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Melatonin Behavior Circadian Clock/Rhythm Diabetes

The Positive Effect Of Melatonin In Obesity Prevention

1 month, 3 weeks ago

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Posted on Apr 26, 2024, 3 p.m.

The public health problems of obesity, overweight, and type 2 diabetes continue to escalate and they are becoming increasingly more common in developing countries as well as developed countries. This unfortunate reality is a consequence of a bad adaptation of the human genome in response to the current environment of caloric environmental factors, elements of which can be modified and controlled which include but are not limited to:

  • Increasingly sedentary lifestyles with little to no physical activity and exercise 
  • Constant consumption of hypercaloric food and beverages with unlimited access
  • Negative industrial manipulations of food with additives, sweeteners, enhancers, and preservatives 
  • Alteration of circadian biological rhythms due to chronic exposure to light, working nights, nocturnal food intake, increased stress, and lack of exposure to natural light which reduces endogenous melatonin levels. 

Recently, two international studies led by the University of Granada (UGR) published in the journals Antioxidants and Biomedicine & Pharmacotherapy indicate that melatonin helps to prevent obesity, and the effects are beneficial against visceral obesity accumulating deep in the abdomen close to vital organs which can lead to serious health problems. 

According to the researchers, this study carried out in adult diabetic and obese rats found that the administration of 10 mg/kg body weight/day of melatonin for three months helped to prevent obesity to a greater extent than acute treatment, and it reduced visceral obesity by 3%. Additionally, the treatment also ameliorated muscle fiber atrophy caused by obesity and promoted an increase in mitochondria activity and content which may explain the reduction in weight gain in both genders of the animals. 

Further research found that the administration of melatonin in combination with bathing in slightly cold water at 17 degrees Celsius further enhanced weight reduction, suggesting that this mixed method of melatonin and cold water bathing may also help people living with obesity. However, Ahmad Agil recommends choosing appropriate activities based on each person’s internal biological clock for day and night: 

  • Sleep in the dark
  • Avoid blue light in the hours leading up to bedtime and fasting which increases endogenous melatonin levels
  • Consult with your physician to discuss the possibility of a prescription for low-dose melatonin

"During the day, it is good to expose yourself to natural light, do adequate physical activity, choose low-calorie diets loaded with unprocessed foods and replace these additives with thermogenic spices and herbs, avoid eating between meals, do not wear insulating clothing and keep the heating at a comfortable and cool temperature of around 17°C, as well as showering with cool water,” said Agil. 

"Our main challenge is the application of melatonin and other strategies, such as intermittent fasting, in the field of medicine, especially to address the possibility from a treatment perspective of the aforementioned pathologies (diabesity and its complications) that involve increased oxidative-mitochondrial stress, mitochondrial damage and associated meta-inflammation (low-grade inflammation of metabolic origin)," Agil points out.

These studies are in support of previously published research by the same researchers over the last 13 years demonstrating the pharmacological administration of melatonin as a strategic approach to combat obesity and its complications. The results highlight that melatonin curbs obesity as well as improves metabolic function through the activation of brown fat and the browning of subcutaneous body fat. 

Based on the results, according to the researchers, melatonin even promotes adipogenesis of beige mesenchymal stem cells in humans, and melatonin may help to treat visceral obesity in humans which establishes warrant to develop clinical trials to determine the effectiveness in humans. 

"The encouraging indicators obtained in preclinical models invite to take melatonin to the next phase, in order to investigate how it helps in the maintenance of mitochondrial homeostasis and, to a greater extent, if melatonin therapy would allow to delay or stop obesity and its complications, by boosting its chronic pharmacological use," said Agil.

As with anything you read on the internet, this article should not be construed as medical advice; please talk to your doctor or primary care provider before changing your wellness routine. This article is not intended to provide a medical diagnosis, recommendation, treatment, or endorsement. These statements have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. 

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References/Sources/Materials provided by:

Has Obesity Become A Greater Risk To Global Health Than Hunger? | Anti-Aging News

“Hidden Hunger” And Iron Deficiency | Anti-Aging News

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