For the past 5 years, Melatonin has been part of my bedtime regimen. I slowly went from 1 mg to 16 mg during treatment, and am now on a maintenance dose of 3 – 4 mg every night.
Within a few months of starting Melatonin, I noticed better energy and resilience, and the skin on my face and neck looked smoother.
I am sensitive to light, so I sleep in a very dark room, not even a light from an alarm clock or extension cord button.
I use blackout curtains on all windows. As mentioned in the study, even the faintest light can disrupt our Circadian cycle and deplete Melatonin levels.
A LifeExtension Clinical Study highlights the critical role of Melatonin in many areas of health, most importantly Cancer Prevention and Management.
Below is an excerpt, for the full article CLICK HERE.
Melatonin’s Anti-Cancer Mechanisms
Melatonin can kill directly many different types of human tumor cells. It is a naturally produced cytotoxin, which can induce tumor cell death (apoptosis). In instances where the tumor has already established itself in the body, melatonin has been shown to inhibit the tumor’s growth rate.
Night Light, Melatonin, Meditation, and Cancer Incidence
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.
In contrast, higher melatonin levels have been found in blind and visually impaired people, along with correspondingly lower incidences of cancer compared to those with normal vision, thus suggesting a role for melatonin in the reduction of cancer incidence.
Light at night, regardless of duration or intensity, inhibits melatonin secretion and phase-shifts the circadian clock, possibly altering the cell growth rate that is regulated by the circadian rhythm. Disruption of circadian rhythm is commonly observed among cancer patients and contributes to cancer development and tumor progression.
Cancer alters neuroendocrine system function in such a way that melatonin levels are lower in patients with non-small-cell lung cancer. Indeed, the circadian rhythm of melatonin is also altered in advanced gastrointestinal malignancies, such as colorectal, gastric, and pancreatic cancer, with respect to healthy humans.
Deregulation of many circadian clock functions in the human body— including blood pressure, temperature, hormones, sleep-wake pattern, immune function, and digestive activity—has been used as an independent prognostic factor of survival time and tumor response for patients with certain metastatic cancers.
The circadian rhythm alone is a statistically significant predictor of survival time for breast cancer patients.110 Several studies have shown that the circadian clock is involved in tumor suppression at the systemic, cellular, and molecular levels, and that cancer should no longer be treated as a local disorder. For instance, the circadian clock regulates the immune response.
Disruption of circadian rhythms could therefore lead to immunosuppression, which could disrupt cancer cell immunosurveillance and promote tumor development; however, melatonin as a circadian mediator can target the endogenous clock, and has been shown to inhibit immunosuppression.
Melatonin Dosage for Cancer Patients
While the optimal dose of melatonin for treating different types of cancer has not yet been established, the many clinical studies by Lissoni and colleagues have shown that doses of 10-50 mg of melatonin nightly are beneficial to cancer patients. Those recently diagnosed with slow-growing or early-stage cancer may wish to consider supplementing with 3 to 6 mg melatonin nightly; the latter dose may be reserved for early-stage cancer patients who suffer from disturbed sleep patterns.
Melatonin should probably be taken 30 minutes to one hour before sleeping. Slow-release melatonin preparations may benefit those with various types of insomnia, as the oral bioavailability of melatonin is approximately 15%. Exposure to light at night, however, regardless of the duration or intensity of the light, can fully suppress or decrease melatonin levels.
Because most clinical studies have shown that patients with late-stage, advanced, or untreatable cancer, or those with cancer metastasis, benefit from supplementation with 20 mg of melatonin, such patients may wish to consider supplementing with between 6 and 50 mg of melatonin nightly, depending on plasma melatonin levels.
The phenomenon of light at night regulating melatonin levels may explain the spontaneous tumor regression reported to occur through meditation alone in cancer patients (when the eyes are closed and detect no light). The regular practice of meditation is associated with increased physiological levels of melatonin.
Thus, cancer patients with endogenously depressed melatonin levels may benefit from both meditation and substitutional melatonin therapy, to improve quality of life while potentially inhibiting tumor growth and spread.