Naturally boost your cancer-killing hormone

Hormones influence pretty much every critical function in your body — your metabolism, your fertility, your biological clock, your mood, your immune system… the list goes on and on.

But one of your hormones’ most important jobs is telling your cells when and how they should multiply.

As you can imagine, this is a big responsibility. One misguided move by your hormones and you could have a cancerous tumor on your hands.

Your breast cancer risk, for example, is largely tied to your hormones. That’s why hormone-based medical treatments like birth control and synthetic hormone replacement therapy (HRT) tend to increase your chances of getting breast cancer.

But just as easily as hormones can increase your cancer risk, they can also slash it significantly by boosting your immune system and killing cancer cells.

In fact, there is one naturally occurring hormone in particular that has the proven ability to help your body fight cancer — especially breast cancer.

That hormone is melatonin, and it’s one your body produces to control your biological clock.

Recently, researchers from Tabriz University of Medical Sciences in Iran found that melatonin makes conventional breast cancer treatments more effective by coming in and wiping out the cancer cells these treatments miss.

Now the reason these researchers began exploring melatonin’s cancer-fighting abilities is because the most popular treatment for breast cancer, a chemotherapy drug called tamoxifen, faces some serious obstacles when it comes to curing cancer — like life-threatening side effects and the inability to fight chemo-resistant cancer cells. So they wanted to see if melatonin could help overcome some of these obstacles.

And it did.

By using melatonin in combination with tamoxifen, researchers were able to reduce the doses of tamoxifen administered, which meant less side effects for patients. They also found that the melatonin was able to successfully target and kill cancer cells that had already developed a resistance to tamoxifen.

But just so you know, melatonin doesn’t need to be used in conjunction with conventional cancer treatments to be effective. A study published in 2014 in the journal PLoS One found that melatonin put a stop to tumor growth and cancerous cell production in mice with triple-negative breast cancer. And there have been numerous other studies that have shown the same thing—melatonin can kill cancer cells, whether in a Petri dish, in a mouse or in the human body.

The reason melatonin has such impressive cancer-fighting prowess is because it has antioxidant properties that reduce inflammation, boost your immune system and help you keep cancerous cells where they belong: dead and gone.

Your melatonin levels decrease with age, which might be one reason why you become more susceptible to cancer and other diseases the older you get. So if you’re hovering in or around middle age and want to reduce your cancer risk, optimizing your melatonin levels is a great preventative practice.

You can make a few simple changes to help your body produce more melatonin naturally, like avoiding brightly-lit screens, especially ‘blue’ light, from computers and hand-held devices at night, exposing yourself to bright, natural sunlight in the morning and sleeping in complete and total darkness. Or you can also try adding a 3 mg melatonin pill to your bedtime ritual. And if you do start using melatonin to reduce your cancer risk, you’ll have an added bonus: You’ll sleep a whole lot better, which coincidentally enough, reduces your cancer risk too!

Editor’s note: Are you feeling unusually tired? You may think this is normal aging, but the problem could be your master hormone. When it’s not working, your risk of age-related diseases skyrockets. To reset what many call “the trigger for all disease” and live better, longer, click here to discover The Insulin Factor: How to Repair Your Body’s Master Controller and Conquer Chronic Disease!

  1. “How do hormones work?” Frontline. PBS. Retrieved June 14, 2016.
  2. “How Hormones Affect Breast Cancer.” Susan G. Komen. Retrieved June 14, 2016.
  3. “Estrogen’s role in cancer.” Columbia University Health Sciences. Retrieved June 14, 2016.
  4. Sabzichia, N. Samadia, J. Mohammadian, H. Hamishehkara, M. Akbarzadehc, O. Molavid “Sustained release of melatonin: A novel approach in elevating efficacy of tamoxifen in breast cancer treatment.” Colloids and Surfaces B: Biointerfaces. V145, 1 September 2016, p.64–71.
  5. V. Jardim-Perassi, A. S. Arbab, L. Carvalho Ferreira, T. Ferraz Borin, N.R.S. Varma, A. S. M. Iskander, A. Shankar, M.M. Ali, D. Aparecida Pires de Campos Zuccari. “Effect of Melatonin on Tumor Growth and Angiogenesis in Xenograft Model of Breast Cancer.” PLoS ONE, 2014; 9 (1).
  6. Cutando, A. López-Valverde, S. Arias-Santiago, J. Vicente, R.G. Diego. “Role of melatonin in cancer treatment.” Anticancer Research. 2012 Jul;32(7):2747-53.
Jenny Smiechowski

By Jenny Smiechowski

Jenny Smiechowski is a Chicago-based freelance writer who specializes in health, nutrition and the environment. Her work has appeared in online and print publications like Chicagoland Gardening magazine, Organic Lifestyle Magazine, BetterLife Magazine,, and