Can melatonin supplements cause weight gain?

melatonin & weight gain

What’s melatonin?

Melatonin is a hormone which is important for quality sleep, has powerful antioxidant properties, and promotes weight loss! The human body synthesizes melatonin. Especially, at night. We can get it from diet or supplements, as well.

Can melatonin help you lose weight?

Taking melatonin supplements may help you lose weight. Especially, if you’re deficient in melatonin. The body synthesizes less melatonin as we age, or if we are exposed to light at night!

Less melatonin may lead to insulin resistance, glucose intolerance, low-quality sleep, and even obesity.[1]

To begin with, melatonin is pretty important for the proper synthesis, and action of insulin!

Furthermore, melatonin supplementation may be beneficial for the secretion of leptin, a hormone that helps to regulate energy balance and inhibits hunger.

Also, melatonin supplementation helps us lose weight faster, as it seems to regulate glucose levels, regulate appetite, and lower LDL-cholesterol and triglycerides in obese people.[2]

Another powerful hormone that may help you lose weight, regulating appetite, is serotonin! See the whole list of foods increasing serotonin here.

Most noteworthy, increased melatonin intake is beneficial for weight loss, as it seems to increase brown adipose tissue! Increased brown adipose tissue means higher energy expenditure. In other words, we burn more calories without any extra effort.

A daily melatonin supplementation with a dose of 3 mg for 3 months can increase the volume of brown fat tissue in people with melatonin deficiency.[3]

But, what is the brown fat? Actually, we have two types of fat cells. First, there is white fat, which is the type of fat that we all know. White fat makes us look fat.

On the other hand, there is brown fat which is only a tiny percentage of the total fat of the human body. Brown fat is responsible for thermogenesis and increased energy expenditure.[4] Hence, brown fat tissue burns more calories, helping us lose weight faster!

Brown fat has a huge impact on obesity. Scientists believe that it may be a powerful therapy for obesity and diabetes! Most noteworthy, increased brown fat tissue could prevent gaining weight back![5]

Furthermore, increased brown fat is key for insulin sensitivity. Therefore, it’s beneficial for preventing insulin resistance which plays an important role in obesity and diabetes.[6]

Light at night may cause weight gain!

The human body synthesizes melatonin at night. Above all, we shouldn’t be exposed to light, as our bodies fail to produce melatonin! White light at night has been linked to increased risk of obesity and high percentage of body fat![2]

If you want to lose weight and burn belly fat, you should improve the quality of night sleep. Sleep has a huge impact on body weight.

Foods rich in melatonin

Besides night sleep, we can take melatonin from food. Actually, there are many foods containing melatonin. For instance, pistachios, almonds, cherries, strawberries, and even bananas contain melatonin. Eat them at dinner, in order, to sleep better.

Also, red wine is an excellent source of melatonin. In fact, a glass of red wine a day is good for losing weight.

Do I need melatonin supplements to lose weight?

People with melatonin deficiency could benefit from taking melatonin supplements. They may help them lose weight and decrease body fat.

Especially, in the autumn-winter period the body synthesizes less melatonin, causing increased appetite and weight gain.[2] Therefore, we should check our melatonin levels during that time of the year and consult our doctor before taking supplements.

People have different melatonin needs. For instance, varying degrees of obesity demand different doses of melatonin. Also, the secretion of melatonin decreases with age. For example, postmenopausal women have a higher risk of melatonin deficiency! Hence, a higher risk of gaining weight.

But, how much melatonin do I need daily? Most melatonin supplements contain up to 5 mg of melatonin per tablet. This is more than enough for most people. Even a daily dosage of 1 mg could help you lose weight, though.

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We need high doses of melatonin when dieting.

Besides, its ability to burn fat and reduce body weight, melatonin can protect us from oxidative stress![7] When we follow a calorie restrictive diet, the number of free radicals is increased radically and may lead to oxidative stress. A dangerous state that can be the reason for many diseases!

Eating foods with antioxidants, such as vegetables, herbs, and fruits, along with foods with melatonin is beneficial. These foods improve the antioxidant defense of the body!

Can melatonin supplements make me fat?

Melatonin supplements are considered pretty safe. They can help you sleep better at night. Furthermore, they won’t make you gain weight. On the contrary, melatonin supplements could help you burn fat and lose weight faster.

Above all, consult your doctor before taking any supplement.