immune health, getting rid of, you know, because yeah, some of the work is like eliminating obstacles, like, you know, gi pathogens, or, you know, respiratory pathogens that are, that are in the way, if there’s like fungal sinus infections, or, you know, you got to clear out those obstacles, and then just support, you know, supporting normal gut function, as you said, mitochondrial function, all of that.
I think there are so many layers to that work. And I kind of see the supplemental the supplementing this as the short term life raft, while you’re, you know, to see if that brings down some symptoms, and I love that you said, you know, this is going to vary from person to person, because that is absolutely so true.
This is where diagnostic labels, they’re not the end of the story, at least in the way I practice. Because I have plenty of kids that have the same diagnostic labels, they might even have the same symptoms, like if you take something a symptom like constipation, you know, which I see in a lot of children, you know, for one child, you know, with, say constipation and autism or something, you know, a supplement a substance, like, for example, melatonin might be really helpful. And for another child, it’s disastrous. So there’s always that detective work of labs and history and, and sometimes, you know, just, you know, short treatment trials, I feel like, a lot of this is really kind of practicing on the edge of where the research is, because we’re not going to wait, oh, let’s wait another 50 years till they figure all this stuff out about melatonin. You know, I’m always looking to use treatments that we know enough, we have enough research to know it’s safe.
I think it might be effective, then, you know, maybe you do it for a month, a week, as long as it takes you to figure out this is really helping my child sleep. Let’s do this. And then occasionally, I have a patient where they’re, you know, the parent gives them a tiny bit of, you know, maybe a milligram of melatonin half hour before they want them to go to bed and they’re bouncing off the walls for the next three hours. So you get those very individualized reactions.
I’ve seen that in my son with higher doses of melatonin. He’s actually one of the long-term. Yeah, he says, and he’s, I think he’s 13 now and since he was four, he been completely dependent on melatonin. So I’ve not been able to wean off and this makes me uncomfortable. And yet it you know, I don’t know if there’s a negative feedback loop where, you know, the more melatonin you supplement with, the less your opinion gland produces? Are you aware of any such?
Yeah, I wanted to look into that, for sure. Because, you know, I feel like most of the parents I talked to are either total, like, converts, and they love melatonin, and the only thing that gets their child to fall asleep, or I have parents who have been wide awake for you know, five years straight, without a good night’s sleep, who say, Oh, but we don’t, we don’t want to try melatonin because can my child get addicted to it? Will this be worse than their sleep? You know, and I don’t
want to talk about that, because there’s so much fear and I feel like, like this is such a, it seems not just benign, but there’s like the benefits are kind of off the charts. And like, and people have less fear towards actual medical, you know, other medications than melatonin and I’m just wondering, Where is that from? And is that justified? And is it dose-dependent?
This has come up with like COVID-19 And there’s some money research into substances like melatonin or vitamin C and you know, we all know of sort of the nutritional medicines and the supplements that quote-unquote, boosts the immune system and there is way too much of
that out there. And people are that means right here of
Yeah, of this virus that’s going around all over the world saying, Well, you know, could I just take all these natural things to boost my immune system? And then of course, yeah, whether it’s, you know, conventional medical world trying to be cautious and not wanting people to be, you know, taken advantage of by people, marketing things, always over the internet, or whether it’s legitimate, you know, let’s suppress some really beneficial information so that everybody you know, who knows? Yeah, there’s so much to that, I just find that again and again with natural substances and some of that caution is legitimate. And some of it seems really overstated.
I found, there are so many questions about what and what you just asked there. But no, it’s great. I found that if I can find the exact quote here, anyway, this really great quote that that was like from a systematic review where they said, Oh, here it is, yeah, research and people of various ages all the way from, you know, neonates, newborns to elders, because they’ve looked at it for neonatal jaundice, they’ve looked at it for Alzheimer’s disease and elders, taking melatonin in different doses, different forms for different lengths of time suggests that the clinical use is not only safe but is associated with a wide variety of better health outcomes.
