Published On: Tue, May 21st, 2013

An Ancient “Third Eye” Revisited.


-by Al Plechner, DVM

The third eye is better known as the Pineal gland or epiphysis cerebri. The Pineal gland was revered by the ancient people as having magical powers. The French philosopher, Descartes, believed that the Pineal gland was the heart of the human brain.

This small endocrine organ is shaped like a pine cone, which relates to its name, Pineal gland or Pineal body. In humans, the gland is approximately one centimeter long. In a dog it is only one millimeter long.

The Pineal gland is located in close proximity to the hypothalamus, and when light or darkness passes through the eye and into the retina, the impulse is sent to the suprachiasmatic nucleus, which resides in the hypothalamus, which is the area of the brain that regulates hormone production. Nerve fibers from the hypothalamus actually join the spinal cord, allowing this retinal impulse to penetrate the superior cervical ganglia. To complete this cycle, the impulse next goes to the post ganglionic neurons, which then transfer the final impulse into the Pineal Gland for further hormone modulation.

The significance of this cycle is that it allows the Pineal gland to receive impulses from the sympathetic nervous system, and in turn, change these various neurological impulses into regulatory signals to other glands which produce hormones. This cycle, with its completion, is vital for proper hormone regulation, and when there is an imbalance in this cycle, the Pineal gland can create many different types of endocrine imbalances.

When Descartes called the Pineal gland the “heart” of the brain, I agree, but with modern day thinking, I wonder if the Pineal gland should be referred to as the “computer chip” of the brain? With these impulses, the Pineal gland produces a hormone called Melatonin.

The release of Melatonin relates to the number of foot candles of light and dark that pass through the retina of the eye. The precursor of Melatonin is Serotonin, which is a neurotransmitter whose precursor is the amino acid, Tryptophan. Any deficiencies in either one of these precursors can cause the Pineal gland to create further endocrine imbalances.

Of interest, is a paper written by George C. Prendergast entitled, Cancer: Why Tumors Eat Tryptophan. This papercan be viewed in, Nature-478-p. 192-194, 13 October 2011.

According to this paper, tumors increase their consumption of the amino acid tryptophan in order to evade immune control.

Their findings indicate that cancer causes an increase in the production of the liver’s tryptophan metabolic breakdown enzyme that controls tryptophan production. With a tryptophan deficiency, there is further evidence why serotonin and melatonin may also be decreased, and which in turn, may reduce the control and moderation of the HPA (Hypothalamic-Pituitary-Adrenal Axis), which causes even more problems with endocrine regulation of the immune system. (However, in birds and reptiles, the location of the Pineal gland is in close proximity to the skin, and light and dark reach the Pineal gland through the skin and not through the retina of the eye for this Pineal gland cycle to occur. Hence forth, this is where the “third eye” concept was conceived.)

Light impulses that the Pineal gland receives inhibit the production of Melatonin. During the night, and during the dark phase of the moon, the retro-hypothalamic impulses stop, and there are no longer light impulses going to the Pineal gland. This allows the Pineal gland to release all of its Melatonin.

Again, to reiterate on this cycle, the actual connection is called the retro- hypothalamic tract. As light or dark traverse this tract, the impulse first goes to the suprachiasmatic nucleus, then to the sympathetic nervous system, and finally to the Pineal Gland. The foot candles of light and dark will determine whether Melatonin is released (or not), and whether endocrine balance will be maintained.

I think you can now realize, how a cloudy, rainy, dark day, the dark phase of the moon, and tanning, whether from the sun or from a “tanning bed”, might allow the Pineal gland to create some very important health issues if it is unable to maintain a proper endocrine balance. This may alsocause an alteration of the circadian rhythm.

A normal circadian rhythm involves a pattern based upon a 24 hour cycle, especially with the repetition of specific functions like sleeping and eating, and certain other endocrine feedback mechanisms. A deregulated circadian rhythm is very common in people that are sight challenged since there are no impulses reaching the Pineal gland through the retina.

In people, clinical deficiencies in Melatonin have been associated with low body temperature, personality disorders, a suppressed immune system, insomnia, and an elevated progesterone-estrogen ratio.

NOTE: Low levels of Melatonin have also been found in many women with breast cancer; thus-providing extra Melatonin, may help treat many patients with breast cancer.

The production of Melatonin from the Pineal gland has implicated several disorders including sexual dysfunction, hypertension, epilepsy, and Paget’s disease.

