By Dr. Michael Wald
Question: Dr. Wald, is there a connection between melatonin, diabetics and helping blood sugar balance?
Answer: A number of studies have looked at the potential connection of low melatonin levels and diabetes. Several studies have noted that diabetes often have insomnia and it is this subgroup of diabetes that may benefit the most from melatonin supplementation. Melatonin, a hormone produced by the pineal gland in the brain, is needed to control normal sleep and wake cycles. In diabetics with low melatonin taking slow-release melatonin seems to improve blood sugar levels. The diabetic blood sugar test called hemoglobin A1c is reduced in diabetes with insomnia who took between 1-2 mg of melatonin two hours before bedtime. By improving sleep quality melatonin may reduce the risk of many diseases that are associated with poor sleep quality including, but not limited to, cardiovascular disease, sleep apnea, nerve problems, depression and pain.
Question: How do you use melatonin with your patients? Have you seen any benefits?
Answer: Yes I use melatonin and I have seen benefit, but only when melatonin is used in the context of a proper diet and healthy lifestyle. Once should not expect miracles simply by adding melatonin to their daily routine.
Question: What are the health issues that can arise from too little melatonin?
Answer: Low levels of melatonin can cause sleep problems that can lead to attention deficit problems, low of energy, slowed reaction time, reduced stress tolerance, slow healing, weakened immunity and an overall increased risk of diseases; because sleep is when most healing occurs.
Question: Where else can people find out about melatonin and perhaps other nutritional supplements that contain compounds studied for diabetics?
Answer: Here are a few important sources:
- Melatonin: http://blooddetective.com/store/products/melatonin-3/
- Blood Sugar Balance: http://blooddetective.com/store/products/blood-sugar-balance/