Melatonin, the Sleep Hormone, Builds Hip and Spinal Bone in Older Women

August 16, 2016

Melatonin, the sleep hormone, builds hip and spinal bone in older women

Researchers have known for years that Melatonin exerts bone building activities and is currently being studied for treating bone diseases as well as for improving bone health in aging adults and Melatonin is exhibiting bone building activity.

Melatonin is a natural, non-addicting hormone that assists with sleep. Millions of Americans take a Melatonin supplement to improve their insomnia. With increasing age Melatonin levels decline and this can affect cancer risk, sleep quality, and bone building. Interestingly, large studies connect insomnia with many health issues including osteoporosis (dangerous bone thinning).

A recent important study connects Melatonin supplementation with improved bone health. Researchers at Aarhus University Hospital in Denmark supplemented postmenopausal women, ranging in age from 56 to 73 with either 1mg of Melatonin, 3mg of Melatonin, or placebo (a fake pill used for comparisons sake) for a 1-year period in a randomized, double-blinded fashion. They tracked bone mineral density using dual X-ray absorptiometry, quantitative computed tomography, and high-resolution peripheral quantitative computed tomography and determined calciotropic hormones (hormones that build bone) and bone markers.

The higher the dosage of Melatonin the better the improvement in bone building. Compared to placebo bone mineral density improved in the femoral neck by 0.5% in the 1mg group and by 2.3% in the 3mg group. The femoral neck is the top of the thigh bone that connects with the hip joint; this is the site of most hip fractures. Bone mineral density improved by 3.6% in the spine in the Melatonin 3mg group

The tibia is the shin bone below the knee. Trabecular bone is the inner core of bone. In the 3mg Melatonin group trabecular thickness improved by 2.2% in the tibia. 24-hr urinary calcium was decreased in response to melatonin by 12.2%. The study is published in the September 2015 issue of the Journal of Pineal Research.