Tuesday , October 4 2022

Studies show that melatonin can prevent tumor growth


Melatonin is commonly known as n sleeping hormone, responsible for regulating the cycle of rest and awakening. In recent years, however, researchers have shown that this substance also has the power to reduce its growth tumors and its spread Cancer cells. At present, tests have been done on animals, so there is notice that the treatment in humans is still uncertain.

A scientific review of the role of melatonin in the prevention and treatment of cancer has highlighted that the hormone has a cancerous role in breast, ovarian, gastric and prostate, for example. The positive effect will mainly be related to the antioxidant action of the hormone and to the blood vessel inhibitor.

"The tumor develops and activates blood vessel forming mechanisms [processo chamado de angiogênese] to be able to feed. We noticed the cells [cancerígenas] "said Debora Aparecida Zuccari, a research team coordinator for the São José do Rio Preto (Famerp) School of Medicine.

The Brazilian team has teamed up with researchers at Henry Ford Hospital in Michigan to verify the effects of melatonin on tumor growth and angiogenesis in breast cancer cases.

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Scientists injected human cancer cells into mice, and at the end of 21 days, melatonin-treated females showed significantly smaller volumes than the control group (no melatonin). In addition, non-treated rodent cancer increased between 14 and 21 days, and this was not observed in the treated group.

Debora explains that melatonin acts as a cleanser who cleans the dirt left by the cells at night. These suffer millions of metabolic processes during the day and accumulate unnecessary substances. "In this way, melatonin can prevent cell growth, this would be a preventative action," the investigator says. Learn more about melatonin here.

In the case of people with cancer who have low melatonin levels, the hypothesis is that this clearance does not happen properly, which favors the proliferation of cancer cells. According to the study, low production of this substance would cause increased replication of DNA errors and mutations. This process will also be related to metastatic cancer, which occurs when the tumor spreads to other organs.

Breast cancer-focused studies compared newly diagnosed patients, women undergoing chemotherapy and nurses working at night with healthy women. Melatonin levels were even lower for women who had metastasis than women who did not have this deterioration.

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Cancer versus melatonin

More recent studies by Debora have shown that women with breast cancer have lower levels of melatonin in the body, as well as men with prostate cancer and patients with liver cancer. The results show only a correlation between substance and disease, but still it can not be said that the hormone actually helps in the treatment.

According to Gilberto Amorim, an oncologist at the Brazilian Society for Clinical Oncology, the antineoplastic strength of melatonin, which is still under study, is poorly understood by patients and even by doctors. THE E + three women who have or have been treated for breast cancer have discussed. Two have said they have heard about the relationship between melatonin and cancer, but they say the issue is not being discussed in the events that monitor the disease.

"There are some speculations that melatonin could help with therapies, reinforcing the effects of drugs," says Amorim.

The doctor, however, makes an important warning. "The fear we have is that with these laboratory cell studies the patient will begin to take [melatonina] believing it will prevent or cure cancer. Or worse, you should stop treatment, "he says.

The oncologist says that one can not overlook the apparent potential of melatonin in preventing or treating cancer, according to studies, but the hormone should not be consumed without prior advice from the doctor. In Brazil, the National Health Surveillance Unit (Anvisa) released the hormone in 2016 in the form of medicines and on prescription.

Melatonin supplementation

People who work at night have low melatonin production, as the composition is triggered by the absence of light. The study talks about hormone supplementation by women working at night as a way of reducing the risk of cancer. However, there is no such recommendation for women in general.

"We do not have this experience yet, I could take some women and start treating, but there are no parameters to see if there were benefits or not," Debora says. Among the reasons for this would be the fact that cancer is also related to life habits and the disease is manifested in different ways in each individual.

Another point is dosing. "If the studies reach a safe dosage, it will be necessary to study this in a larger number of people. [Atualmente]"I can not prescribe a dose for a patient, this may disrupt conventional therapy," says Amorim. Therefore, further research is needed until it can be confirmed that melatonin is safe and acts positively to people with cancer.

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