• Integrative Doctor

Sugar control – dinnertime makes a difference

Researchers from Spain and the USA have found that eating late at night, when melatonin levels are high, disturbs blood sugar control. The effect was especially noticeable in people with a genetic variant in a melatonin receptor known as MTNR1B, linked to an elevated risk of type 2 diabetes.



Melatonin is a hormone that helps control sleep cycles, generally released at night.

The scientists looked at 845 Spanish participants, who each fasted for eight hours and then for the next two nights received either an early or late dinner.


They found that melatonin levels were 3.5 times higher after the late dinner, insulin levels were lower and blood sugar was higher.


Late eating disturbed sugar control across the entire group, while participants who had the genetic variation in MTNR1B, who have an elevated risk of type 2 diabetes, had higher blood sugar levels than those without the variant.


The researchers say the study could be important in the prevention of type 2 diabetes. They recommend abstaining from eating for a couple of hours before bedtime.


At PIM we have a particular interest in the role of diet and nutrition in our health and wellbeing. Contact us to learn more.


Click here to read more about this study.


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