Melatonin no help for late-stage cancer weight loss

NEW YORK (Reuters Health) – Despite encouraging results in the past, melatonin pills did nothing to help advanced cancer patients eat more or stave off weight loss in a new clinical trial.

Some previous studies had suggested the hormone, which is involved in appetite and metabolism as well as sleep cycles in healthy adults, may increase appetite in cancer patients when taken in supplement form. But those studies did not include a group of patients given dummy pills for comparison.

“The reason for these other trials being positive was the placebo effect,” said Del Fabbro, who studies rapid loss of muscle mass in cancer patients – a condition known as cachexia – at the University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center in Houston.

Reuters: Health News