The Grapevine

Melatonin: New Health Benefits Uncovered By Researchers

As a hormone made by the pineal gland, melatonin is perhaps best known for its role in regulating our sleep-wake cycle. Per previous bodies of work, this function is perhaps well-publicized since sleep plays a very significant and important role in both our physical and mental health.

However, same with many of the hormones and chemicals in our body, melatonin also has more than one function. And a team of researchers recently gathered to uncover most of them.

Melatonin’s Role in the Body

Hailing from both Brazil and Italy, scientists recently combined efforts to identify the role of melatonin when it comes to improving the disorders of obese people, among other roles. To do this, the researchers used mice as test subjects and treated them with the hormone over the course of 10 weeks.

According to the report, the goal was to find out whether melatonin plays a role in helping the mice from eating too much. From this, they were able to conclude that the hormone does in fact, have an effect on animals, most especially in reducing both LDL cholesterol and triglyceride levels. Melatonin supplementation also increased their capacity to break down fat, which led to the prevention of weight gain. Additionally, the mice also experienced some type of decrease in inflammatory-related factors via gene expression reduction. All in all, these effects worked together to prevent excessive eating, as well as its effects on our bodies.

After the 10-week trial, the results were conclusive, and the mice who ate excessively without melatonin gained 49 percent more body mass than those who ate a normal diet. Furthermore, the mice who were supplemented with melatonin only gained 28 percent more body mass.

From this, the researchers concluded that moving forward, melatonin could help mitigate conditions that are usually a result of being obese, such as metabolic and inflammatory ones.

Other Benefits

In addition to regulating our sleeping patterns, melatonin also acts as an antioxidant that raises other antioxidant levels. It also plays an important role in the survival of mitochondria, which is our body’s powerhouse.

Melatonin May Strengthen Bones Here are the top 14 melatonin supplements for better sleep. Photo courtesy of Shutterstock