It’s known not from today, that healthy sleep is crucial in effective work over our body. On the other hand, it’s not well known why it’s so important from biochemical side of things. That’s why we will look closely at melatonin properties, known also as “sleep hormone”. Do melatonin is effective supplementation for weight reduction?
That’s was also the question for researchers, and that’s the reason for possibility of looking closer on mechanism of this hormone actions (especially those, which can affects our fight with excessive weight). Conclusions are very interesting. Melatonin’s way of action is different from what we can typically see. It doesn’t activate adrenergic system (that’s clear – it would disturb sleep cycle). It also doesn’t elevate irisin levels (irisine is responsible for signalling between muscles and fat tissue. It conducts “browning” of fat tissue.
What actually browning is? Well, we have two types of fat tissue – white and brown. White, is this one, which we are associating with wide waist (it’s energy magazine). Brown adipose tissue has other job, and its in minority in our organism. Brown color is result of high density of mitochondria in its cells. Its role is to burn energy from white tissue, when temperature around us get low, to dissipate thermal energy, and guarantee optimal body temperature.
It was showed in studies on rats. Regular supplementation of melatonin resulted in intensified transformation of white adipose tissue in brown one, which finally resulted in higher body temperature, intesified thermogenesis, conducted by exposure on coldness, and higher level of thermogenic proteins – UCP-1 and PGC-1-alfa. And that’s why we can call melatonin an “thermogenic compound”
Of course, studies considering rats as subject can not convince everyone, so let’s check what we can find with studies on humans. Mrs. Anne Kristine Amstrup, with her team conducted very interesting study on women after menopausal state. They used double-blind test, and controlled group as placebo. Women were divided in 3 groups, supplemented by 1mg of melatonin, 3 mg of it, and control group for a year. Results were based on X-ray absorptiometry measurment of body composition, and blood tests.
Effects are incredible, because in groups supplementing melatonin, noticted 7% fat tissue loss, and 3,5% muslce mass increase! There wasn’t any other guidelines for whole study time, so we can say, that melatonin is independed substance in terms of body recomposition.
To sum up, melatonin has significant impact on energetic metabolism in our organism, what shows significant results in body composition. That’s why everyone, who want to lose excessive kilograms, and show off muscles, should consider proper sleep at first place. Supplementation of melatonin is considered as very attractive option, because it can help us lose fat and have positive influence on our muscles and overall health at the same time. Moderate doses are very well tolerated, and can be specially useful for people having problems with insomnia, or for elderly people.
 Aroa Jiménez-Aranda et. al. „Melatonin induces browning of inguinal white adipose tissue in Zucker diabetic fatty rats” DOI: 10.1111/jpi.12089
 Dennis D. Rasmussen et. al. „Daily Melatonin Administration at Middle Age Suppresses Male Rate Visceral Fat, Plasma Leptin, and Plasma Insulin to Youthful Levels” DOI: 10.1210/en.140.2.1009
 Anne Kristine Amstrup et. al. „Reduced fat mass and increased lean mass in response to 1 year of melatonin treatment in postmenopausal women: A randomized placebo-controlled trial” Clinical Endocrinology (2016) 84, 342–347