Melatonin and the metabolic syndrome: physiopathologic and therapeutical implications

Daniel P Cardinali, Pilar Cano, Vanesa Jiménez-Ortega, Ana I Esquifino
Neuroendocrinology 2011, 93 (3): 133-42
Metabolic syndrome (MS) patients exhibit sleep/wake disturbances and other circadian abnormalities, and these may be associated with more rapid weight increase and development of diabetes and atherosclerotic disease. On this basis, the successful management of MS may require an ideal drug that besides antagonizing the trigger factors of MS could also correct the disturbed sleep-wake rhythm. Melatonin is an effective chronobiotic agent able to change the phase and amplitude of circadian rhythms. Melatonin has also significant cytoprotective properties preventing a number of MS sequelae in animal models of diabetes and obesity. A small number of controlled trials indicate that melatonin is useful to treat the metabolic and cardiovascular comorbidities of MS. Whether the recently introduced melatonergic agents (ramelteon, agomelatine, tasimelteon) have the potential for treating sleep disorders in MS patients and, more generally, for arresting the progression of disease, merits further investigation.

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