Ibutamoren (MK-677) has recently come out as an alternative for testosterone replacement therapy (TRT) in recent years.

Some men and professionals hold their reservations over commencing TRT for a variety of legal reasons and even health concerns in some instances; Ibutamoren (MK-677) is being offered up as an alternative to testosterone for its positive rejuvenating effects.

Clinics such as Grand Canyon Clinics and Midwest Hormone Centers have already begun to stock the supplement that can roll back the years.

On their page, Grand Canyon Clinic writes about the positives of Ibutamoren (MK-677) in a rejuvenating context:

If used on its own, this product can help increase HGH production without interfering with other hormones.

Sermorelin is a growth hormone-releasing hormone (GHRH) analog that functions as a growth hormone (GH) secretagogue. This means that it stimulates the production and secretion of endogenous GH from the hypothalamus in the same way as endogenous GHRH.

“Sermorelin is a peptide comprised of the first 29 amino acids of endogenous GH; the sequence is the same as endogenous GHRH. As we age, our body produces less and less of our vital hormones, including GH. Studies have revealed that sermorelin can restore GH RNA concentrations to youthful levels, which subsequently stimulates the production of insulin-like growth factor-1 (IGF-1).

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What’s All The Hype About Ibutamoren (MK-677)?

Ibutamoren MK-677 by Rats Army
Ibutamoren MK-677 by Rats Army

In our master article on MK-677 we published:

Ibutamoren, also known as MK-677, is a non-peptide agonist of the ghrelin receptors and a growth hormone secretagogue. In simple terms, this means that Ibutamoren mimics the growth-hormone stimulating effects of the hormone ghrelin.Ibutamoren skeletal.svg

The Ibutamoren molecule (C27H36N4O5S)

Although Ibutamoren is not a SARM, it is commonly used in SARM stacks and its effects are similar to those of SARMs; namely, muscle growth and increased bone density, as well as other potentially beneficial effects, which we’ll examine below. Despite this, like most SARMs, Ibutamoren is not currently approved to be marketed for human consumption. Ibutamoren and SARMs can, however, be sold as research chemicals – ‘not for consumption’ – and so this allows users loophole access to them. 

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At present, there are only a handful of clinical studies of growth hormone secretagogues like Ibutamoren. We will consider the clinical evidence for its effects and benefits.


How it Works

Ibutamoren works by promoting the secretion of growth hormone and insulin-like growth factor 1 (IGF-1), both of which, broadly considered, stimulate processes of growth within the body, including muscle mass and strength increases, as well as reductions in body fat [R] [R]. Ibutamoren does this by mimicking the effects of ghrelin and binding to the ghrelin receptors in the brain, which are found in regions of the brain that control appetite, mood, the ‘biological clock’, memory and cognition. 

Ghrelin, produced in the gut, is often referred to as the ‘hunger hormone’ because it regulates appetite, signalling your brain to eat. Its levels increase when you are dieting, increasing your feelings of appetite. Although ghrelin’s main effect is to make you consume more calories and store fat, it has a variety of other effects including regulating sleep patterns, reward-seeking behaviour, taste and metabolism of carbohydrates.

As you would expect, like ghrelin Ibutamoren stimulates appetite. It also increases growth hormone levels with little to no increase in other hormones such as cortisol, the body’s ‘stress hormone’ [R] [R]. Elevated cortisol levels, especially chronically elevated levels, are usually a bad thing and are linked, among other things, to fat gain, cognitive impairment and reduced immune function.

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Why It’s Used

Ibutamoren is used by atheletes and physique competitors to stimulate muscle growth, as a result of increased growth hormone and IGF-1 levels, which we have already seen are responsible for growth processes in the body, including muscle growth. 

