Also referred to as the ‘third eye’, the pineal gland was the very last of the endocrine glands to be discovered in the body and although scientists and doctors don’t know everything there is to know about this deep-seated part of the brain, the thing we do know is that it only produces melatonin
Pineal gland anatomy
The pineal gland gets it name from pine cones which is what it looks like. It’s normally a gray-red color, about 5-8 mm in length, and it is situated close to the very centre of the brain.
It is one of the smallest glands in the body and actually stops growing when the body reaches two years of age. Despite being very small, it does some of the most important jobs including helping to control the body’s natural biological clock, how hungry and thirsty the body feels, sex drive, and even the aging process, all by producing melatonin.
What is melatonin?
Melatonin is a hormone naturally present in the body and is the only known hormone produced by the pineal gland. A derivative of another hormone called serotonin, the amount produced is dictated by the amount of light the body comes into contact with.
Melatonin is important for the body because it helps to regulate the reproductive hormones by blocking the secretion coming from the anterior pituitary gland. It’s also responsible for the regulation of the human body clock – what makes you feel tired at night time, and alert and awake during the day.
The body will secret low levels of melatonin during the day and high levels during the night. When natural light occurs, the gland is turned ‘on’ and your brain will no longer be in sleep mode. Instead it will be alert and awake.
Pineal gland and the spiritual connection
There have been constant links between the pineal gland and the ‘third eye’ or inner spirituality throughout medical history which is it’s often referred to by the same name.
The gland is said to be a ‘link’ of sorts, acting between the physical world we live in and the spiritual world. During periods of yoga exercise and mediation or visualization, the pineal gland is one of the most affected areas of the body which seems to support this theory.
Often described as ‘the seat of higher consciousness’, it is the connection to mood, sleep, and reproductive organs that have lead to the many spiritual connections, and when that’s combined with the connection to light, many philosophers have followed this theory.
Pineal gland calcification
As you get over, the pineal gland can experience a build up of calcium phosphate leading to pineal gland calcification. The only way to see this calcium buildup is using a scan (like an MRI) where you would see a lump of the mineral on the gland itself and possibly on other areas of the body also.
This concern can bring with it a whole host of symptoms, most of which can be attributed to a number of other health conditions. This means that pineal gland calcification is often not considered first. With associated problems such as pins and needles, numbness, tingling limbs and hands, difficult sleeping or staying asleep, headaches and more, you can understand why this problem would often be confused with a number of others.
There are a number of things that can lead to a buildup of calcium on the pineal gland. Exposure to fluoride is the number one culprit, and this is one of the main ingredients of things such as toothpaste, hormones, public water systems, sweeteners and sugar, additives found in food and in recent studies, even an over-exposure of cell phones and other communication devices.
In order to avoid pineal gland calcification, you would need to avoid the substances that are known to cause it. Eating foods with a very high calcium content is good for your bones and teeth but too much will cause this build up of the gland. Processed foods are another example to avoid.
Tap water can have a high level of fluoride so if you drink a lot of it, you are putting yourself at risk of a calcium buildup also. Drinking bottled or distilled water can help to prevent this, and using a filter at home could also provide some protection.
Pesticides and other chemicals commonly used on foods have also been shown to add to this calcium problem so by eating organic or homegrown foods instead, you are once again cutting down the chances.