Well Being

Melatonin: More Than Nature’s Nyquil; Study Finds Sleep Hormone Cuts Diabetes Risk

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Melatonin supplements are my favorite sleep-aid these days (and I say this as a former NyQuil fiend). They could also be good way to protect against diabetes, according to a new study.

The research, published in the Journal of the American Medical Association, shows a link between low melatonin levels and increased type 2 diabetes risk.

As a hormone, melatonin's primary role is regulating our internal body clocks. Our brains produce it at night while we sleep — which is why taking a melatonin supplement before bed can help you doze off.

In the study, women with the lowest nighttime secretion of melatonin were twice as likely to get diabetes as those with the hightest melatonin levels.

Lead researcher Ciaran McMullan, of Boston's Brigham and Women’s Hospital, says the results open up the possibility of preventing diabetes by boosting melatonin levels. Previous research showed diabetes-prone rats fed a high-melatonin diet were less likely to get the disease.

Elizabeth Nolan Brown, Liz Nolan Brown, Elizabeth Brown, Elizabeth N Brown, health writer, natural remedies
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