Light, Cancer & Melatonin

Ian Goddard (
Mon, 19 Oct 1998 17:22:26 -0400

A very interesting report in the latest Science News (10/17/98, 154:16) on artifical night illumination, its effects on melitonin and thereby on cancer. Unfortunately it's not an article selected for their website (

The Sceince News article states:

"Exposure to light at night can disrupt the body's production of melatonin, a brain hormone best known for its daily role in resetting the body's biological clock... Some researcher's have speculated that chronically decreasing nocturnal melatonin production -- as with light -- might increase an individual's risk of developing estrogen-related malignancies, such as breast cancer.

Two studies in Nordic populations now offer tentative support for this idea.

According to neuroendocrinologist Russel J. Reiter of the University of Texas Health Sciences Center at San Antonio, the emerging science indicates that, functionally, "light is a drug" -- and that "by abusing it, we risk imperiling our health.""

Gee, I guess this means the FDA will have to regulate light. The National Health Care System can no longer afford the high costs of the cancer rate, the FDA therefore decrees that all lights be turned off at 10pm. The SN article also states:

"...researcher's have shown that melatonin also functions as an antioxidant (SN:8/14/93, p. 109) and an anticarcinogen."

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