So if you are a parent, and I know your advisor has been, has been giving their child melatonin for many, many years, and I know I just said a lot of stuff about short-term supplementing, that’s, that’s a goal of mine. But I you know, I have to say, the studies, you know, even the long term studies, they, you know, they look at like two years, maybe, and a lot of them are focused more on, you know, kids with developmental conditions that don’t initiate sleep unless they get melatonin. It’s still looking safe. You know, at those, I don’t know that I didn’t really see any studies going admitting to going past two years. But all, you know, all the long-term studies look really safe. Any concerns, you know, they’re just going to be very individualized.
Right? So I think that’s, that’s something to take into account. What was the other thing you’re saying? Oh, negative feedback loop, right. So I think about this a lot with thyroid hormones, right? So people taking thyroid hormones, if you take too much, then you’re going to have that negative feedback loop to the brain that says, Okay, let’s make less of our body’s own thyroid hormones because you’re supplementing with them. And we don’t see that so far in the research, it doesn’t look like melatonin operates on that feedback.
Hey, okay. Yeah, so the pineal melatonin is really in response to light and dark. Right. So that’s the sleep initiation. So that’s, it’s one of its mean.
So it’s, yeah, that’s the thing that it’s like the research doesn’t indicate that it’s necessarily sensing the blood levels of melatonin, yes.
And when they’ve used it for people with jetlag, right, which is very short-term issue, but also people working night shifts, and try to look at it from a certain circadian rhythm perspective. And then people that have what is it called advanced sleep? Yeah, sleep onset delay, insomnia, so trouble falling asleep. And you know, maybe they don’t, they don’t fall asleep until two or three every night, but they’d rather fall asleep at like 10, or 11, or 12.
Taking that little bit of melatonin earlier in the evening appears to kind of train their own clock to push back and say, Don’t make my melatonin at 3am, you know, start making it earlier. And that clock, our own internal circadian clock can be advanced by as much as three hours. So maybe then you could get it to like midnight or something. And that when they measure those endogenous internal melatonin levels, you know, the supplemental melatonin actually brings out that person’s melatonin a little earlier.
I’ve also used that with, I think, in the opposite direction, right? So every once in a while, you know, see a kid that’s like, exhausted by six 7 pm. But then they’re awake for the day at three or something. And that doesn’t work for the family, obviously. So we’re trying to push it back. So well, that they actually appear, yeah, it actually appears it has an effect on our own melatonin, but that effect is to kind of retrain it at a different time. And then the other thing I saw, which sounded so exciting, was that there’s some lipid storage, so storage within fats in the body fatty acids, and that’s of our own melatonin, and that supplemental melatonin and in lower doses, and typically that they’re looking at under three milligrams, studies even call under six milligrams, low doses, that it actually increases the storage of our own melatonin. So that’s pretty amazing. And yeah, I mean, if if, you know, yeah, if you’re looking for this idea that it’s going to be short term, sometimes it isn’t. And I really appreciate you telling your story with your son because
we don’t know I know that he has mitochondrial dysfunction. I know that I know that there’s like a bunch of stuff going on. He has multiple biochemical issues going on. So from everything that you said the fact that there’s so much of like melatonin, you call it the great modulators, I can see that. And you said the modulation goes both ways. Right? So it’s it’s, it makes sense that he might be dependent long term and melatonin. Actually, I wanted to as we kind of near the end of our podcast, I wanted to see if you can give us some information on melatonin and immunity, especially in the times of COVID.
Yeah, so we had kind of talked about immunity, we’ve touched on it in a few places. We had touched on it in the brain, right neuroinflammation. So the microglia are kind of one of these, you know, immune cells in the brain, we know it has receptors, it has impacts in the brain immune system, if we can call it that, right? To bring down inflammation in the guts. Melatonin is made in the intro chromaffin, or EC cells, which is part of the gut immune system. And then I had touched on, you know, there are some studies with allergy, they’re looking at autoimmunity, the number of actions that melatonin has in the, in the immune system, which is such a broad category, all throughout the blood and body and different organ systems.
