|Exp Gerontol. 2001 Feb;36(2):297-310.
Effects of melatonin in perimenopausal and menopausal women:
a randomized and placebo controlled study.
Bellipanni G, Bianchi P, Pierpaoli W, Bulian D, Ilyia E.
Menopause Center, Madonna delle Grazie Health Institute, Velletri, Rome, Italy.
In aging humans, night levels of melatonin (MEL) decline progressively. Also
thyroid and gonadal functions decline during aging while gonadotropins (luteotropic
hormone (LH) and follicle stimulating hormone (FSH)) steadily increase. A
desynchronization of pineal circadian cyclicity as expressed by the progressive
decrease of the MEL night peak may be permissively linked to the onset and
progression of menopause. We studied the effects of exogenous, evening
administration of MEL on the level of hormones which are known to be involved in
the genesis and progression of menopause. Perimenopausal and menopausal women
from 42 to 62years of age with no pathology or medication were selected. MEL was
measured in saliva to divide them into low, medium and high-MEL patients. Half
of them took 3mg MEL and half of them Placebo at bedtime (10-12p.m.) in a fully
randomized and double-blind fashion. Three and six months later blood was taken
for determination of pituitary (LH, FSH), ovarian, and thyroid hormones I(T3 and
T4). All women taking MEL with low basal level of MEL and/or Placebo for three
and six months showed a significant increase in levels of thyroid hormones.
Before initiation of the study, a negative correlation was found in all women
between LH, FSH and basal MEL levels. Within six months of treatment, MEL
produced a significant diminution of LH in the younger women (43 to 49year-old),
while no effect was seen in the older women (50-62years old). A decrement of FSH
was observed in MEL-treated women with low basal MEL levels. In addition, most
MEL-treated women reported a general improvement of mood and a significant
mitigation of depression. MEL decline during aging may thus signal the
derangement of pineal and pituitary-controlled ovarian cyclicity and the
progressive quenching of fertility in women. These findings seem to show a
recovery of pituitary and thyroid functions in MEL-treated women, towards a more
juvenile pattern of regulation.
- Clinical Trial
- Randomized Controlled Trial
PMID: 11226744 [PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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