Paget’s disease is a disease, usually affecting middle aged to elderly people, which causes excessive bone destruction and disorganized bone repair. This really makes you wonder if Paget’s disease may not only be involved with osteoporosis, but to a greater degree, and depending on the Pineal glands, with the production of Melatonin as well.

Those who appear to have an excess amount of Melatonin production often suffer from SAD, (Seasonal Affective Disorder). SAD is thought to be caused by lack of sufficient light into the Pineal gland causing symptoms of fatigue, excessive sleep, abnormal food cravings, anxiety, depression, and definite changes in the sex hormones, like estrogen and progesterone.

I have to wonder if part of the increased suicide rate in certain areas of our country may be caused by a lack of daylight, due to excessive clouds and rain during the day. It has been reported that some people do not feel well with depressed sunlight, but on a bright day, they feel fine. Other signs of excess Melatonin production may cause depressed adrenal and/or thyroid function. Also, with a lowered estrogen-to-progesterone ratio, low blood pressure may often also be present.

In animals, a Melatonin imbalance can lead to infertility, specific regional hair loss, sleeping disorders, eating and behavioral problems. Also in animals, Melatonin may play a role with epilepsy, just like it does in people.

Melatonin does plays a major role in reproduction. With light and dark impulses going into the Pineal gland, the production of Melatonin can regulate and determine when a breeding season will occur or not occur in many different types of animals.

An example is in sheep where the breeding season can be manipulated with artificial light. Researchers have found that in sheep, during the non breeding season, the testicular sperm count was markedly reduced. This appears to be due to the Melatonin stopping the secretion of both luteinizing and follicular stimulating hormones, from the anterior pituitary gland. This in turn causes a reduction in the hypothalamic production of gonadotropin-releasing hormone (GrH), which is necessary for the anterior pituitary to continue functioning.

Another interesting observation was made when tadpoles were exposed to Pineal gland extracts. Upon exposure, the tadpoles lost their pigment and their skin became transparent. This makes you wonder if the Melatonin may also affect pigment loss in people as well as in other animals as well. As of yet, researchers haven’t proven that this happens in birds and mammals.

Also, certain foods may help or hurt a Melatonin imbalance, which is important for you know, for yourself, your family, and for your pets. For instance, Melatonin is present in tart cherries, oats, bananas, rice and corn.

Tryptophan, which is the precursor to Melatonin, is present in red meat, chicken, turkey, almonds, peanuts, seeds, bananas, soy, soy products, tuna and shell fish.

NOTE:Make sure thatnone of the foods listed above come from genetically modified seeds or are high in phytoestrogens.

You may want to consider a blood test to find out what the Melatonin production is from the Pineal gland to see if any modifications are indicated. A beginning Pineal blood sample should include Serotonin, Melatonin, Tryptophan, Zinc, ACTH, and Total Estrogen. (The blood test should be done during light hours, and if the Melatonin is normal and you still do not feel well, repeat only the Melatonin during the evening before sunrise. This will give you a better opportunity of getting some sleep without having to do the blood draw at 2 to 3 AM unless your physician decides the 2 to 3 Am Melatonin might be more significant.)

Salivary Melatonin might still be the easiest way to check levels in a 24-hour period, and salivary tests are also available to test for Melatonin, which may even be more convenient.

Some Interesting Observations

I am presently working with a brilliant Melungeon woman who suffers from many disorders that seem to plague her people and other early Americans. What we have found is that during certain moon phases, she undergoes a “Lunar Estrogen Surge”, even though she has no ovaries.

In looking at neurotransmitters, her precursor to Melatonin, Serotonin, is very elevated, and her Melatonin is deficient, which may lead to a hormone disruption of her Hypothalamic-Pituitary-Adrenal Axis. This may help to explain in part why she suffers from the moon-induced Lunar Estrogen Surge. This makes one wonder if there is a transference enzyme that is not present or not working that may be leading to her high Serotonin and her low Melatonin levels.

Low Melatonin will not neutralize the Aromatase in the tissue. This will cause DHEA, DHEAS, Androgen and Testosterone to be turned into total estrogen, and may be partially responsible for this Lunar Estrogen Surge. It is obvious that more research needs to be done, but so far the facts are quite interesting and hopefully this will help her feel better. It’s best to check with your health care professional for any further recommendations, including any other tests that he or she thinks may be important.

