Natural Sleep Aid Also Fights Cancer
Dear Living Well Daily Reader,
Imagine a world where you could get a good night’s sleep and fight cancer at the same time.
Seems impossible, right?
Well, according to some new research, this not only a possibility, it’s already happening.
You see, there is a naturally occurring hormone that can help you get rejuvenating sleep while also protecting you from a certain type cancer — one that affects hundreds of thousands of American lives every year — breast cancer.
Recently, a team of scientists from Michigan State University discovered that melatonin, a hormone typically associated with sleep, is also helping your body fight breast cancer.
Melatonin is produced by the brain exclusively during night hours and helps to regulate sleep cycles. Lack of sleep is considered to be a risk factor for many diseases, yet few studies have been able to confirm this.
For the experiment, the researchers grew breast tumor cells called mammospheres in a lab.
The growth of some of these cells was accelerated by known breast cancer boosters like the hormone estrogen and estrogen-like chemicals such as Bisphenol A (BPA) — the nasty stuff in plastic food packaging.
Exposing mammospheres to melatonin significantly decreased the number and size of these cells when compared with cells that weren’t exposed to melatonin.
And what’s even more incredible… when the cells were exposed to BPA or estrogen while they were being treated with melatonin, there was an even greater reduction in the size and number of the tumor cells.
This means that since our bodies naturally produce melatonin, they may also already possess the key to killing cancer!
However, things like poor sleep, unhealthy diet and exposure to dangerous chemicals can alter your systems, encourage disease in your body and render your natural cancer defenses useless.
That’s why research like this is vital to helping us discover how to diagnose and treat diseases.
David Arnosti, MSU professor and study director, explains this further: “You can watch bears in the zoo, but you only understand bear behavior by seeing them in the wild. Similarly, understanding the expression of genes in their natural environment reveals how they interact in disease settings. That’s what is so special about this work.”
These results have given scientists a solid start to furthering research about melatonin’s effects on cancer. Plus, it puts a finer point on how sleep deprivation can lead to disease.
Treatments based on this research are still years away.
In the meantime, adding more melatonin to your bedtime routine can help you sleep better and, as this research shows, may even help you kill cancer.
Melatonin supplements are available over the counter, and melatonin is often a key ingredient in many natural sleep aids.
Managing editor, Living Well Daily
Written By Natalie Moore
Natalie Moore is a dedicated health researcher with a passion for finding healthy, natural, and science-based solutions. After a decade of direct healthcare experience in western and natural medicine, she was involved in public health research before joining Living Well Daily.
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