Melatonin Helps Lower Blood Sugar: Good news for Diabetics and pre-diabetics!
One more piece of a very complicated diabetes and pre-diabetes puzzle.
Quan X , Wang J, Liang C , et al: Melatonin inhibits tunicamycin-induced endoplasmic reticulum stress and insulin resistance in skeletal muscle cells. Biochem Biophys Res Commun . 2015 Aug 7;463(4):1102-7.
Melatonin is a Pituitary Weight Loss Hormone
Melatonin is a naturally secreted hormone. Blood levels decrease as we age, as less and less is secreted by the pituitary. By no means is melatonin 'just for sleep.' It is a small hormone that finds its' way into many aspects of physiology, including blood sugar balance, insulin balance and weight control.
Melatonin is an Anti-Depressant, as well as a sleep aid, weight loss medication and maybe more!
Melatonin use has been demonstrated to have anti-depressant effects. The question is, "Is Melatonin a direct acting anti-depressant, or is restoration of sleep and normal sugar/insulin levels the effect that relieves depression?" Regardless, melatonin has demonstrated measurable effects as an anti-depressant.
More to come.
Melatonin is CHEAP
The most interesting problem with melatonin is that most of the products on the market are of such poor quality that they are unlikely to be effective. In spite of the fact that it is inexpensive, the vast majority of the melatonin products may not have any melatonin in them, at all. Sad as it is, the industry is not well-regulated.
The best products are manufactured to pharmaceutical specifications. Oddly, the finest products cost little more than the worst of the lot. Be careful and wise in your choices.
OK, now that I know some of the benefits, how is it used properly, what are the risks?
The typical dosage of melatonin in my practice is 10 mg at bed time, for starters. Some individuals will find that they need 20 mg, but 80% of the time 10 mg does the trick for sleep.
It is taken EVERY NIGHT at bed time. If it is taken 'as necessary for sleep,' it does not train the system to be regular and the outcome is inadequate.
In situations where a little 'extra kick' is necessary to induce sleep, use GABA (gamma-amino butyric acid) 750 mg at bed time.
When starting Melatonin, some individuals will get vivid dreams. When this occurs, it may indicate that the sufferer is having difficulty entering REM sleep, often due to some type of trauma.
The mind tries to avoid the recurring nightmare and avoids REM. When the melatonin is administered it PUSHES the brain into REM and this can result in a nasty dream or two. It most frequently resolves after 3 to 4 days of use.
The very highest quality melatonin costs about twenty five cents a night!
Ours is manufactured for us by a GMP pharmaceutical company, assayed for purity and content.
David S. Klein, MD, FACA, FACPM
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