Effects of a single dose of N-Acetyl-5-methoxytryptamine (Melatonin) and resistance exercise on the growth hormone/IGF-1 axis in young males and females

J Int Soc Sports Nutr. 2007 Oct 23;4:14. doi: 10.1186/1550-2783-4-14.


Melatonin and resistance exercise alone have been shown to increase the levels of growth hormone (GH). The purpose of this study was to determine the effects of ingestion of a single dose of melatonin and heavy resistance exercise on serum GH, somatostatin (SST), and other hormones of the GH/insulin-like growth factor 1 (IGF-1) axis. Physically active males (n = 30) and females (n = 30) were randomly assigned to ingest either a melatonin supplement at 0.5 mg or 5.0 mg, or 1.0 mg of dextrose placebo. After a baseline blood sample, participants ingested the supplement and underwent blood sampling every 15 min for 60 min, at which point they underwent a single bout of resistance exercise with the leg press for 7 sets of 7 reps at 85% 1-RM. After exercise, participants provided additional blood samples every 15 min for a total of 120 min. Serum free GH, SST, IGF-1, IGFBP-1, and IGFBP-3 were determined with ELISA. Data were evaluated as the peak pre- and post-exercise values subtracted from baseline and the delta values analyzed with separate three-way ANOVA (p < 0.05). In males, when compared to placebo, 5.0 mg melatonin caused GH to increase (p = 0.017) and SST to decrease prior to exercise (p = 0.031), whereas both 0.5 and 5.0 mg melatonin were greater than placebo after exercise (p = 0.045) and less than placebo for SST. No significant differences occurred for IGF-1; however, males were shown to have higher levels of IGFBP-1 independent of supplementation (p = 0.004). The 5.0 mg melatonin dose resulted in higher IGFBP-3 in males (p = 0.017). In conclusion, for males 5.0 mg melatonin appears to increase serum GH while concomitantly lowering SST levels; however, when combined with resistance exercise both melatonin doses positively impacts GH levels in a manner not entirely dependent on SST.