How this common sleep aide may help prevent and treat Breast Cancer. | Integrative functional medicine blog

How this common sleep aide may help prevent and treat Breast Cancer.




Melatonin may be one the best supplements you can take to help prevent and possibly treat breast cancer.

Breast cancer1

Many people are aware of the benefits and uses of melatonin. Lack of sleep is rampant in our society after all. But what many people don’t know and studies are starting to show is that this common sleep aide may have other uses as well, particularly with breast cancer.

In this short article I will recap some of the most recent studies and finding with regards to melatonin as a preventative and adjunctive therapy to conventional breast cancer treatment.

Melatonin may be one the best supplements you can take to help prevent and possibly treat breast cancer.
Breast cancer1

Many people are aware of the benefits and uses of melatonin. Lack of sleep is rampant in our society after all. But what many people don’t know and studies are starting to show is that this common sleep aide may have other uses as well, particularly with breast cancer.

In this short article I will recap some of the most recent studies and finding with regards to melatonin as a preventative and adjunctive therapy to conventional breast cancer treatment.

It is well know that as we get older many things will naturally go down, melatonin being one of them. Shortly after puberty the pineal gland slowly starts to decrease the amount of melatonin it secretes. By the age of 50, sometimes younger, melatonin levels are significantly lower than someone that is in their teens.

This may be part of the reason why at the age of 50 breast cancer rates tend to escalate fairly significantly.

So how does
melatonin affect breast cancer prevention and treatment?

melatonin

Briefly, I will discuss some of the actions that melatonin has on the body and how it may be helpful for some patients. While the details can often be confusing and overwhelming I will try to summarize as best as possible.

But first a little disclaimer:

Therapeutic doses of Melatonin (MLT as its often called) are often in the range of 20mg/day.
The average dose for patients that are taking this supplement as a sleep aide is often in the range of .5 - 3mg an hour before bed. When contemplating high dose melatonin supplementation keep in mind that this should only be done under the supervision of an educated attending physician, who will need to monitor liver enzymes, kidney function, and other markers important to cancer prevention and management.

Melatonin Mechanism of effects:

1) Reduces Estrogen and Progesterone levels - Melatonin therapy has on affect on the hypothalamic-pituitary-ovarian axis, ultimately this has been shown to result in lower circulating levels of estrogen and progesterone. Which high levels have been associated with increased rates of breast cancer.

2) Melatonin acts as a Selective Estrogen Receptor Modulator (SERM) - the end result being that there is a slowing down of the cellular replication of the breast cancer cells, leading to breast cancer prevention. It can also be used with other SERM drugs, which include prescription medications such as tamoxifen and raloxifen.

3) Melatonin therapy acts as an Aromatase inhibitor - Say What? Amortize enzyme basically will convert androgens(testosterone) into estrone and estradiol. If you inhibit this enzyme you get less estrogen = LESSS BREAST CANCER.

4) It has an effect via Calmodulin Binding - In short, it slows down how fast cells can replicate which will decrease how fast or how much the cancer can grow = GOOD THING.

5) Preserves Adhesion Molecules - Melatonin therapy has been shown to increase the expression of adhesion molecules in MCF-7 cells. This leads to a net result of decreasing the cancer cells motility and invasive capabilities that the cells can exhibit. Essentially they spread less.

6) It acts as a telomerase inhibitor - Telomeres are little string like structures at the end of our DNA that essentially dictates how long the cell will live. The longer the telomere the longer the cell life. Cancer cells have the ability to lengthen their telomeres. Melatonin therapy has the potential to inhibit an enzyme that lengthens the telomeres. The end result is that the cancer cells lose their ability to essentially live forever since they can no longer extend their own telomeres.

7) Inhibits 15 Lipoxygenase - This will lead to a decrease in the ability of the cancer cells to uptake the essential fatty acid linoleum acid resulting in a reduced proliferation rate of the cancer cells.

8) Binds to Retinoid Receptors - this increased the pro-apoptotic effects of retinoid acid. The essentially increases the rate at which the cancer cells self terminate - they basically are committing suicide by programmed cell death.

9) Immune Modulation - Melatonin has been shown to increase immune system activity.

10) Suppresses Inflammatory Cytokine Release - As many research articles are discovering more and more lately, inflammation is a chronic systemic assault on the body. It can cause and contribute to all kinds of chronic disease including but certainly not limited to cancer.

Melatonin Therapy (also known as MLT) has the potential to be an effective and important part of breast cancer prevention and adjunctive treatment to convention treatment. It is not without risk and I don’t recommend commencing this type of therapy on your own. Please seek the proper help.

Sweet dreams,

Dr. Craig Mortensen

P.S. - Join our online dispensary and get discounted quality supplements for great prices plus access to my personal recommendations.


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