Research reveals that the hormone melatonin appears to stop the growth of breast cancer tumors, according to new research from Michigan State University.
Scientists grew cancerous tumors from stem cells in a lab using the natural hormone estrogen, as well as an estrogen-like chemical found in many plastic food packages. They found treating the cancer with melatonin significantly decreased the number and size of the tumors when compared with the control group of tumors that didn’t get melatonin.
Problem is, our brains only produce melatonin at night to regulate our sleep cycle — and our modern sleep-deprived work and internet-surfing cycle is wreaking havoc on our melatonin supply.
This backs a 2012 study that found women who chronically lacked sleep developed more aggressive breast cancers, and a 2013 report that found men suffering from insomnia had higher rates of prostate cancer.
“This work establishes the principal by which cancer stem cell growth may be regulated by natural hormones,” said James Trosko, a coauthor of the study at MSU, in a statement. “And (it) provides an important new technique to screen chemicals for cancer-promoting effects, as well as identify potential new drugs for use in the clinic.”