The melatonin is a hormone produced by pineal gland and it is involved in the regulation of sleep-wake cycle. Melatonin supplements are ingested by people who suffer from circadian rhythm disorders, learning or memory disorders, Alzheimer’s, cancer or even obesity.
A recent study realized by researchers from Harvard University proved that melatonin supplements might diminish the threat of getting advanced prostate cancer. Presented in San Diego at the meeting of American Association of Cancer Research, the study that tracked almost 1,000 Icelandic men showed that those who had higher concentrations of melatonin were significantly less likely to develop aggressive forms of prostate cancer than the men who had lower concentrations of melatonin.
Shown at the AACR-Prostate Cancer Foundation Conference on Advances in Prostate Cancer Research, the conclusions indicate that melatonin plays a significant role in controlling and normalizing other hormones, which may have an impact on several cancers, such as breast and prostate cancers.
Many people ingest melatonin supplements in order to get them to sleep. Normally, melatonin is produced in the dark, at night, and normalizes the endocrine biorhythms. The lack or deficiency of sleep can even block the quantity of melatonin secretion, which can be a possible chance of developing cancer.
The study proved that men who had higher concentrations of melatonin had a 75% reduced risk for getting, in time, aggressive forms of prostate cancer, than those with lower levels of the hormone. Also, the men with higher than normal concentrations of the hormone had a 31% reduced risk for advance prostate cancer.
A doctoral candidate in the Department of Epidemiology at Harvard School of Public Health in Boston, Sarah C. Markt, stated: “Sleep loss and other factors can influence the amount of melatonin secretion or block it altogether, and health problems associated with low melatonin, disrupted sleep, and/or disruption of the circadian rhythm are broad, including a potential risk factor for cancer”.
Although these findings assist the public health implication of the significance of having a stable sleep-wake cycle, and also light-dark cycle, even more study is needed, regarding melatonin.