Creative Commons License photo credit: muztiko

It has been said that today we have experts who know more and more about less and less until they know absolutely everything about absolutely nothing. While science does contribute to the opening up of our world many scientists and researchers are specialists in very tightly constrained fields of inquiry. Although this practice may assist the pursuit of deeper knowledge regarding a particular class of phenomena it has so far failed in many areas of great importance.

Human health for example and cancer specifically has defied millions if not billions of dollars of research money. The state of a single individual human being involves a great deal of complexity and depends on an almost incomprehensible number of variables stretching back into the distant past. Generally scientific research for good reason tends to try to limit the variables. However, the lack of meta or holistic perspective among the general establishment is stark.

Has the Answer Been Known for Years?
Back in 1997 an editorial piece appeared in the journal Nature. In it the author criticized toxicologists for poorly executed experiments. The toxicologists were administering carcinogens to mice of a strain known for its longevity to see how long it took for the mice to develop cancer. The problem was the mice were dying before the experiments were finished. The laboratory mice were fat, frail and dying young. The stated cause? Improved diets and environments. Sound familiar? To me this is an interesting insight into the affects of the modern affluent human environment and yet all the writer was concerned about was carrying out studies properly.

Here, improved diets means more concentrated refined carbohydrates. This improvement in diet for the mice and improvements in their living environment along with the elimination of infection resulted in fat mice with heart disease and a short lifespan. Recall that these mice were previously known for their longevity. Their cushy modern human like life-style killed them before they could die from cancer. That is, unless…

Who Left the Lights On?
In the same year (1997) a study was published in the Journal of Laboratory Animal Science. The article was titled – Light contamination during the dark phase in photoperiodically controlled animal rooms: effect on tumor growth and metabolism in rats. The study found that animals (mammals just like you and I) maintained in a constant light environment experienced enhanced tumor growth and higher insulin and blood sugar.

Quoting from the abstract it says “Tumor linoleic acid utilization…are suppressed by the circadian neurohormone melatonin, the production of which is itself regulated by light in all mammals. This study was performed to determine whether minimal light contamination [what amounts to less than a candle] in animal rooms during an otherwise normal dark phase may disrupt normal circadian production of melatonin and affect tumor growth and metabolism. The results indicate that minimal light contamination of only 0.2 lux during an otherwise normal dark phase inhibits host melatonin secretion and increases the rate of tumor growth…”

Despite this result you would be hard pressed to find someone investigating light as a source of tumor growth in humans. The researchers in the above study were only concerned with rats and mice. They failed to see the forest for the trees. This is despite clearly stating that exposure to even small amounts of light during a period when it should be dark (night time) results in the inhibition of melatonin in all mammals and accelerated growth of cancer.

The mechanism for cancer control naturally exists in each one of us. Each night we’re meant to enjoy a natural melatonin bath. However, we’ve messed with our environment so much that we’re inhibiting the natural process. So now we have to actually put up block-out blinds, turn off the digital clock that ironically bathes us in light all night long and systematically remove light leaks from our sleeping environment.

Think cave. Cool and so dark you can’t see your hand in front of your face.

Wrapping it Up
For a look at some of the mechanisms involving melatonin you might enjoy reading Why Living in Balance and Harmony with Nature is the Key to Good Health. Coming in the next couple of days we will take a look at more interesting research in a similar vein as today. To ensure you don’t miss out make sure you subscribe using the form below.

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