Melatonin Takes On Tumors
By Anthony Almada, MS

Melatonin, the natural aid for better sleep and recovery from jet lag, also has potential as a component of cancer treatment. Until now melatonin's anticancer properties were demonstrated just in test-tube and animal research, but a recent study has shown its benefits on humans.

One study of 24 premenopausal women with metastatic breast cancer (spread only to the armpit lymph nodes) discovered a significant increase of melatonin in the blood after completion of an initial cycle of chemotherapy. The researchers postulated that increased melatonin could be an indication of a favorable response to chemotherapy.

In subjects with advanced non-Hodgkin's lymphoma, a combo therapeutic regimen that included high dose melatonin (10 mg twice daily) was associated with a high percentage of positive response to treatment. The role of melatonin in tumor biology is exciting but merits further study. Melatonin use in cancer patients should be monitored by an informed health care practitioner.

Nutrition and exercise biochemist Anthony Almada, MS, has collaborated on more than 45 university-based studies and is founder and chief scientific officer of IMAGINutrition.