The number of actions it has is, is kind of endless, but maybe, you know, you’re mentioning COVID here, so when we’re talking about pathogens, right, so disease-causing organisms, a virus or bacteria that we know is disease-causing influenza viruses, Coronaviruses, right? These are not, you know, part of our normal flora, we consider these, you know, pathogenic organisms, and we think about our immune system in terms of one of its big functions is to deal with those pathogens. Melatonin clearly has an impact on pathogens, and maybe I’ll you know, there are too many ways to approach that question. But I’ll just talk about one that I think is really amazing. And, and that’s that. I’ll speak to viruses specifically, although, as I said, it affects other pathogens as well. Viruses are incredibly tricky for us as humans, they can mutate.
If you look at things like the flu vaccine, right, they have to recreate every year, and there are so many different strains of flu and which ones are going to be predominant. And you have to guess at what to put in a vaccine for a virus-like that that’s present differently. Year to year, right. Viruses tend to be a little, it just makes sense that they’re trickier to fight off than say, bacteria, because we have all these different antibiotics, which, up until recently, maybe we’ve thought are very successful. But now we’re concerned about things like resisting, you know, antibiotic resistance or damaging the microbiome. But if you look at our track record in medicine, of trying to get bacteria, we have a lot more antibiotics than we have antivirals, right pharmaceutically. And that’s because viruses are, you know, they just evade our immune systems more easily.
In terms of melatonin in the immune system, what we find is that it’s, it’s actually pro-inflammatory towards pathogens, right. And this is that that amazing modulating effect, which I see that with herbs, I see that with, you know, with hormone-like melatonin where the body is, it’s, I don’t want to say it’s smarter than, you know, our own his lab, but it’s, it’s more subtle than that. And it can do this modulation where, you know, melatonin in the presence of a pathogen like say, influenza, right? Can be pro-inflammatory and go after that flu virus, but then it can be anti-inflammatory if if our body’s making too much inflammation, for example, in the gut in the brain, right? So it can be pro or anti-inflammatory. And so it’s gotten a little bit of backlash.
This was early on, I think with when earlier in the year with COVID When some people were saying I think it was yeah, no, actually they were talking about it with elderberry. More so people were like, elderberry is good for viruses, it boosts the immune system. And then there was this backlash saying, you know that coronaviruses
I believe this is true to a lesser extent with flu viruses create this cytokine storm, so they make this blast early on of inflammatory of our own inflammatory response against us, you know, and, you know, a lesser example like a flu, which may be many of us have experienced, maybe, you know, body aches and fever and you feel horrible and it’s your own inflammatory cytokines acting, but a cytokine storm with something like so. SARS cov.
Two with COVID Can, is much more severe, right? So people said, You know what, these natural, you know, plant-like elderberry or, or neurohormone, like melatonin, these supplements that boost the immune system, they’re going to boost this inflammatory response, they’re, they’re going to go after it and be pro-inflammatory. And, and that has not panned out to be the case at all because of this more kind of modulating effect, just to speak to what our body does, and not what supplemental melatonin can do for COVID, because that’s it’s way too early to look at it that way. We what a virus-like SARS, cov tune does in the body, when it gets into our cells, one of the first goals that it has is to suppress our melatonin production, and to shut that down because it has all these good immune effects. And again, because viruses, they’re I don’t know, maybe they’re smarter than bacteria, we can call it smarter.
