Cancer and circadian rhythm–Nobel Prize research shows how body clocks can turn back disease


Cancer. The word continues to evoke paralyzing fear in humans despite the science and education that exists to empower them to heal. Clocks-human beings live by them. Age, education, work, sickness, marriage—are all measured by the passing of years. Life and death are often measured in quantity of time—as opposed to quality. As the song “Turn, Turn, Turn” so appropriately says, “a time for every purpose under Heaven.”

What could cancer and clocks possibly have in common?

According to years of scientific research, circadian rhythm—that is, the 24-hour rotation of the Earth, may have a far more important role to play in resetting our own body clocks to prevent and reverse disease. Studies of blind women and nightshift workers (mostly nurses) have given much insight into why these groups of people have significantly higher rates of cancer (mostly of the breast), obesity, diabetes, and depression. Nobel Prize winning research (2017) about circadian rhythm further explains why this is so. (Links below)

Humans have a “Master Clock” that sits on top of the optic nerve in the hypothalamus area of the brain. Our master clock is pre programmed into our genetic code and unable to be changed. Our ancestors lived by this clock long before light bulbs and 24-hour fast food options.

Sunlight enters the brain through receptors in the retina, and those receptors trigger a signal to the master clock only, that it’s daylight mode. Every morning when you wake up, you see light, and that light will keep your master clock in circadian rhythm with the energy of the earth. Light energizes and animates us. The master clock then signals all the peripheral clocks in your body that you are in daytime mode. Daytime mode is completely different than nighttime mode. Our ancestors were very active during the day—working outside, hunting for food, running from predators—all of which require adrenaline. Every cell in your body has it’s own clock, including your microbiome (gut). The master clock in your brain sends hormonal signals that travel all over your body synchronizing the cells to the light/dark, day/night cycle.

The human body has two main functions, which it knows perfectly and exactly how to carry out: survival and reproduction. Circadian clocks help every cell in your body know when to use energy, when to rest, when to repair DNA, or when to replicate it. Hair cells, for example, grow during the day and slow down at night—when hair cells are in repair mode. This can affect cancer treatment given early in the morning—when cells are not repairing—leading to hair loss.

Studies of nightshift workers show that they often have dis-regulated clocks. They eat in the middle of the night, they sleep during the daylight, and so their hormonal balance is not in synch with circadian rhythm. People who travel across time zones also have dis-regulated microbiome clocks. This causes a break down in communication. Hormones are chemical messengers that tell your body what to do. Timing is everything. Melatonin is a critical hormone for creating homeostasis in the body. It is also the most potent antioxidant. It’s only released in complete darkness.

There is actually more melatonin made in our gut than in our brain. There are certain types of bacteria that are only produced at night in the presence of melatonin. And these bacteria make important neurotransmitters.

Here’s where it gets interesting. Dr. Ryke Geerd Hamer did extensive research on the emotional causes of cancer. He outlines the five stages of tumor formation in the body. His research is called “The New German Medicine.” (Link below) Dr. Hamer found that the real cause of cancer and other diseases is an “unexpected traumatic shock for which humans are emotionally unprepared.” In the vast majority of cancer patients, there is a combination of both psychological and physiological stresses that have contributed, at the cellular level, to depletion of adrenaline, excess sugar, and lack of oxygen—causing individual cells to mutate and become cancerous.

Factors that contribute to a normal cell becoming depleted of adrenaline, high in sugar, and low in oxygen include: poor nutrition, toxins, EMF radiation, lack of exercise, lack of sunlight. Psychological stressors include (but are not limited to): inescapable shock (loss of loved one, divorce), repressed feelings, depression, poor sleep, emotional trauma, etc. According to Dr. Hamer, this “inescapable shock” happens two years before the cancer diagnosis. Some say up to twenty years. This sets up a vicious cycle.

The cycle begins with the inescapable shock/emotional trauma that affects deep sleep and the production of melatonin within the body. Again, melatonin is necessary for inhibiting cancer cell growth and is the primary hormone responsible for regulating the immune system. During phase one, the emotional reflex center in the brain slowly breaks down, creating a dark “spot” on the brain. Dr. Hamer proved this theory with every cancer patient because these dark spots were visible on X-rays and brain scans. Each part of the emotional reflex center in the brain controls and is connected to an organ or part of the body, and when the emotion center breaks down, so does communication to the organ or body part it is connected to. The immune system also receives subconscious messages from the emotion center to slow down or even stop working.

Remember, when the human body is faced with the stress of an inescapable shock, the hormone cortisol helps to decide two options—fight or flight, and shuts down any functions that might get in the way. If you feel (on a subconscious level) like you have somehow “died” emotionally—your brain sends messages to shut down your immune system. When you shut down your immune system–viruses, bacteria, and yeast take over.

Over time, elevated stress hormone levels cause adrenaline to become depleted. Adrenaline is responsible for removing and converting glucose (sugar) from cells for energy throughout the body—while insulin is responsible for transporting glucose into cells. When your adrenaline reserves are depleted from constant stress, sugar levels rise inside cells leaving no room for oxygen. This means that individual cells have little or no adrenaline to convert glucose into energy for the body, and they have little to no room left to take in oxygen from the bloodstream.

Lack of oxygen and cell energy means normal cells mutate during the dividing process causing new rogue cancer cells. As the cells become more acidic (low pH) due to the waste products accumulated by the fermentation of excess stress hormones, poor diet, excess sugar and lack of oxygen— opportunistic viruses, bacteria, yeast, mold, fungus and candida take hold because they all thrive in low pH, acidic, surroundings.

Dr. Hamer believes that it is the inescapable shock that suppresses the immune system, coupled with the opportunistic microbes (bacteria, virus, yeast like fungus) that feed on high-level glucose cells that form cancer cells. The yeast like fungus provides a natural fermentation process that essentially happens inside the individual cell, providing energy and natural growth factor in return. The result is the formation of a “tumor” and the tumor cells are held hostage by the fungus that inhabits them.

How can you use this research to empower you?

The best way is to live as our ancestors did as much as possible. Get out in the sun first thing in the morning. If you go to work in the dark and come home in the dark—go outside and take a break when the sun comes up. Eat during the day when possible. Eat natural and organic and avoid white sugar and all artificial sweeteners. Fast from eating for 12-16 hours at night. Rest and Digest. Exercise during the day whenever possible. Take a walk at lunch or after work during the light hours. Watch the sunset. Try to set a regular bedtime between 10-11pm. You must get into a good sleep so you release melatonin. “Meditate and marinate” (Dr. Wayne Dyer)– If you have experienced a loss, a death, divorce–ask yourself what did it teach you? You must work through the lesson or it will be repeated.  These may seem like simple things, but they are powerful.

Our ancestors lived by the circadian rhythm of the Earth and they had much less dis-ease and depression than our children have today. We take pills to hide our depression, we take acid blockers that destroy our microbiome, we live in artificial light, eat all the time, and then take pills to sleep. We have evolved in many ways—but we have become increasingly dependent upon people and drugs outside of us; instead of the miraculous, Creator given self-healing mechanisms within us.


Health and Sleep Survey of Blind Women

Nobel Prize Research (2017)

Dr. Ryke Geerd Hamer



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Thomasina Copenhaver
Thomasina Copenhaver is a naturopathic doctor and registered nurse with over 30 years experience in the healthcare profession. Her passion is writing, researching, and empowering all humans with knowledge of healing at the cellular level; to enable them to make educated and informed choices regarding their health. For more information visit her website: or to buy her book, "Notes from a Naturopath" visit Amazon or Barnes and Noble.