Melatonin supplements show promise as a possible treatment for osteoporosis, a new Canadian study has found.
Researchers at Montreal’s McGill University found giving older rats melatonin supplements helped make their bones stronger.
The rats, which were housed at the University of Madrid, were given the hormone supplements for 10 weeks. The femurs of rats that received the supplements were then compared to those of rats not given the melatonin.
The supplements regulated the rats’ circadian rhythms and made their bones denser, less brittle and more flexible.
“As we age, we sleep less well, which means that the osteoclasts (the cells which break down bones) are more active,” researcher Faleh Tamimi said in a press release.
The researchers said the next step is to see if melatonin supplements can prevent bone breakdown or repair damage. As well, human trials are necessary before the researchers can make any recommendations about taking melatonin supplements.