Jet-lag supplements may combat obesity, new research suggests.
Melatonin, which is also released naturally over night, causes rats to produce more heat, which can cause calories to be burnt, a study found.
The ‘sleep hormone’ also increases the amount of fat rodents use as energy rather than it being stored, as well as reducing dangerous fat deposits around their abdomens, the research adds.
Previous studies suggest storing excess fat on the torso increases a person’s risk of heart disease, type 2 diabetes and stroke.
Although the scientists did not speculate on why melatonin may lead to weight loss, past findings imply its anti-inflammatory and antioxidant effects could help burn calories.
Around 27 per cent of adults in the UK are obese, while 36 per cent are overweight.
WHAT SIZE BREAKFAST, LUNCH AND DINNER IS BEST FOR WEIGHT LOSS?
A blow out breakfast, ‘average’ lunch and small dinner may be the best combination for those suffering from diabetes or obesity, research suggested in March 2018.
Obese diabetes patients following such a diet lose 11lbs (5kg) over three months compared to a 3lb (1.4kg) weight gain for those eating the traditionally recommended weight-loss plan of six small meals a day, a study found.
Sticking to just three meals a day of varying sizes also reduces diabetics’ glucose levels and insulin requirements, as well as their hunger and carbohydrate cravings, the research adds.
Lead author Dr Daniela Jakubowicz, from Tel Aviv University, said: ‘The hour of the day – when you eat and how frequently you eat – is more important than what you eat and how many calories you eat.
‘Our body metabolism changes throughout the day.
‘A slice of bread consumed at breakfast leads to a lower glucose response and is less fattening than an identical slice of bread consumed in the evening.’
Results further suggest fasting glucose levels decrease by 54 mg/dl (from 161 to 107) in those eating three meals a day group compared to only 23 mg/dl (from 164 to 141) in those consuming six.
Healthy levels are considered to be less than 108 mg/dl.
Having breakfast as the main meal of the day also significantly reduces the need for insulin by -20.5 units/day (from 54.7 to 34.8) compared to those spread out throughout the day, which requires people have 2.2 more units a day (from 67.8 to 70).
Overall amounts of glucose in the blood are also lower just 14 days after adopting a three meal a day eating plan.