Want to fight breast cancer? MSU scientists say get some sleep!

Photo courtesy: Michael Mandiberg/Flickr Commons

When it comes to excuses for sleeping in, it doesn’t get much better than this:

MSU scientists say getting a good night’s sleep can help fight breast cancer.

That’s after research shows that melatonin, a hormone produced by the brain while you sleep, can help suppress breast cancer tumors.

Researchers worked off of a theory that said the lack of melatonin (which happens when people don’t get enough sleep) put women and higher risk for breast cancer. MSU’s work showed melatonin suppressed the growth of breast cancer stem cells.

Their findings were published in the current issue of “Genes and Cancer.”

Melatonin is available as an over-the-counter pill, but researchers are warning people against buying a bunch of pills and gobbling them down. Melatonin and a good night’s sleep are just one of many factors that could decide whether someone gets breast cancer or not.

They also caution that actual treatments based on their findings are still years away. But the university says those findings could the basis for future discoveries.

Neha Sheth talked to scientists at MSU and will have more on their research tonight on 6 News.

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MSU scientists: Hormone stops growth of breast cancer tumors

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