Besides the Pineal gland’s function, (with its production of Melatonin), researchers also believe it contains electromagnetic receptors that monitor magnetic fields and helps the body to align itself in space. Many species from whales to man, and many other animals including birds and bees, contain a highly magnetic mineral called magnetite in their bodies. Studies conducted by Dr. Joseph Kirschvink have found that the magnetite crystals enable animals, (from bees to whales), to navigate by using the earth’s electromagnetic fields. (In humans, Magnetite is synthesized by the brain and can be found throughout all brain tissue.)

It has been proven that certain electromagnetic fields can cause brain cancer and leukemia.

Dr. Kirschvink and his wife traversed honey bees through an exit maze following a north or south compass, and when they reversed the crystals in the bees with a very strong magnetic field, the bees flew in the opposite direction. Even a family of bacteria, that contain megnetosomes, when exposed to the earth’s electromagnetic field, will cause them to travel up and down the mud they live in. Other studies further suggest that the Pineal gland’s function, in certain mammals, birds and bees, is to help with proper navigation. If the magnetic fields are changed in our environment, the birds and bees, etc, become disoriented as to their navigation and alignment in space. This might explain the loss of the thousands of birds and bees that have recently occurred in and out of the U.S. EM fields can suppress the Pineal gland’s ability to produce Melanin and can cause damage to the circadian rhythm.

There also needs to be a consideration of the amount of magnetite that occurs in different species, including man. The more this magnetic material occurs in different amounts will indicate if that person is more sensitive to electromagnetic fields. (I personally believe this is why some people become ill after being exposed to X-rays.)

Extreme cases of electromagnetic imbalances has led to a person opening the refrigerator door and feeling as though they will be knocked to the floor. In the same light, some people become totally dysfunctional during and after being exposed to an MRI. This is where acupuncture may also come into play. Acupuncture realigns the positive and negative ions in the body which can be out of alignment due to external, electromagnetic fields.

Not only do the above electromagnetic exposures exist, but what about the other electromagnetic fields that humans and animals are exposed to, such as lightning, the moon, and other celestial bodies besides the earth?

JAWS-Scarier than T-Rex?

Of great interest are the electromagnetic magnetic sensors that the Great White Shark possesses, and has possessed, according to the experts, even before the dinosaurs roamed the earth!

It has to make you think that electromagnetic fields may have been even of greater significance with ancient man and animals, but evolution may have changed this to a degree. Yet, we are still seeing what was once in our ancient survivors like the Great White Shark. These EM sensors occur in the head and in the nose region of the shark along blue lines that are the nerves. Their nerve endings are surrounded by a “jelly like” substance referred to as the Ampulae of Lorenzini. These EM sensors provide the shark with extremely long-range information on all living creatures that emit low voltage.

Here is something interesting…It has been proven that if two 9 volt batteries are placed in the water 1,000 miles away from a shark, the shark would be able detect a faint voltage. The researchers refer to this as the sharks “distance touch!

This is just one example of a prehistoric, cartilaginous fish that uses its electromagnetic sensors for survival. These facts may also be important for you to help avoid a shark attack by one of these prehistoric creatures.

So, where do we fit into this electromagnetic world, and how can we identify our exposures to these EM fields that may be hazardous to our health? (This may be a good reason to purchase an inexpensive electromagnetic meter, to make sure you, your family and your pets are not exposed to harmful electromagnetic fields.) Remember, these fields exist around electric outlets, microwaves, refrigerators, alarm clocks, and probably your cell phone. (Rearranging your furniture, making sure it is out of range of the EM fields that are caused by your electric outlets, would be a good place to start.)

Dr. Susanne Bennett, DC, CCSP, is a holistic, chiropractic physician who practices in Santa Monica, California, and has experience with several patients suffering from melatonin imbalances as well as with magnetic disturbances that occur due to their compromised Pineal glands. She also has found the Pineal gland to contain naturally high levels of calcium apatite, which is why fluoride has a high affinity for the Pineal gland. Thus, apparently, fluoride is attracted to bone and tissues which contain high levels of calcium. Dr. Bennett has also found that many of her patients have abnormal sleep patterns, and after she helps her patients with the fluoride detoxification, their sleep patterns return to normal.

In Summary……………

I do believe the Pineal gland might be the “computer chip” of the brain and the cause of many endocrine disorders that are not truly understood. All of this could be due to either its production of Melatonin or to its EM components and other maladies-that all may lead to damaged health.

Hopefully this article will stimulate your thoughts on the Pineal gland’s influence on you, you’re family, and you’re pets.




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