The purpose of this study was to investigate the effects of melatonin on lipid metabolism in peri- and postmenopausal women. Forty-six women were enrolled in these studies. The relationship between night-time serum melatonin levels and serum total cholesterol, triglycerides, high-density lipoprotein (HDL) cholesterol, low-density lipoprotein (LDL) cholesterol was investigated in 36 women. Night-time serum melatonin levels had a negative correlation with serum total cholesterol and LDL-cholesterol, and a loose positive correlation with HDL-cholesterol. To examine the effects of exogenous melatonin on lipid metabolism, serum levels of total cholesterol, HDL-cholesterol, LDL-cholesterol and triglycerides were determined in 10 women before the onset of therapy and after 1 month of oral melatonin administration (1 mg melatonin daily). Melatonin administration significantly increased the serum levels of HDL-cholesterol. These results show that melatonin may influence cholesterol metabolism and suggest that the melatonin administration may become a new medical application for improvement of lipid metabolism and prevention of cardiovascular disease in peri- and postmenopausal women.