Taken from: http://www.breastcancerchoices.org/melatonin:
Melatonin, a hormone produced in the pineal gland located in the brain, is well
known for its role in the regulation of the sleep/wake cycles. Several studies indicate
that melatonin levels may be linked with breast cancer risk, because many women
with breast cancer tend to have lower levels of melatonin than those without the
disease. In addition, laboratory experiments have found that low levels of melatonin
stimulate the growth of certain types of breast cancer cells and adding melatonin to
these cells inhibits their growth. Thus, the supplement,melatonin, is widely
recommended because it has several beneficial mechanisms of action.
- High number of women with estrogen receptor positive tumors have low
levels of melatonin in their blood.
- Melatonin appears to work as an anti-estrogen on tumor cells.although
differently than Tamoxifen. When the two are combined, the result is better
than Tamoxifen alone. (Lissoni et`al., 1995.
- A 2006 study showed Melatonin may work as a kind of aromatase inhibitor.
(Cos et al.)
- Low levels of melatonin have been associated with breast cancer occurrence
and development. Women who work predominantly at night and are exposed
to light, which inhibits melatonin production and alters the circadian rhythm,
have an increased risk of breast cancer development (Schernhammer et al.
- The circadian rhythm alone is a significant predictor of survival time for breast
cancer patients (Sephton et al. 2000).
- Melatonin demonstrates growth inhibitory effects by inducing differentiation
(“normalizing” cancer cells)(Cos et al. 1996) as well directly inhibits breast
cancer cell proliferation (Ram et al. 2000) and boosting the production of
immune components, including natural killer cells (NK cells) that have an
ability to kill metastasized cancer cells.
|Melatonin can be safely taken for an indefinite period of time. The|
|suggested dose of melatonin for breast cancer patients is 3-50 mg at |
bedtime. Some people initially experience vivid dreams or morning
drowsiness. To avoid these minor side effects melatonin may be taken in
low doses nightly and the dose slowly increased over a period of several
weeks. Consult your doctor before starting this or any supplement.