September 02, 2010
Artificial Light Suppresses Melatonin, Boosts Cancer

University of Haifa researchers found evidence that Light At Night (LAN) has harmful health effects. Bright city lights might boost your risks of cancer by suppressing melatonin production.

The results show once again the clear link between LAN and cancer: the cancerous growths in mice exposed to “short days” were smallest (0.85 cubic cm. average), while those mice exposed to the interval of LAN during dark hours had larger growths (1.84 cubic cm. average) and those exposed to “long days” even larger growths (5.92 cubic cm. average).

The study also discovered that suppression of melatonin definitely influences development of the tumor. The size of tumor in mice exposed to “long days” but treated with melatonin was only 0.62 cubic cm. on average, which is not much different from the size of the growth in mice exposed to “short days”. The study also found that the death rate in mice treated with melatonin was significantly lower than in those not treated.

The researchers say that their study results show that suppression of melatonin due to exposure to LAN is linked to the worrying rise in the number of cancer patients over the past few years. However, it is not yet clear what mechanism causes this.

I'm sitting here in a dark room writing this post with only the monitor light to guide me. I've got a Logitech gamer keyboard because it has lighted keys. Very handy.

Share |      Randall Parker, 2010 September 02 09:37 PM  Aging Cancer Studies


Comments
Mthson said at September 2, 2010 10:42 PM:

Interesting. Think it's worth treating ourselves with melatonin to compensate for bright monitors and unavoidable nighttime light exposure?

Guillaume Theoret said at September 3, 2010 6:09 AM:

If you use your computer in the total dark you should run this:
http://www.stereopsis.com/flux/

Since I installed it I can't go back to the regular harsh white light the monitor emits at night.

Brett Bellmore said at September 3, 2010 6:38 AM:

Too bad the monitor by itself puts out enough light to suppress melatonin... OTOH, it's only the blue part of the spectrum that seems to do that, so you could just run your monitor on a red theme at night.

John said at September 3, 2010 10:45 AM:

Sounds like you can't win. Long days get you cancer, short days get you illness b/c of vitamin D deficiency. [cue Price is Right losing horns]

Dov Henis said at September 3, 2010 1:31 PM:

So What Else Is New?

Life Is Simpler Than They Tell Us
http://www.articlesbase.com/science-articles/life-is-simpler-than-they-tell-us-817144.html

Evolution:
Genes to Genomes to Monocellular to Multicellular Organisms;
Direct Sunlight to Metabolic Energy, Too;
Triptophan to Serotonin to Melatonin to Neural System.

A. Triptophan to Serotonin to Melatonin

Melatonin is a hormone secreted by the human pineal gland during night-time darkness. It is now marketed in the US as a nutritional supplement. The hormone is an indoleamine compound derived from the essential amino acid L-tryptophan, with serotonin as an intermediate precursor.

Tryptophan is one of eight essential amino acids, not produced by the body but coming from the diet. The additional fourteen amino acids are produced metabolically.

In the brain, tryptophan converts to serotonin, the neuro-transmitter. Tryptophan is the only source for serotonin in the brain. Insufficient L-tryptophan in the diet is a cause of many severe biological malfunctions.

Some serotonin is converted in the pineal gland to melatonin, the hormone involved in intercell processes during sleep time.

B. Sunlight to Metabolic Energy

Bio-clocks are products of the innate sun-dictated active-inactive pattern of genes and genomes, parents of Earth's life. During life genesis and its early evolution direct sunlight was the only source of their usable energy. This situation persistrd well into the evolution of the early monocellular organisms, and both genes and genomes display, therefore, innate "inactive-sleep" phenomena.

The incorporation of mitochondria with some cells innitiated the metabolic bio production of bio usable energy and furnished the evolving monocellular organisms with new, additional, flexibly available local energy. This development opened up a variety of courses of evolutions of cultures of monocells communities.

C. Individual Monocells to Cooperative Monocells-Communities

As individual independent genes aggregated to cooperative genes communes, genomes, so individual monocells aggregated cooperatively into monocellular communities.

From "Life Is A Cooperative Affair" (Sept 2005)

http://pulse.yahoo.com/_2SF3CJJM5OU6T27OC4MFQSDYEU/blog/articles/53088

"Life has always been and still is a fractal affair, repetition of phenomena on ever more complex scale. It cannot be otherwise; it evolves. And surviving-proliferating life has always been a cooperative affair since cooperation is most successful for overall survival/proliferation."

Cooperation requires all sorts of interactions, including maintenance, protection and foraging for food-energy. Organisms' interactions are "cultures". Cultures require "cultural energy". Melatonin and some proteins are dark-and-light que signals evolved by the monocells communities for timing intercells processes when the intracells processes are at "sleep-inactive" state. Melatonin is a derivative of serotonin a derivative of triptophan, and proteins are genes' toolings, energy-dependent metabolism products.

D. Monocellular to Multicellular Organisms, Monocells Culture to Neural System

Now we can appreciate the fractal nature of life's evolution. It is ever-continuous ever-enhanced ever-complexed cooperation. Now we can understand why, and grosso modo how, all the organs and processes and signals found in multicelled organisms have their origins in the monocells communities. And this includes the functions of serotonin and melatonin and, yes, the evolution of neural cells and the neural systems with their intricate outer-membrane shapes and functionings and with their high energy consumption requirements.

Now, circa four billion years after initial genesis-evolution with direct sun's energy followed with evolution with also indirect, bio, sun's energy, some of Earth life, we humans, find ouselves short of energy and in need of exploiting again more, and more direcly, our sun's energy...


Dov Henis
(Comments From The 22nd Century)
03.2010 Updated Life Manifest
http://www.the-scientist.com/community/posts/list/54.page#5065
Cosmic Evolution Simplified
http://www.the-scientist.com/community/posts/list/240/122.page#4427
EOTOE.Embarrassingly obvious expanding horizons beyond Darwin And Einstein.
http://www.molecularfossils.com/2010/05/formal-test-of-theory-of-universal.html

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