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2014-06-23

Melatonin for Diabetes and Weight Loss?

I know most think of melatonin as a sleep aid, and that's mostly right, but it's been studied for far more than that. Take for instance, this newly published animal study that shows it's potential for diabetic patients and as an ingredient for weight loss.

We know that mitochondrial dysfunction in fat tissue may contribute to obesity-related metabolic impairments such as type 2 diabetes mellitus (T2DM). Since mitochondria are a target for melatonin's action, the goal of this study was to investigate the effects of melatonin on mitochondrial function in white adipose tissue (WAT, or white fat) and "beige fat" in Zücker (ZDF) rats that were diabetic and obese.

(A short discussion of WAT, BAT, and beige fat was covered last year in this post: Melatonin for Weight Loss?)

In this experimental model, melatonin reduced obesity and improved the metabolic profile. Melatonin also increased the respiratory control ratio in mitochondria (a measure of it's function) and lowered mitochondrial oxidative stress (by reducing nitrite levels and by increasing superoxide dismutase activity).

So now with more confirmatory evidence on the utility of melatonin for mitochondrial function, it's application could grow to include all sorts of different health conditions. Stay tuned...

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Source: Melatonin improves mitochondrial function in inguinal white adipose tissue of Zücker diabetic fatty rats

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