Melatonin discussed on Quirks and Quarks Complete Show from CBC Radio - The upside of cigarette butts in bird nests; Charging into wildfires; Strong chimps; and more


What happens is when melatonin is suppressed because of exposure to light at night what you can get is a shift in the secretion of that melatonin so it can be pushed to a different time of the day so if you actually had somebody that did nightshift work on a regular basis every single day for for many many many weeks you might see that are melatonin cycle is pushed to a different time of the day now what we find with shift workers though is that they don't stay on a night shift schedule on their weekends on their days off they wanna join their families hang out with friends they wanna you know participate in the world of the living so to speak and so they end up switching back to a day shift schedule so they never end up getting completely use to shift work so that their melatonin cycle might completely shift so what ends up happening is these individuals don't ever really seem to benefit from from that full rise in melatonin that somebody who's working the day shift consistently would have how did you go about looking at the role melatonin plays an increasing the risk of cancer so we chose to look at uh something called eight hydroxy de oxy guan asean real mouthful to say this is a a marker that can be easily measured in urine it turns out that wind reactive oxygen species make their way to the nucleus of a cell they have a real high propensity to react with dna and if this remains in the in the dna it will lead to a mutation that can then contribute to to cancer.

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