Every year, more than half a million men are diagnosed with prostate cancer, with increasing incidence in developed and developing countries. Prostate cancer is a disease of the prostate, which is the gland responsible for producing a fluid that protects sperm. However, results of medical research have highlighted the correlation of melatonin’s or the sleep hormone’s levels in men and the risk of developing prostate cancer.
According to Dr. Russel Reiter, professor of Cellular Biology at the University of Texas Health Science Center,
Melatonin is far superior in preventing cellular damage from free radicals, compared with other antioxidants like Vitamin E and Vitamin C.
It is very important to maintain a healthy level of melatonin in the body. Melatonin is produced in the body at night and when there is very little or no exposure to light. It widely known to be responsible for a person’s sleep-wake cycle or circadian rhythm.
To investigate the link between melatonin levels and incidence of prostate cancer, a team of scientists led by Sarah C. Markt from the Harvard School of Public Health conducted a 7-year study on 928 men. The study revealed that men who had higher levels of 6-sulfaoxymelatonin in the urine, a by-product of melatonin, were 75% less likely to have prostate cancer.
A person’s lifestyle affects melatonin levels in the body. For example, using a smartphone at night while lying in bed exposes you to blue light, an important factor in stimulating your body’s wakefulness and circadian rhythm. This also greatly affects your body’s melatonin levels, while reducing your sleep. Avoid browsing your smartphone during bedtime, or install a blue light filter on your phone.
To raise your body’s melatonin levels, you can make changes in your lifestyle, and consider a supplemental diet. Melatonin supplementation not only helps normalize your circadian rhythm, but also increases your body’s ability to fight of a number of diseases, including prostate cancer in men.