Researchers from Algeria were able to find natural ways to reduce the risk of depression in diabetics. In their study, published in The Journal of Animal and Plant Sciences, they found that taking quercetin or melatonin supplements can improve anxiety- and depressive-like behavior in animal models with diabetes. Furthermore, these supplements were able to improve lipid levels.
The flavonoid quercetin is naturally found in vegetables and fruits, including capers, onions, berries, apples, grapes, asparagus, and onions. This compound has been shown to have anti-diabetic properties. Moreover, there is evidence that quercetin has beneficial effects against depression and disorders of lipid metabolism. Meanwhile, melatonin is a hormone produced by the pineal gland from tryptophan. Previous studies have shown that melatonin has potent antioxidant properties. It also has the ability to normalize lipid levels and improve depressive-like behavior.
This study wanted to assess the ameliorative effects of melatonin and quercetin supplements on depressive-like behavior and unhealthy lipid levels. To do this, they used male Wistar rats with streptozotocin-induced diabetes as animal models. The rats were subjected to an open field test and forced swimming test, both of which are used to evaluate anxiety- and depressive-like behavior. The team also collected blood samples from the rats after four weeks of treatment to determine changes in lipid levels. Serum parameters that were considered included insulin, triglyceride, and cholesterol levels.
The results of the behavioral tests showed that treated rats exhibited significant improvements in anxiety- and depressive-like behavior. Quercetin and melatonin supplementation also proved to be beneficial for the rat's lipid levels. These compounds reduced triglyceride, total cholesterol, and low-density lipoprotein (LDL) levels. Meanwhile, the supplements increased high-density lipoprotein levels. Additionally, the researchers observed that melatonin was more effective than quercetin in improving both depressive-like behavior and lipid levels
From these results, the researchers concluded that melatonin and quercetin supplements are beneficial for patients with diabetes. These can help prevent and ameliorate diabetes complications, specifically depression and unhealthy lipid levels.
Taking melatonin supplements provides many other health benefits, which include the following:
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