Melatonin shown to prevent obesity and diseases caused by obesity

Granada | University – Monday, 29 November 2010

Scientists at the University of Granada have showed that melatonin – a natural hormone produced by the human body – prevents weight gain without a need to reduce the amount of food consumed. It also improves blood lipid levels by reducing triglycerides and LDL cholesterol while increasing HDL levels.
Small quantities of melatonin are contained in certain fruit and vegetables. Among these are mustard, goji berries, almonds, sunflower seeds, fennel, coriander, and cherries. Their consumption can promote weight control and prevent cardiovascular diseases triggered by obesity and dyslipidemia.

Melatonin in animal experiments
Scientists have examined the effect of melatonin on obesity, dyslipidemia, and high blood pressure in connection with obesity in young laboratory mice with diabetes, simulating metabolic syndrome. Since the positive effects of melatonin intake were observed in the young mice even before they developed cardiovascular problems, scientists are convinced that melatonin can prevent cardiovascular diseases triggered by obesity and dyslipidemia.
If these results are confirmed, scientists think it possible that consumption of melatonin and melatonin-containing products could be an effective tool in the fight against obesity and risk factors triggered by it.

Research collaboration
This research project was funded by the following funds. Research fund of the University of Granada, research group CTS-109 Spain (Junta de Anadalucía), and the Erasmus Mundus Program (European Commission) mobility fund for scientists. Scientists of the medical faculty of the University of Granada have implemented this project in collaboration with the S. Cecilio University Hospital of Granada, the Department of Pharmacology at the University of Salamanca, the Department of Pharmacology at the University of Jordan and the Department of Endocrinology of Hospital Carlos III in Madrid.
The authors of the work are Professors Ahmad Agil, Miguel Navarro, Rosario Ruiz, Sausan Abuamada, Yehia El-Mir and Gumersindo Fernández. In light of the results observed, they consider it proven that diseases (especially cardiovascular diseases) associated with obesity and diabetes that decrease the quality of life as well as life expectancy can be prevented.
Parts of the study results were recently published in the prestigious Journal of Pineal Research.

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