PINEAL GLAND

PINEAL GLAND

Introduction:

·         It is also known as Conarium, Epiphysis cerebri, pineal organ or pineal body orthird eye.

·         Pineal gland is an endocrine gland found in vertebrates.

·         Its name is derived from its shape which is similar to that of pinecone (Latin pineal).

·         According to famous philosopher Descrates described the “pineal gland as the principal seat of the soul.”

·         The pineal gland is one of the smallest glands in the body.

·         Pineal gland controls sleep and wake pattern. However, due to lots of factors, calcification of pineal gland can occur which hampering the brain function.

                      

Location:

The pineal gland develops from the roof of diencephalon, a section of the brain. It is located behind the third cerebral ventricle in the brain midline.

Structure:

·         In adult humans pineal gland is about 0.8 cm (0.3 inch) long weighs approx 0.1 gm.

·         It is a reddish grey gland.

·         Its size is of about the size of grain of rice in humans.

·         It is present on the dorsal side of forebrain.

Hormone:

·         Pineal gland produce melatonin hormone which regulates the daily and seasonal circadian rhythms, the sleep wake patterns that determine our hormone levels, stress levels and physical performance.

·         Pineal gland releases the hormone melatonin. Both melatonin and its precursor serotonin, which are derived chemically from the alkaloid substance tryptamine which are synthesized in the pineal gland.

·         Pineal gland also produces neuro-steroids along with other brain sites.

·         Dimethyltryptamine (DMT), a hallucinogenic compound present in the Amazonian Botanical drink ayahuosca, is chemically similar to melatonin and serotonin. It is considered to be a trace substance in human blood and urine.

·         DMT has not been consistently detected in human pineal microdidysates and proof of its regulated biosynthesis in the mammalian pineal gland is lacking.

Melatonin:

Melatonin is a hormone secreted by pineal gland of the body which help in regulating the biological rhythms or it direct the internal clock of the body. Melatonin is secreted in different amounts during the night or day. Melatonin secretions peak during the night time and this makes us feel drowsy. It does not necessarily induces sleep and allow a good night’s rest. Melatonin is a supplement to help people who deal with insomnia because melatonin secretion peak during puberty and then continue to drop throughout life. It is always thought that due to the lack of melatonin production so many elderly people report trouble sleeping.

                      

Function of Pineal Gland:

         i.            It affects the modulation of sleep patterns in the circadian rhythm and season function.

       ii.            The primary function of the pineal gland is to secrete melatonin. Secretion of melatonin hormone causes sleepiness and wakefulness or circadian rhythms. It also helps in the regulation of certain endocrine functions. Natural light tends to turn this gland on. When the pineal gland is activated, your brain moves from sleeping to a state of wakefulness. This process is referred to as the awakening of the third eye- a common name for the pineal gland.

      iii.            The gland also helps the body to convert signals from the nervous system to signals in the endocrine system.

     iv.            Pineal gland also helps in the regulation of female hormone levels and it may affects fertility and the menstrual cycle. Reduced amounts of melatonin may also play a role in the development of irregular menstrual cycles.

       v.            Melatonin also helps protect against cardiovascular issues such as atherosclerosis and hypertension.

     vi.            Pineal gland helps in mood stabilization. One study indicate that lower pineal gland volume may increase our risk of developing schizophrenia and other mood disorders.

    vii.            A recent study on rats found evidence that lowering pineal gland function through overexposure to light led to cellular damage and increased risk for colon cancer.

Physiological Function:

Physiologically in conjunction with the hypothalamus gland, the pineal gland controls the sex derive, hunger, thirst and the biological clock which determine the body’s normal ageing process.

Pineal gland calcification:

Pineal gland calcification is a great cause for connection because it seems to happen at a very young age. In this process, the pineal gland accumulates calcium phosphate crystals, becomes hardened and loses much of its functionality.

                 

Ways to activate pineal gland:

There are four ways to activate pineal gland. Activating pineal gland may be helpful for regulating mood, sleep and energy levels. Here are four ways to get started:

 

1)      Get out and into the sun:

Sun exposure kicks starts the pineal gland and stimulates the mind. Any type of light exposure, either directly or indirectly activates the pineal gland, prompting it to produce serotonin, the neurotransmitter responsible for mood and energy levels. So, it’s crucial to amid light after the sun goes down because pineal gland is needed to produce melatonin and supports serotonin. This process can only be accomplished by reducing light from electronics and light bulbs as much as possible.

2)      Sleep in complete darkness:

A dark environment ensures our pineal gland produces enough melatonin to ensure good, restful sleep. The lightening of electronic devices stimulates serotonin production, tricking pineal gland into thinking its daytime, confusing our wake or sleep cycle.

3)      Sun Gazing:

Sun gazing, one of the most controversial exercise, can do to activate the pineal gland as within the first 15 minutes of sunlight the end of day, you gaze into the sun for couple of seconds; but only a couple of seconds.

4)      Meditation:

The pineal gland responds to the bioelectric signals of light and dark and meditation activates this bioelectric energy.

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