Melatonin and the Pineal Gland

Melatonin is a hormone with immune and antioxidant importance. It is produced in the pineal gland at nighttime when there is no light present. The pineal gland can be at risk of calcification. It needs iodine and may be more at risk of calcification when excess fluoride is present and/or limited magnesium. (See: Alzheimer’s Disease & Pineal Calcification, Carolyn Dean MD) (Magnesium sources) (Pineal Calcification, Melatonin Production, Aging, Associated Health Conditions and Rejuvenation of the Pineal Gland, PubMed)

Calcification of the pineal gland may also interfere with our sense of direction possibly due to disruption of internal magnetic fields. (Pineal Gland Calcification and Defective Sense of Direction, PubMed)

Complete darkness during sleep hours with blackout curtains and any nightlight/alarm clocks or other electronic equipment lights are covered. Having some full spectrum light during awake hours may also help. (See: Sleep and Health).

Lack of typical levels of melatonin is more common in patients with breast or prostate cancer or for people on the autism spectrum. See ~ 1:08:00 in the video: Quiet Wars: Frequencies of Death. 

There may be a protective effect by female hormones or increased risk for males- more severe calcification is associated with more severe prostate or pancreatic cancer and less severe with breast or cervical cancer. (Pineal Calcification Among Black Patients, PubMed).

Quiet Wars: Frequencies of Death.

/Disclaimer: This information is provided for educational purposes within the guidelines of fair use. While I am a Registered Dietitian this information is not intended to provide individual health guidance. Please see a health professional for individual health care purposes./

Calcium and vitamin D supplements and prostate cancer; IOM and NIH reports

Use of calcium supplements has been already been associated with an increased risk of prostate cancer for men for many years in a National Institute of Health (NIH) an Institute of Medicine (IOM)report, (see page 6 and see excerpt later in this post)(and prostate cancer is also mentioned in a 1997 report on page 144, and from page 142 a summary statement about some groups of people who may be more at risk from excessive calcium intake:

Subpopulations known to be particularly susceptible to the toxic effects of calcium include individuals with renal failure, those using thiazide diuretics (Whiting and Wood, 1997), and those with low intakes of minerals that interact with calcium (for example, iron, magnesium, zinc).”)

from: Dietary Reference Intakes for Calcium, Phosphorus, Magnesium, Vitamin D, and Fluoride, Jan 1, 1997 []

If you are a person who is already seeing health professionals about prostate cancer risks and you haven’t been told that excess calcium has been associated with an increased risk of prostate cancer then maybe it’s time to ask why not? The following webpage does suggest men may be better to use calcium rich foods instead of supplements, however prostate cancer risk is not mentioned: MayoClinic.

While I was looking for the Institute of Medicine report I found a more recent National Institute of Health update on vitamin D levels and prostate cancer which shows on an apparent U-shaped trend for risk of prostate cancer and vitamin D levels.

Having low levels of vitamin D and having elevated levels of vitamin D was associated with risk of prostate cancer in men, however the trend was only apparent when patient’s data was grouped by quartiles rather than by the three currently accepted categories of vitamin D sufficiency. Quartiles divide the data into five groups. If the U-shaped trend was more apparent for the 20% of patients with the lowest levels of vitamin D and for the 20% with the most elevated levels of vitamin D then the lab values of those groups of patients must not have overlapped very closely with the range of lab values that are included in any of the three established categories of vitamin D sufficiency: “(concentrations less than 50 nmol/L being considered deficient, 50–75 nmol/L insufficient, and 75–125 nmol/L considered sufficient).” — which suggests to me that those currently accepted ranges of vitamin D sufficiency do not actually provide any information that is useful for assessing or counseling men about their risk of prostate cancer.

We would need to go to the original research study and see what the lab values were for the patients who fell in the lowest and highest quartiles — the 20% with the lowest values and the 20% with the highest lab values for vitamin D — in order to have some idea of how low or how elevated the lab values were for the men who had an increased risk of prostate cancer. The lowest 20% might have had values that were lower than 50 nmol/L (below 20-30 nmol/L is considered deficient) and the most elevated 20% may or may not have had values below or above 75 nmol/L — but we have no idea without going back to the original research article.

