Melatonin may be a safe sleep aid for people with metabolic diseases and for healthy adults, and data suggest a beneficial glucose effect, according to findings published in Clinical Endocrinology.

“Melatonin treatment does not significantly affect fasting plasma glucose levels in a pooled analysis of 603 healthy adults and patients with glucose-metabolic diseases,” Esben Stistrup Lauritzen, MD, a doctoral student at the Steno Diabetes Center and Aarhus University Hospital, Denmark, and colleagues wrote. “Likewise, a subgroup analysis with healthy participants in one group and patients with glucose-metabolic diseases in another group revealed that melatonin treatment did not affect fasting glucose levels in either group. Interestingly, fasting insulin levels were significantly reduced in the 278 individuals included, although the effect was small. Furthermore, the insulin sensitivity and BMI trended to improve with melatonin treatment.”

In a systematic review and meta-analysis, Lauritzen and colleagues assessed the effect of at least 2 weeks of daily treatment with melatonin on fasting glucose, insulin, insulin sensitivity and HbA1c levels across 11 randomized, placebo-controlled studies (n = 603). Researchers calculated Hedges’ g differences for the metabolic parameters and random effects models for the meta-analyses.

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