Melatonin the sleep hormone: could it be a future potential for the management of human obesity?

Document Type : Original Article


1 Nutrition and Food Science Department. National Research Center Egypt

2 Food Technology Department, National Research Centre, Dokki, Giza, Egypt

3 Nutrition and Food Sciences, National Research Centre, Egypt


The pineal melatonin hormone is crucial for controlling the circadian cycle, mood swing, sleep quantity, quality and pattern. Postmenopausal females frequently complain of weight gain, body fat accumulation, increase waist circumference, and sleep disturbance with frequent nocturnal awakenings and difficulties initiating sleep. The aim of this study was to study the correlation between serum melatonin hormone level and response to diet therapy in postmenopausal Egyptian obese females. We prepared a food supplement in the form of crackles prepared from corn flour, wheat germ, flaxseed oil and enriched with clove and cinnamon powder. The chemical composition analysis of the crackles revealed that they were rich in healthy fat, fibre and protein. The subjects were classified into the groups according to the serum melatonin level; group (A) has serum melatonin value less than 5pg/ml, while group (B) has morning melatonin ≥ 5pg/ml. After six weeks of diet regimen protocol supplemented with daily consumption of 100 gram of prepared crackles by post menopausal obese women; there were statistical significance decrease in weight, BMI, %BF, waist and hip circumferences, total cholesterol level, and serum triglyceride. Moreover, the interleukin-6 as a marker of inflammation was decreased in both groups. There was statistical significant increase in serum HDL and total antioxidant capacity, while basal metabolic rate increased numerically without statistical significance. Studying the response to food supplements in weight reduction in relation to the morning serum melatonin level, we found that improvement was more in group with high melatonin level (≥ 5pg/ml) as regard measured parameters. The current study demonstrated that women whose melatonin level was high were more responsive to the diet therapy than women with low melatonin level. The results highlighting the potential benefit of exogenous melatonin during weight loss program in the postmenopausal obese women. It is promising to assess serum melatonin level in postmenopausal women to estimate the need to increase the intake of melatonin rich foods or melatonin tablets supplement in weight loss program.


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