They’re like I said, they’re better at evading immunity. So they’ll shut down, you know, pathways that would help. And if you think about like I said, melatonin has so many, you know, beneficial reactions within the immune system, that that virus knows, what do I need to knock out I need to knock out this, they called the Meliton energy pathway, right? This whole pathway, is where melatonin influences things like glutathione in the body, right? It’s going to that’s part of its antioxidant effect is it’s going to give us more glutathione it’s going to support our lung function, right, and our immune system within the lungs, which obviously something like COVID can really get right to the lungs, you know, for most people, that’s going to be a major source of, of symptoms. So so that’s one of the first things it does is it shuts that down. And then downstream of that it has impacts on our gut immunity as well because melatonin has effects on our short-chain fatty acids on our butyrate. And it’s going to help and have this symbiotic relationship with our gut microbiome. So you know, we might think of COVID-19 as respiratory but now we’re seeing it has other effects in the body. It’s also going to do this, this downstream pathway of knockout melatonin, knockout glutathione production. Now let’s go after the microbiome, basically, any of our good defenses.
I don’t need to be here telling people that COVID-19 bags we know that. But I think I think all of that research into, hey, why why is it focused on our melatonin? And can we look at I mean, it’s all just an argument for having optimal gut immune function. But if we then think about our, you know, people that have lower melatonin already, that concerns me, right, whether that’s someone with Down syndrome, someone with allergic rhinitis, etc. If you’ve already got low levels, and you get exposed to a pathogen like this, that’s gonna knock it out. But that’s not a good situation. So of course, that leads into many people wanting to say, hey, can we study supplemental melatonin? Can we see that that brings up people’s levels? What does that do much less in people that are already being affected by COVID? And, I mean, it is unfortunate that, you know, people focused on that research might be criticized, or you know, even understandably, we don’t want to overstate it, like just take melatonin and you won’t get COVID. Or if you get it, don’t treat it.
We’re not there yet. But there’s just so much promise.
And it’s and it’s something that’s already being taken, and it’s being it’s over the counter. So it might be something to talk about with your practitioner or consider if you’re already doing it.
Yeah. Yeah, I’m definitely, not a fan of yeah, there being not that I’m not a fan, but it doesn’t look like we’re saying it doesn’t really work to give everybody the same thing all the time, either. And maybe, you know, an individual has really good levels of melatonin. And that kind of leads into, you know, I definitely want to explore more of, you know, trying to use lab markers, like it looks like urinary metabolites can give us a good idea of what’s in the body and so forth.
It’s not, really commonly done. So then there are issues of, you know, is your insurance gonna cover that lab, it’s not like measuring people’s ferritin you know, to see if they have anemia, it’s not widely accepted. And a lot of the studies, you know, they’re using labs that aren’t commercially done regularly or very affordable, you know, they’re just looking at people’s melatonin levels, but it’s all a good argument for, you know, good sleep hygiene, you know, good gut microbiome, you know, healthy mitochondrial function, like we were saying, you know, if we can optimize that, that’s going to make a difference.
Thank you for bringing it back to that. And I think that the theme of perhaps, this episode could be connectivity in so many ways.
There are mitochondria, that connect everything else in the body. And then I think it’s also an argument against a pill for an ill-style medicine, which is not by any means, you know, isolated to Western medical practices, right. So any length, like even we can practice that way, sometimes we can get into that hole. I think what you said, it’s so important that you can’t just fix one thing in the body as Melatonin is a great example of how so many body systems are connected and interesting.
One can influence the other. And then we’re still coming back to our basics if the
individual too, right because some people this doesn’t work for them. Their body has enough of it. There’s something else going on to you. Yeah.
This is awesome. I’ve learned a lot. Thank you, Dr. LaRosa. Thanks for coming in. Thank you. Bye. So
it’s great to talk with you.
Okay, how is that? This episode for sure is the winner on mind-blowing information packed into a 35-minute time frame? Did you get the COVID immunity cut melatonin connection at the end? Remember that you can reach Dr. LaRosa at Dr. So that’s DrValerielarosa.com. And you can email me at via functionalnutritionforkids.com. If you have questions or clarifications or even ideas for a new podcast episode by and see you next Friday, this was so much fun. I new host Vaishnavi Sarathy signing off today and today’s music of course was by nine-year-old Maitri by