Melatonin supplementation to treat the metabolic syndrome: a randomized controlled trial

Abhinav Goyal, Paul D Terry, Hillary M Superak, Christine L Nell-Dybdahl, Ritam Chowdhury, Lawrence S Phillips, Michael H Kutner
Diabetology & Metabolic Syndrome 2014, 6: 124

BACKGROUND: Supplemental melatonin may ameliorate metabolic syndrome (MetS) components, but data from placebo-controlled trials are lacking.

METHODS: We conducted a double-blind, placebo-controlled, crossover, Phase II randomized pilot clinical trial to estimate the effects of melatonin supplementation on MetS components and the overall prevalence of MetS. We randomized 39 subjects with MetS to receive 8.0 mg oral melatonin or matching placebo nightly for 10 weeks. After a 6-week washout, subjects received the other treatment for 10 more weeks. We measured waist circumference, triglycerides, HDL cholesterol, fasting glucose, and blood pressure (BP) in each subject at the beginning and end of both 10-week treatment periods. The primary outcome was the mean 10-week change in each MetS component, and a secondary outcome was the proportion of subjects free from MetS, after melatonin versus placebo.

RESULTS: The mean 10-week change for most MetS components favored melatonin over placebo (except fasting glucose): waist circumference -0.9 vs. +1.0 cm (p = 0.15); triglycerides -66.3 vs. -4.2 mg/dL (p = 0.17); HDL cholesterol -0.2 vs. -1.1 mg/dL (p = 0.59); fasting glucose +0.3 vs. -3.1 mg/dL (p = 0.29); systolic BP -2.7 vs. +4.7 mmHg (p = 0.013); and diastolic BP -1.1 vs. +1.1 mmHg (p = 0.24). Freedom from MetS tended to be more common following melatonin versus placebo treatment (after the first 10 weeks, 35.3% vs. 15.0%, p = 0.25; after the second 10 weeks, 45.0% vs. 23.5%, p = 0.30). Melatonin was well-tolerated.

CONCLUSIONS: Melatonin supplementation modestly improved most individual MetS components compared with placebo, and tended to increase the proportion of subjects free from MetS after treatment.


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