Can low melatonin levels increase diabetes risk?

Low levels of the hormone melatonin could be linked to type 2 diabetes, a new study reveals.

Research from the National Institutes of Health found that women with the lowest levels of melatonin had more than twice the risk of type 2 diabetes compared to women with the highest levels of melatonin.

More than 300 women were tested during a study period from 2000 to 2012. Low levels of the hormone increased the risk of developing diabetes by 2.17 times.

Causation or speculation?

Do low levels of melatonin actually cause the development of type 2 diabetes? Researchers say this part of the equation is still unclear.

"We found an association between melatonin and type 2 diabetes; what we haven't got from this study is causality," said study lead author Dr. Ciaran McMullan in an article on HealthDay News. "That's the next step of research."

Melatonin can be found in the islet cells of the pancreas — the organ that produces insulin, suggesting that the hormone might play a role in the metabolism of sugar.

Should you take melatonin to prevent diabetes?

Dr. Joel Zonszein, director of the clinical diabetes center at Montefiore Medical Center in New York City, says the study reflects the "complexity" of type 2 diabetes, but it doesn't necessarily prove that melatonin supplements will help to prevent the disease.

Researchers will next look at whether or not they can adjust melatonin secretion levels to determine if it is a risk factor for diabetes.

The study is published in the April 3 issue of the Journal of the American Medical Association.

Source: Web MD

Image via michael reuter on Flickr

Get a Free Diabetes Meal Plan

Get a free 7-Day Diabetes Meal Plan from Constance Brown-Riggs who is a Registered Dietitian-Certified Diabetes Educator and who is also a national spokesperson for the American Dietetic Association.

Just enter in your email below to download your free Diabetes Meal Plan.

By clicking Submit, you agree to send your info to InformationAboutDiabetes.com who may contact you with updates and information and we agree to use it according to our privacy policy.

More Articles

It is estimated that 80,000 children and adolescents each year are diagnosed with juvenile diabetes. Juvenile diabetes is diagnosed when the body...

As the summer months come to an end, we throw aside our swimsuits and bring out our favorite team jerseys! In America, fall means football, and...

The medical community relies heavily on the goodwill of its citizens, as giving blood and organ donations help save thousands of lives every year...

Evidence is mounting that consuming black cumin helps to manage type 2 diabetes. The spice lowered blood glucose...

It's not uncommon to spend several years living with type 2 diabetes and not even know you have the condition. Despite regular check-ups with your...

More Articles

Type 2 diabetes has become so common in Western culture and media that this often lifelong, serious condition doesn't really raise an eyebrow...

Limiting our intake of highly processed foods, and eating more whole and lightly processed fare can boost our nutrient and fiber intake, lower...

Lantus is a once a day insulin injection that is taken at the same time every day. It replaces anywhere from the average three to five insulin...

Improving your A1C reading requires you to maintain consistently healthy blood...

Just because you have diabetes doesn't mean you can't help your community by being a blood donor. When persons with diabetes maintain good control...

Most of us do not regularly keep the fruit that scientists call Fortunella margarita in our refrigerator. That these small, yellow-orange...

A diagnosis of diabetes usually comes with a list of recommended lifestyle changes. To make these diet and exercise...

Having diabetes affects your body’s ability to handle hot, humid weather, and steamy temperatures can degrade diabetes supplies. But all of this...

Fashion and function come together in clothing developed by AnnaPS, making life a bit more comfortable and convenient for insulin users. The...

Not only is dry skin uncomfortable, but scratched or cracked skin is also susceptible to bacterial and fungal infections – common medical...

One way to ensure our body gets a variety of nutrients is eating nutrient-dense foods, and one of the most nutrient-dense foods on our planet is...

Financial aid and scholarship money are available for people with diabetes, but acquiring it requires an investment of time and patience. Whether...

Any sweetener you use to replace table sugar is a sugar substitute. One type of sugar substitute is artificial sweetener. Three other types...

Smoking is a proven health hazard for everyone, but it is an especially dangerous habit for those with diabetes. Research shows that smokers with...

While life on the road can be tough on musicians, it’s especially challenging for those battling diabetes. Some musicians have to check their...