Copyright © 1996, 2001 by Galen Daryl Knight and VitaleTherapeutics, Inc.

Dietary Tumor Promoters

The key and lock analogy might also help to explain why certain indole analogues of melatonin, the teleocidins, promote tumor development, while others with less protruding ligands, like a "master key", are therapeutic. Unfortunately, like "master keys", the non-specific therapeutic indoles have the disadvantage of being less specific for the "lock" and capable of influencing metabolism on other receptors ("locks") such as those for the neurotransmitter, serotonin. Consequently, these non-specific or generic agents run higher risks of producing undesirable side reactions. Other indoles, the vincristines and vinblastines, have been used successfully in some forms of cancer, but are themselves quite toxic to cells. Strychnine, a deadly rat poison, and lysergic acid (LSD), a hallucinogen, are also indoles. There might be a connection between Timothy Leary's promotion of LSD and his cancer, but with his daily consumption of 44 cigarettes, three cups of coffee, two glasses of wine, one beer, one marijuana joint, 3 baked marijuana-and-cheese canapes, and 12 balloons of nitrous oxide we will never know. A widely held view among LSD users and investigators, that this hallucinogenic substance produces insomnia, furthers concerns about the effects of non-nutritive indoles upon melatonin's beneficial activities.


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