  • Excerpt from Vitamin D and Calcium: A Systematic Review of Health Outcomes (Update).:
  • Prostate Cancer

    “In the current report, four new nested case-control studies (two rated A, two rated B) and one new prospective cohort study (rated B) found no association between baseline serum 25(OH)D concentrations and risk for prostate cancer. Two new nested case-control studies (both rated B) observed a trend between higher serum vitamin D concentrations and increasing risk for prostate cancer. In one study this increase was seen only among men whose sera were sampled in summer or autumn; in the other study, this trend was observed only when participants were divided by quartiles of 25(OH)D concentration, but not when they were divided by categories of vitamin D sufficiency (concentrations less than 50 nmol/L being considered deficient, 50–75 nmol/L insufficient, and 75–125 nmol/L considered sufficient).”

    “In the original report, 12 nested case-control studies (3 rated B, 9 C) evaluated the association of baseline serum 25(OH)D concentrations and prostate cancer risk. No eligible RCTs were identified. Eight of the nested case-control studies found no statistically significant dose-response relationship between serum 25(OH)D concentrations and the risk of prostate cancer. One C-rated study found a significant association between lower baseline serum 25(OH)D concentrations (<30 compared with >55 nmol/L) and higher risk of prostate cancer. Another C-rated study suggested the possibility of a U-shaped association between baseline serum 25(OH)D concentrations and the risk of prostate cancer (i.e., lower and higher serum 25(OH)D concentrations were associated with an increased risk of prostate cancer compared with that of the in between reference level).”

  • Evidence Reports/Technology Assessments, No. 217.
    Newberry SJ, Chung M, Shekelle PG, et al.
    Rockville (MD): Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality (US); 2014 Sep. []
  • Dietary reference intakes for calcium and vitamin D / Committee to Review Dietary Reference Intakes for Vitamin D and Calcium, Food and Nutrition Board ; A. Catharine Ross … [et al.], editors. Copyright 2011 by the National Academy of Sciences — ISBN 978-0-309-16395-8 (pdf) [] Excerpt, Box S-3: Potential Indicators of Adverse Outcomes for Excess Intake of Calcium and Vitamin D (page 6):

BOX S-3: Potential Indicators of Adverse Outcomes for Excess Intake of Calcium and Vitamin D (page 6)


Vitamin D

  • Intoxication and related hypercalcemia and hypercalciuria

  • Serum calcium

  • Measures in infants: retarded growth, hypercalcemia

  • Emerging evidence for all-cause mortality, cancer, cardiovascular risk, falls and fractures

So excess calcium and excess vitamin D are both officially associated with increased risk of prostate cancer or with “emerging evidence for cancer” in general.

From some old notes, [8]: 12. [ncbi.nlm.nih] Carcinogenesis. 2011 Jun;32(6):822-8. Epub 2011 Mar 10. Enhanced formation of 5-oxo-6,8,11,14-eicosatetraenoic acid by cancer cells in response to oxidative stress, docosahexaenoic acid and neutrophil-derived 5-hydroxy-6,8,11,14-eicosatetraenoic acid. Grant GE, Rubino S, Gravel S, Wang X, Patel P, Rokach J, Powell WS.

“Stimulation of neutrophils with arachidonic acid and calcium ionophore in the presence of PC3 cells led to a large and selective increase in 5-oxo-ETE synthesis compared with controls in which PC3 cell 5-oxo-ETE synthesis was selectively blocked by pretreatment with NEM. The ability of prostate tumor cells to synthesize 5-oxo-ETE may contribute to tumor cell proliferation as well as the influx of inflammatory cells, which may further induce cell proliferation through the release of cytokines. 5-Oxo-ETE may be an attractive target in cancer therapy.”

***Did anyone besides me notice that they stimulated those cancer cells with calcium? Might simply not over stimulating cancer with excess calcium be an attractive target for cancer therapy? and cheap? – less calcium intake – more health output? /speculation/

/Disclosure: This information is provided for educational purposes within the guidelines of fair use. Information is not a substitute for individual health guidance. Please see a health professional for individual health care purposes./

Calciphylaxis, molecular mimicry and egg white albumin; an experiment, n = 1

Calciphylaxis is a rare type of wound that is associated with hyperparathyroidism and is most commonly seen in patients who are receiving kidney dialysis due to end stage renal disease. The condition is also associated with an eight times increased risk of morbidity (death) compared to patients who don’t have calciphylaxis.

