10

Recently, someone mentioned he had started taking melatonin at night, and in the afternoon. At night is common as it helps some to sleep. He began taking it during the day to see if there would be an increase in production of human growth hormone. His basis for trying this was the correlation between melatonin production and uptake at night, with the production and uptake of human growth hormone at the same time.

  • Is this just a correlation?
  • Is there an actual connection between the two?
  • If there is a connection between the two, could additional supplementation of melatonin be used to augment human growth hormone production?
  • Are there any studies documenting the relationship between these two chemicals?
  • Regardless of whether or not melatonin can aid in weight loss, your friend's theory is unsound. His basis for trying this was the correlation between melatonin production and uptake at night, with the production and uptake of human growth hormone at the same time. This association is a good example of the 'cum hoc ergo propter hoc' fallacy. – oosterwal Mar 24 '11 at 23:10
7

There's a study done on rats which supports this.

T. Wolden-Hanson, D. R. Mitton, R. L. McCants, S. M. Yellon, C. W. Wilkinson, A. M. Matsumoto, and D. D Rasmussen Daily Melatonin Administration to Middle-Aged Male Rats Suppresses Body Weight, Intraabdominal Adiposity, and Plasma Leptin and Insulin Independent of Food Intake and Total Body Fat Endocrinology 141: 487-497, doi:10.1210/en.141.2.487

It is also known that good sleep improves weight loss, so melatonin may help us lose weight by improving the quality of our sleep.

Sanjay R. Patel, Atul Malhotra, David P. White, Daniel J. Gottlieb, and Frank B. Hu Association between Reduced Sleep and Weight Gain in Women Am. J. Epidemiol. (15 November 2006) 164(10): 947-954 doi:10.1093/aje/kwj280

  • "It is also known that good sleep helps losing weight, so this may also support the claim" where good sleep is associated with normal melatonin levels, and a properly functioning thyroid (which produces melatonin). An underperforming thyroid leads to reduced melatonin production, lack of sleep, and weight increase, but at least to me it's not clear which of the first 3 leads most directly to the last. – jwenting Mar 10 '11 at 8:12
  • 2
    -1 "It is also known that good sleep improves weight loss" Association does not prove causation. Also the association you provided is for weight gain and reduced sleep, not the other way around. – Muhd May 10 '12 at 22:07

You must log in to answer this question.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged .