Low melatonin levels linked to diabetes in women

Women with low levels of melatonin may be more at risk for developing diabetes, a new study reveals.

The hormone linked to sleep regulation, melatonin plays an important role in maintaining the body's natural rhythms. Receptors for melatonin are found all over the body, including the pancreas, suggesting that it might have the ability to impact insulin production.

Predictor of risk

Researchers at Harvard's Brigham and Women's Hospital compared 370 diabetic women to 370 women without the condition. The women gave urine samples to assess baseline melatonin levels, and they also completed surveys about their lifestyle habits, including diet, exercise and sleep patterns.

Even after accounting for these factors, researchers found that women with low melatonin levels were 2.2 times as likely to develop diabetes compared to women with high levels of the hormone.

The researchers expected to find an association between melatonin levels and diabetes, but the study’s lead author, Dr. Ciaran McMullan, said they were surprised by the results.

Causal relationship?

It's unclear whether or not low melatonin levels can actually cause diabetes, so more research is needed before recommending supplements to diabetic patients, McMullan noted.

“What we don’t yet know is whether you can change the risk of diabetes by increasing melatonin secretion,” she wrote.

The research is published in the Journal of the American Medical Association.

Source: NBC News

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 BattleDiabetes.com who, in addition to 3rd party partners, may contact you with updates, products and information and we agree to use it according to our privacy policy and terms and conditions.

More Articles

More Articles

Fainting, also called syncope, results from a temporary insufficiency in the supply of blood to the brain. Syncope can be the result of many...

People who have either type 1 diabetes or type 2 diabetes can...

Diabetics should avoid white bread and anything else made with white flour because it can raise their...

Two kinds of edema are associated with diabetes: peripheral edema and diabetic macular edema. Peripheral edema is swelling in your lower legs,...

Diabetic test strips are one of the biggest expenses in diabetes care. People who are on a fixed income need to watch every penny that they spend...

Eating a balanced diet can have a significant impact on individuals who have type 2 diabetes. In fact,...

According to the Mayo Clinic, excessive alcohol consumption can increase a person's risk of developing type 2...

Many cultures use rice as a staple in their diet, and it is almost always white rice. If you order a burrito in a restaurant, you will probably...

With diabetes, your blood sugar levels...

Diabetes can cause damage to nerves and blood vessels, which can lead to foot sores and infections. Nerve damage can cause a loss of feeling in...

Diabetics are prone to boils because they have weakened immune systems. Boils are abscesses of infected skin that form near hair follicles. They...

It is common knowledge that people with (or without) diabetes should exercise regularly. But why is exercise so important if diet appears to be...

Diabetes can be deadly if left undiagnosed, so it is very important to pay attention to your body if you are displaying any of the symptoms. Early...

Since one of the most important tools in battling diabetes is the glucose meter, there are many different versions on the market. Pretty much any...

Health Savings Accounts (HSAs) are becoming quite popular for people who are generally healthy. But what about sick people? What about people who...