Dr Maria Shapoval

Naturopathic Doctor

Melatonin Therapy for Menopausal Symptoms

Melatonin for Hot Flushes

 

Melatonin supplementation helps manage hot flushes and night sweats that occur during menopause. Menopausal symptoms affect 50-75% of women and can last between 4-10 years. This causes a huge impact on the quality of life of many women and may even affect their health and cardiovascular risk. Recent study reports correlation between severity of hot flushes and increased risk of cardiovascular disease (1). 

While many people still see melatonin solely as the regulator of the circadian rhythm – it has a lot more to offer than just jet lag and better quality sleep! According to a double-blind randomized placebo controlled trial, melatonin supplementation improves vasomotor symptoms, like hot flushes and night sweats, as well as sexual and psychological health (2).


Menopause & Weight Loss

 

Being overweight or obese can contribute to menopausal symptoms. Weight loss is frequent lifestyle recommendation for managing symptoms and preventing them in the first place. Supplementation with melatonin can help! 

A double blind control trial compared the effects of fluoxetine (Prozac) with metatonin to fluoxetine alone in post-menopausal women (n= ). The group taking both the drug and the supplement lost significantly more weight and improved their BMI. In fact, the average BMI for the group went down from 30 to 23(3). 

This may help explain why recent weight loss programs recommend getting enough sleep. Perhaps you end up producing more melatonin and this directly influence metabolism and /or food intake. 


Osteoporosis

 

Osteoporosis is a disease of bone metabolism. It is characterized by rapid bone destruction that exceeds bone formation. The risk of osteoporosis increases with age and can be further accelerated by smoking, sedentary lifestyle, poor nutrition as well as certain drugs and medical conditions. 

Melatonin can promote osteoblast activity. Osteoblasts are cells of the bone that are responsible for bone formation (4). Furthermore, it also inhibits osteoclasts. Osteoclasts are the cells that release acid into the bony matrix and essentially destroy it. Both of these cells are equally important in maintaining healthy strong bones. However, in the case of osteoporosis, they no longer work as an effective team. The osteoclasts take over, while the osteoblasts struggle to catch up. While the theoretical application of melatonin to bone health looks promising, this is yet to be demonstrated in clinical trials. 

 

References: 

  1. Biglia. Vasomotor symptoms in menopause: a biomarker of cardiovascular disease risk and other chronic disease? Climacteric. 2017
  2. Parandavar. The effect of melatonin on climacteric symptoms in menopausal women; a double-blind, randomized controlled clinical trial. Iranian J Publ Health. 2014; 43(10): 1405-1416
  3. Chojnacki C. Effects of fluoxetine and melatonin on mood, sleep quality and body mass index in postmenopausal women. J Physiol Pharmacol. 2015; 66(5): 665-71
  4. Sanchez-Barcelo et al. Scientific basis for the potential use of melatonin in bone diseases: osteoporosis and adolescent idiopathic scoliosis. J of Osteop. 2010. 
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