Some quick facts about melatonin and cancer
1. Melatonin is a natural hormone produced mainly by the pineal gland in the brain, although some has recently been found in the bone marrow where it appears to be linked with white cell formation. It is a crucial regulator of cancer driving hormones, like oestrogen and growth factors, and a powerful antioxidant. It also seems to be a link in the mind-body connection.
The mind-body connection?
2. Little was known about the pineal gland in Western Medicine until 1958 when Lerner reported that it secreted melatonin. However, the Greeks described it as The Realm of Thought; Descartes called it The Seat of the Soul. In Eastern medicine it has long been associated with the "Third Eye" and intuition, and it is linked to an important energy chakra.
3. The pineal has also been shown to be the link between the nervous system and the "Limbic System" of the brain. It is thus quite possibly linked to perception and research shows it is activated and regulated by energetic, electrical and magnetic frequencies. These may be your own natural ones, or external EMFs.
4. Science has now shown that the pineal gland is linked to circadian rhythms, and to seasonal, sleeping and breeding habits. Research carried in Cancer Watch suggested that circadian rhythms might even control the effectiveness of chemotherapy drugs and the time of day they should be taken.
5. Philadelphia University have shown in research that areas of the brain are deactivated during meditation and prayer.
6. In meditation, the pineal gland and the pituitary have been shown to vibrate in unison. In research, monks seem able to control their internal energy systems and temperature during meditation.
Melatonin and cancer
7. Melatonin is produced about 90 minutes after falling asleep in a fully darkened room. It pushes you into a deeper sleep. Production is light sensitive and regulatory "sensors" have been found in the retina. Several studies (e.g. The Boston Nurses Study, one on night-shift working
) have shown that irregular sleeping habits and sleeping in synthetic light, lower the production of the hormone and are also associated with higher breast cancer levels. Conversely, blind women develop less breast cancer.
8. Research has shown that melatonin regulates excess oestrogen levels and excess IGF-1 levels. Both drive cancer and IARC has declared lack of sleep a carcinogen. Melatonin is thus an anti-cancer agent.
9 Night shift working in men has been shown to triple the rate of prostate cancer, double the rate of bowel cancer, increase the rate of lung cancer by 79 per cent and increase rates of bladder cancer by 70 per cent. (Cancer Watch
: University of Quebec)
10. It is now known that EMF´s (Electromagnetic frequencies) - the sort found from WIFI to mobile phones, to masts etc - can also lower melatonin levels in the body, allowing oestrogen and IGF-1 levels to increase.
11. The discovery of melatonin in the bone marrow has led to new views on its role in a stronger immune system.
12. However, the link between lowered levels of melatonin in the bone marrow and the negative effects of EMFs has spawned a debate about leukaemia and particularly childhood leukaemia.
13. There are nearly a thousand studies showing that melatonin supplementation has important oncostatic effects: both in cancer prevention, and also during chemotherapy, where it has been repeatedly shown to reduce side-effects.
14. Melatonin levels decline with age, and melatonin supplements have been shown to have anti-aging benefits. Supplementation is now used by night shift workers, nurses, long-haul flyers and a number of top oncology and anti-aging professors on both sides of the Atlantic. It is primarily used in prevention, but strong arguments are made for its inclusion in cancer treatment programmes too.
15. Supplements of 3 to 6 mgs are commonly taken about 30 minutes before going to bed. Levels above 10 mgs have been thought to cause vivid dreams and hallucination, but there is little scientific evidence. The hormone is freely available over the counter in many countries from Thailand to the USA. But not in the UK or Europe. Research studies suggest that melatonin may act far better when plant-derived rather than synthetic. The plant derived version is called Asphalia.
If you are already thinking of supplementing, readers might like to see what is available in the Natural Selection shop as it usually has naturally-sourced compounds. Click here to go to the shop
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