Source: Journal of Pineal Research 2008; Advance online publication
Investigating the effects of melatonin on lipid metabolism in peri- and postmenopausal women.
MedWire News: Melatonin has shown promise for improving lipid metabolism and preventing cardiovascular disease in a study of peri- and postmenopausal women.
"Menopause is associated with characteristic changes in lipid profile," note Hiroshi Tamura (Yamaguchi University Graduate School of Medicine, Ube, Japan) and colleagues.
"Serum concentrations of total cholesterol, low-density lipoprotein (LDL) cholesterol, and triglycerides increase significantly and high-density lipoprotein (HDL) cholesterol decreases."
The researchers investigated the effects of melatonin on lipid metabolism in 46 Japanese women aged an average of 44 years.
They found that night-time serum melatonin levels negatively correlated with serum total cholesterol and LDL cholesterol levels, and there was a weak positive correlation between melatonin levels and HDL cholesterol levels.
Moreover, in 10 women who had taken 1 mg/day of melatonin for a month, HDL-cholesterol levels increased significantly, from 51.3 mg/dl before treatment to 66.1 mg/dl afterwards, without influencing total cholesterol levels.
"Melatonin may influence cholesterol metabolism by working through the augmentation of endogenous cholesterol clearance mechanisms," the researchers suggest.
They conclude: "Melatonin administration may become a new medical application for the improvement of lipid metabolism and prevention of cardiovascular disease in peri- and postmenopausal women."
Posted: 07 March 2008
(c) 2008 Current Medicine Group Ltd, a part of Springer Science+Business Media