Many people use melatonin to improve the quality of their sleep. However, new research shows that melatonin has more use beyond getting a few Zzzs.
Breast cancer is a life-threatening disease that affects millions of people worldwide. While both sexes can experience breast cancer, it is more common among women. In the US, 1 out of 8 women will develop invasive breast cancer throughout their life.
With that said, recent research found that melatonin can help women with breast cancer. But what good can melatonin do to the body?
Is Melatonin Good for Breast Health?
New studies show that melatonin has the potential to prevent breast cancer. A 2018 study found that melatonin has antioxidant and antiestrogenic properties, which are substances that can lower the risk of breast cancer in people.
Other recent studies also found that melatonin slows down the growth of cancer during treatment. According to the studies, melatonin is a promising anticancer agent.
However, these studies are ongoing, and much research is still needed to better understand how melatonin works in the body. Experts are experimenting with melatonin, so there is not enough information to conclude that melatonin will be effective for every patient.
Is It Safe to Take Melatonin While Undergoing Breast Cancer Treatment?
Although there are no official announcements that melatonin is an effective cancer treatment, patients can still take melatonin. However, melatonin may react to your medication, so you may want to talk to your doctor before taking supplements.
Melatonin may react with certain medications, such as medications for diabetes, hypertension, heart diseases, seizures, autoimmune conditions, and mental illnesses. Melatonin can also cause unwanted side effects, including headaches, nausea, vivid nightmares, and daytime drowsiness.
Besides melatonin, your doctor may also recommend you take other supplements while undergoing breast cancer treatment. These supplements, including vitamins and minerals, can replenish your body and boost your energy throughout treatment.
What Are The Benefits of Melatonin in the Body?
People react to melatonin differently. Some might experience little to no effects after taking melatonin, while others can reap the benefits of melatonin.
Many people say that taking melatonin makes sleeping and relaxing easier. Melatonin also lowers feelings of stress, anxiety, and depression, something most patients need, especially when undergoing stressful situations.
The research on the effects of melatonin, especially for long-term use, is still lacking. It is vital that you first talk to your doctor before taking supplements.
Can I Take Melatonin While Breastfeeding?
Many doctors might not recommend melatonin while breastfeeding because of the lack of research on the long-term use of the supplement. While some mothers use melatonin while breastfeeding, it is usually short-term and under the supervision of a healthcare provider.
If you have breast cancer and recently gave birth, your doctor will recommend you avoid breastfeeding. Cancer treatment uses many drugs and therapies that can find their way into your breast milk and make your baby sick.
You may consider taking melatonin if you are not breastfeeding your baby while undergoing cancer treatment. Ask your doctor about taking supplements and whether they will interfere with other medications you are using.