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science nutrition blog

science nutrition <strong>blog</strong>

By Steve Blechman


 Melatonin is a hormone produced by the pineal gland in the brain that promotes sleep and daily biological rhythms, and is naturally secreted by the body during the night. It regulates the sleep/wake cycle to help you fall asleep (circadian rhythm). On August 28, 2018, it was reported in JAMA (Journal of the American Medical Association) that taking melatonin “about an hour before turning in for the night improves sleep disturbance and sleep-related impairments in patients who had trouble falling asleep at their chosen bedtime and difficulty waking the next day, investigators reported in PLOS Medicine.”

 This study was a double blind, randomized clinical trial including 116 participants. Researchers noted that subjects “were randomly assigned to take 0.5 mg of fast-release melatonin or placebo one hour before bedtime for at least 5 consecutive nights per week for 4 weeks.” The researchers noted that “relative to baseline and compared with placebo, sleep onset occurred 34 minutes earlier in the melatonin group. The melatonin group also had improved sleep quality and fewer sleep-related impairments.”

 Melatonin is also involved in energy metabolism and weight loss. Many studies show that melatonin reduces bodyweight and abdominal fat. An article appeared in Medical Xpress entitled “Study confirms melatonin helps burn calories and curbs weight gain” (May 10, 2018), and it was reported in the Journal of Pineal Research that melatonin increased brown adipose tissue (BAT) in treated animals. It also had a positive thermogenic effect by producing heat and enhanced energy expenditure. “The study effectively demonstrates that melatonin does indeed help to curb weight gain,” researchers noted.

 Brown fat is a special kind of fat cell that generates heat and helps regulate bodyweight and energy expenditure. The body has two forms of fat— white fat and brown fat. Brown fat burns calories. The more brown fat you have, the more calories you burn. The capability of harnessing one’s one brown fat for fat burning is revolutionary! The ability to get lean by producing extra brown fat and enhancing and activating existing brown fat represents a promising way to burn fat. Several landmark discoveries and approaches to this are being explored at major research centers and universities worldwide, with great excitement. Brown fat research is a hot topic today and what’s more exciting is the research involving melatonin and brown fat research. (Clinical Nutrition, 2016; J of Nut Sci and Vitaminology, 2008; J Nutritional Biochemistry, 2017). “The physiology of BAT is regulated by melatonin, which not only increases recruitment of brown adipocytes but also elevates their metabolic activity in mammals.” (Obesity Reviews, March 2011) Melatonin reduces fat by activating BAT-driven thermogenesis!

 Danish Researchers from Aarhus University, led by Anne Amstrup, found that women consuming melatonin daily for one year before bedtime decreased body fat by nearly 7 percent and increased lean mass by 5.2 percent, compared to a placebo treatment (fake melatonin). To quote the study, “In conclusion, we demonstrated that small doses of melatonin (1 and 3 mg/d) have beneficial effects on body composition in terms of reduced fat mass and borderline significantly increased lean mass in postmenopausal women.” (Clinical Endocrinology, September 2015) 5 mg/daily of melatonin has also been shown to be most effective for weight loss.

Also, avoid electronics. Turn off the TV. Watching TV before bed or worse, falling asleep to the TV interferes with sleep. The blue light from TV can affect sleep and production of melatonin, which tells your body it’s time for sleep, and avoid using tablets and smartphones before sleep! Research has found that mobile devices, tablets, backlit e-readers and computer screens emit blue light and disturbs melatonin and biochemical processes that promote sleep.

 Taking Advanced Molecular Labs™ (AML) ThermoHeat Nighttime Fat Burner at night or before bed can help boost metabolism, manage stress and manage appetite. It also promotes relaxation and sleep. A good night’s sleep is a requirement for the maintenance of proper bodyweight. ThermoHeat Nighttime™ contains a thermogenic blend of spices combined with a mixture of anti-stress, relaxation-inducing agents: melatonin, L-Theanine, 5-hydroxytryptophan (5-HTP) and gamma-aminobutyric acid (GABA). AML ThermoHeat Nighttime Fat Burner™ is scientifically formulated based on the latest scientific research.


Amstrup AK, Sikjaer T, et al. (2016), Reduced fat mass and increased lean mass in response to 1 year of melatonin treatment in postmenopausal women: A randomized placebo‐controlled trial. Clin Endocrinol, 84: 342-347. doi:10.1111/cen.12942

Romo-Nava F, Alvarez-Icaza GD et al. (2014) Melatonin attenuates antipsychotic metabolic effects: an eight-week randomized, double blind, parallel group, placebo-controlled clinical trial. Bipolar Disorders, 16, 410-421.

Tan D, Manchester LC et al. (2011), Significance and application of melatonin in the regulation of brown adipose tissue metabolism: relation to human obesity. Obesity Reviews, 12: 167-188. doi:10.1111/j.1467-789X.2010.00756.x

Wolden-Hanson T, Mitton DR et al. 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, Volume 141, Issue 2, 1 February 2000, Pages 487-497.

Fernández Vázquez G, Reiter RJ and Agil A. Melatonin increases brown adipose tissue mass and function in Zücker diabetic fatty rats: implications for obesity control. J Pineal Res. 2018;64:e12472.

Slomski A. Melatonin Improves Sleep in Patients With Circadian Disruption. JAMA. 2018;320(8):749. doi:10.1001/jama.2018.10903

Yi S, Nakagawa T et al. Short sleep duration in association with CT-scanned abdominal fat areas: the Hitachi Health Study. International Journal of Obesity volume 37, pages 129-134 (2013).

Sletten TL, Magee M et al. Efficacy of melatonin with behavioral sleep-wake scheduling for delayed sleep-wake phase disorder: A double blind, randomized clinical trial (2018). Efficacy of melatonin with behavioral sleep-wake scheduling for delayed sleep-wake phase disorder: A double blind, randomized clinical trial. PLOS Medicine 15(6): e1002587.

Study confirms melatonin helps burn calories and curbs weight gain. (May 10, 2018) Medical Xpress

Roman, Sabiniano et al. Brown adipose tissue and novel therapeutic approaches to treat metabolic disorders. Translational Research, Volume 165, Issue 4, 464-479

Cerit H et al. The effect of typtophan on the cortisol response to social stress is modulated by the 5-HTTLPR genotype. Psychoneuroendocrinology 2013; 38: 201-208.

Kimura K et al. L-Theanine reduces psychological and physiological stress responses. Biol Psychol 2007; 30, 74, 39-45.

Powers ME et al Growth hormone isoform responses to GABA ingestion at rest and after exercise. Med Sci Sports Exercise 2008; 40, 104-110

Chang A, Aeschbach D et al. Impact of light-emitting eBooks before bed. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences Jan 2015, 112 (4) 1232-1237; DOI: 10.1073/pnas.1418490112