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.
View More Free Articles
Dear Living Well Daily Reader, There are a lot of reasons to hate belly fat. Researchers call this type of fat “visceral fat,” and it’s been linked to metabolic diseases and increased risk for heart disease and type 2 diabetes. In women, visceral fat is associated with an increased risk of breast cancer and gallbladder...
I was recently diagnosed with A-fib, and I was hoping you could suggest some natural ways to deal with it. –Lawanda from Milwaukee, WI Lawanda, As I’m sure your doctor probably explained, A-fib (atrial fibrillation) is a heart condition where the atria (upper part of the heart) beats irregularly. This irregular rhythm can cause a...
Dear Living Well Daily Reader, Most people think vitamin D is, understandably, just one vitamin. But many vitamins have different forms or types… and vitamin D is no exception. Vitamin D is categorized in two types: vitamin D2 and vitamin D3. And the difference between the two is crucial. In fact, one helps your immune...
Dear Living Well Daily Reader, My readers are smart people. If I were to ask you what to do to keep your heart healthy, I’m betting you could list a ton of nutrients. The same is true if I ask about bone health. You know what you need to do. (And why it probably won’t...
Dear Living Well Daily Reader, When it comes to natural health, there are new advancements every day. If you’re a frequent reader of mine, you’re probably well-versed on natural compounds… You may even supplement with a few already! But there’s an entire group of compounds that few know about – phytonutrients. Phytonutrients include carotenoids such...
Dear Living Well Daily Reader, Growing up, my mother practically pulled her hair out trying to get me to listen to her advice. Here’s the thing: I can’t think of a single time when my mother gave me advice that was wrong. And now her advice has been proven yet again, this time about breakfast....
Dear Living Well Daily Reader, There’s nothing like a good night’s sleep. There’s a lot riding on your sleep—including your overall health. Poor sleep can lead to a number of problems, like weight gain and even lung disease. And now your odds of getting a good night’s sleep have just gotten worse. Researchers have found...
I had surgery on my prostate for BPH several years ago, and it’s affected my love life. I’ve heard about nitric oxide levels causing this problem—is this true? –Robert from Dallas, TX Robert, The answer to your question is a little difficult to answer. Sadly, your symptoms are NOT unique: many men find they have...
Dear Living Well Daily Reader, It seems like every time you turn on the news, Big Pharma’s drugs are causing MORE problems than they “fix.” Whether it’s addictive painkillers or (yet again!) another drug recall, it’s clear that Big Pharma doesn’t care… and neither does the FDA. It almost seems as though the drug companies...
Dear Living Well Daily Readers, Severe tiredness and exhaustion go hand in hand with cancer, and it’s horrible. The worse the cancer and more extensive the treatment, the worse the fatigue. Ask any mainstream doctor about relief from fatigue and they will say something like, “unfortunately, good pharmacological treatment options are limited.” Which means: the...