Melatonin and Diabetes

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Story Updated: Apr 4, 2013

Melatonin is a hormone secreted by the pineal gland in the brain. It helps regulate other hormones and maintains our body "clock."

Now, a new study in the Journal of the American Medical Association has found that a dip in melatonin levels may increase your risk of Type 2 diabetes.

Boston-based researchers used urine and blood sample data taken during a large national study of nurses. They identified 3-hundred-70 women who did not have Type 2 diabetes at the start, but later developed the disease-between 2000 and 2012. They also identified 370 women who remained healthy to compare.

After controlling for body mass index and lifestyle factors, the analysis found that participants with decreasing melatonin had more than 2 times higher odds of developing diabetes.

The researchers say further studies need to be done to see if prolonged exposure to the dark or melatonin supplements can increase insulin sensitivity and decrease Type 2 diabetes.

I'm Dr. Cindy Haines of HealthDay TV with health information for healthier living.

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