The term calciphylaxis came to my attention this year when I found out that I had an elevated parathyroid hormone level. See the following posts for more information about calciphylaxis and about other symptoms associated with elevated parathyroid hormone:

  1. Secondary hyperparathyroidism, calcium deficiency and irritability
  2. Elevated parathyroid hormone (PTH) and 1-25-D, calcium deficiency and calciphylaxis‘Calciphylaxis is more of a risk with end stage renal disease but it has also been found in people who had normal vitamin D levels and normal kidney health. And “high dose vitamin D administration is capable of inducing STC (soft tissue calcification) and calciphylaxis in murine models. [56, 57] In an attempt to reestablish normal calcium-phosphate homeostasis, ESRD patients receive vitamin D analogs that could theoretically increase their risk of calciphylaxis if hyperphosphatemia and hypercalcemia ensued. [58, 59]” [3]

    “Experimental sensitizing events and agents included nephrectomy and exposure to parathyroid hormone (PTH) and vitamin D. Substances used as challengers included egg albumin and metallic salts. Calciphylaxis was the end result.4  – from a 1962 study, abstract is free. [4.5]’

  3. Secondary hyperparathyroidism and calciphylaxis symptoms; an update with lab values
  4. Calciphylaxis may be caused by several different nutrient issues

Antibodies against chemicals that are a normal part of the human body can develop in autoimmune disease. The term molecular mimicry refers to the autoimmune antibodies that may be manufactured by overactive white blood cells in response to a large foreign protein allergens that may have made it through ‘leaky’ intestinal walls into the blood stream.  See: Robert S. Fujinami, et. al., Molecular Mimicry, Bystander Activation, or Viral Persistence: Infections and Autoimmune Disease, Clin Microbiol Rev. 2006 Jan; 19(1): 80–94.

To skip to the point, egg white albumin is very similar to the albumin found in human blood. It is an essential protein within plasma and it helps maintain fluid balance between the blood plasma and extracellular fluid (too much extracellular fluid would be noticeable as edema – puffy ankles from excess fluid collecting outside of the cells and blood vessels.

After finding the research about egg white albumin on September 24, I eliminated egg white from my diet. My symptoms did get better fairly rapidly but I had tried a few strategies at the same time so it wasn’t clear whether stopping egg white had been necessary for the symptoms to improve or whether the other strategies I had tried may have been adequate on their own — so after feeling better for a couple weeks I decided to retry egg white to see if eliminating them had been an unnecessary strategy. Sadly I found that the day after trying egg white albumin again (in the form of baked chocolate chip cookies) my skin sores returned. I stopped eating egg white again. The sores aren’t as bad as they had been in September but calciphylaxis sores are termed necrotic wounds and necrosis means death and dead tissue in wounds can lead to gangrene and septic bloodsteam infections.

Open sores with oozing plasma that sticks to fabric is unpleasant and painful as well as being associated with an eight times increased risk of morbidity (which means death of the patient).

So I don’t have proof that my body set up autoimmune antibodies to albumin but I would rather stop eating egg white than continue having oozing sores – that is my choice, it is my body and I should have a right to take care of it to the best of my own ability rather than having to follow mainstream medical advice about a condition that is not well understood but is associated with an increased risk of death.

For more information about albumin antibodies and autoimmune disease see:

  • Rodríguez-Juan C, et. al., Increased levels of bovine serum albumin antibodies in patients with type 1 diabetes and celiac disease-related antibodies., J Pediatr Gastroenterol Nutr. 2003 Aug;37(2):132-5.
  • Excerpt from Abstract: “Although 46% of patients with autoimmune thyroiditis had positive results, the level detected (22.1 +/- 8.7 AU) was significantly lower than that recorded in patients with type 1 diabetes who had celiac disease antibodies (P = 0.04) and celiac patients (P = 0.04). Healthy volunteers showed no antibodies against bovine serum albumin.”  “Thirty-one percent of patients with diabetes yielded a positive result…” End stage renal disease is actually a significant risk for people with autoimmune Type 1 Diabetes because diabetes can cause an increased load on the kidneys from excess blood sugar and increased leaking of protein into the urine. Thirty-one percent of them might benefit from avoiding beef (bovine) or egg white albumin – but more research would probably be necessary before an ‘evidence-based’ recommendation could be made – except Rodriquez- Juan C, et al, did get a nice start on the project.


/Disclosure: This information is provided for educational purposes within the guidelines of fair use. While I am a Registered Dietitian this information is not intended to provide individual health guidance. Please see a health professional for individual health care purposes./