Does melatonin help you lose weight?

Endocrinology experts explain that sleep plays an important role in weight loss. However, it is not possible to state that the use of melatonin itself helps to lose weight. What happens is that during quality sleep, the body regulates the hormones related to satiety (ghrelin and leptin). When one sleeps little or has poor quality sleep, these hormones also act in a worse way, causing the person to eat more until they are satisfied. That is, those who sleep better can control their weight more efficiently, and melatonin can be combined in this process. However, factors such as a balanced diet and physical activity are also determinants in weight loss, as much or more than a good night's sleep.

Benefits of melatonin in study

In addition to its sleep benefits, researchers have looked at other health uses of melatonin. Here are some lines of research: Migraine treatment Recent studies, some done here in Brazil, show the uses of melatonin in the treatment of some specific types of migraine. It has been studied for cases in which patients do not respond to common treatments, which include the use of painkillers, among other therapies. But it is not yet known what effect it can have in these cases, nor has a protocol for its use been established. Improved response to chemotherapy Some studies in mice have shown that melatonin can help increase the effectiveness of cancer treatments using chemotherapy. Studies are still being done in humans, but it is not yet known whether this hormone will act in the same way. Cancer prevention Some scholars go further and believe that melatonin can influence the prevention of some types of cancer. There are biological arguments for this since one of the body's processes during sleep is precisely to regulate the mechanism that controls whether the new cells created by the body are functioning as they should, preventing the appearance of tumors. But tests on humans are still being done and it takes a few years to reach a more concrete conclusion.

Melatonin what it is for, sleep benefits and side effects


Melatonin is a hormone naturally produced by the human body and one of its basic functions is to induce sleep. It is attached to the regulation of metabolism throughout the day, which includes the sessions when the person is sleeping or awake. Its sleep-inducing action has prompted the pharmaceutical industry to launch its synthetic version, widely sold as a supplement in other countries, such as the United States and Europe. The melatonin has not released its sales in Brazil by the National Sanitary Surveillance Agency (ANVISA). However, it can be imported if you have a prescription. In addition, the topical product made in handling pharmacies has already been released for sale with a prescription.

What is the melatonin produced in the body for

Melatonin is a hormone linked to the circadian cycle, that is, the way the body organizes its functions when we are awake and during sleep. The substance begins to be produced in the pineal gland when the day gets dark, to help the body prepare for sleep. It reaches its highest level when anyone is sleeping. With the sunrise and the return of light, the gland reduces the production of melatonin, which signals that it is time to wake up. By regulating sleep throughout the body, most organs does have receptors for melatonin. Therefore, it is quite possible that it acts in the body in different ways, still unknown to doctors. It is believed that it also has cell regeneration functions and also helps to fight inflammation in the body. As today we have more and more light stimuli even at night, with television, computers and the constant use of cell phones, some people may have a lower or more irregular melatonin production.

Specialist warns of excessive and unregulated consumption of melatonin


Melatonin, a substance known for its function of inducing sleep, is not registered in Brazil as a medicine. However, it can be found since 2017 in compounding pharmacies after a court decision contradicts Anvisa's resolution (National Health Surveillance Agency) and authorizes its importation. Its consumption has been considered excessive by experts, who point out the risks of side effects. "There are a lot of people talking and a lot of doctors prescribing," says José Cipolla Neto, professor of physiology at USP's Institute of Biomedical Sciences and researcher on the physiological effects and mechanisms of action of melatonin. It is a hormone naturally produced by the pineal gland, a small endocrine gland located near the central region of the brain. The most common role of melatonin is to signal to human organs that night has come and prepared the body to fall asleep. Therefore, it is commonly used by insomniacs to improve the quality of sleep.

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But the substance also plays a role in controlling food intake, in the synthesis and action of insulin in cells, among others. Due to its varied effect, the hormone fell in the taste of people in several countries. On the internet, it is offered to help with weight loss, fight diabetes, migraine control and even protect against the damage of Alzheimer's disease - although there is no scientific consensus on these supposed benefits. Although necessary for the organism, the substance has contraindications. According to Anvisa, "there are risks associated with the use of melatonin that cannot be ignored": the consumption of drugs containing the substance can cause swelling of the skin, mouth or tongue, loss of consciousness, depression, irritability, nervousness, anxiety, increased blood pressure and abnormal liver function, among other problems.