Melatonin levels could increase risk of breast cancer

It's "13 Friends For Life day" time to make sure your friend for life knows her normal.

GRAND RAPIDS, MICH. - Sleep, it does a body good! Especially when it comes to breast cancer.

"We have known that people who get less than six hours of sleep a night can get a more aggressive form of breast cancer," says Dr. Judy Smith, Chief of Oncology with Spectrum Health.

Now, a new study by Michigan State University researchers has found a link between lower levels of melatonin which are produced by the brain during sleep and breast cancer.

"Melatonin could be the missing link," Smith said.

She is familiar with the MSU study and says this the first step in finding out if there is a connection between melatonin and breast cancer.

"And if that actually has an effect of decreasing the number of cancer cells created, or suppressing cancer cells, or something like that it's really ground breaking," Smith said.

But that doesn't mean you should run out and stock up on melatonin.

“We really don't have any ability to show what we want to show, which is melatonin as a pill can help you decrease your risk of cancer. But sleep we think truly can," Smith said.

Smith says that’s because it's been proven that sleep helps give you a strong immune system. So, Dr. Judy has some words of advice: “The key here is not to go out and buy pills but to go to sleep."

(© 2016 WZZM)


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