At least one study has already confirmed that Ibutamoren is a powerful way of increasing lean muscle mass and stimulating metabolic processes. In a study of 24 obese young men, the 12 who were administered Ibutamoren for two months experienced significant increases in fat-free mass and an increase in basal metabolic rate. [R

Other studies have shown that Ibutamoren could help reduce muscle wastage as a result of food deprivation, and, in a study of over 100 elderly subjects who had experienced hip fractures, Ibutamoren increased muscular power and strength, as well as helping to reduce the number of falls the subjects experienced [R] [R].

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As with SARMs like Ostarine, Ibutamoren also increases bone density; however, the effect seems to take longer to manifest itself, mainly because Ibutamoren increases bone turnover. [R] [R] At first, Ibutamoren may actually decrease bone density, but over a longer period of time, at least 12 months, the drug increases bone density. Ibutamoren has been shown to increase bone density in obese young men (the study mentioned above) and in elderly adults and post-menopausal women. [R] [R

In time, with further clinical trials, these effects should be substantiated in greater detail. In addition, like a number of SARMs, Ibutamoren appears to have a range of beneficial effects beyond muscular and bone development. 

A Potential Nootropic?

One of the other beneficial effects of Ibutamoren, as you might expect of a drug that simulates the effects of ghrelin, is improved sleep quality. A small study showed that Ibutamoren improved sleep quality and duration of REM sleep in both young and elderly subjects. [R] There is significant anecdotal evidence for Ibutamoren’s beneficial effects for sleep.  

‘All i can say is WOW from the first night i slept the deep sleep normally you get only on Z-drugs or hynotic Benzo’s (which i have been prescribed in the past due to sleep problems) but unlike those there is no suppresion of REM and no morning grogginess. This is shown on the sleep tracker results, unfortunately i did not do a control period before (more later) so can’t give an exact figure.’ [R].

Other potential beneficial effects include nootropic – i.e. cognitive – effects, both because of improved sleep quality and because IGF-1 has important roles to play in cognition and memory, and effects related to general longevity. Both growth hormone and IGF-1 levels are associated with longevity. [R

Medicinal Properties?

Whether Ibutamoren has the potential to treat chronic illnesses or even fatal illnesses, as some SARMs appear to do, remains fully to be seen. Growth hormone deficiency, also known as dwarfism or pituitary dwarfism, results in abnormally short stature, albeit with normal body proportions. One study has already shown that Ibutamoren had beneficial effects on children with growth hormone deficiency, without negative effects on other hormones or blood glucose. [R]

Beyond treatment for growth hormone deficiency, it is unclear whether the range of potential applications will be as great as for SARMs. The broader range of potential applications for SARMs in the treatment of disease is an exciting development of recent years. The SARM RAD 140, or Testolone, which was developed specifically as an alternative to TRT for men with hypogonadism, is now being investigated for its potential applications in the treatment of certain forms of breast cancer.[R]

SARMs in 2021
Jon Anthony from Masculine Development shows off his SARMs transformation

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The effects of specific SARMs on prostate cancer, enlargement of the prostate, low libido and sexual dysfunction in men and women, male fertility (with a view to use as contraception), and muscular dystrophy are now being investigated. Perhaps most excitingly of all, SARMs may be of use in the battle against Alzheimer’s, one of the most feared diseases of the modern age.

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Side Effects

As with SARMs, and indeed with all performance-enhancing drugs, the question of side effects looms large. Because Ibutamoren has not undergone substantial clinical testing, these potential side effects remain unknown at present. Ibutamoren should not be expected to have the same side effects as steroids and exogenous testosterone, because it does not work in the same way. Steroids have been linked to a wide variety of side effects, including heart and prostate problems. Ibutamoren does not cause aromatisation – meaning that it isn’t converted to estrogen by the body in an attempt to maintain the body’s testosterone-to-estrogen balance – whereas steroids are, leading to problems such as gynecomastia (formation of breast tissue).

General low-level side effects reported for Ibutamoren include increased appetite, some localised mild swelling and muscular pain. Joint pain and insulin resistance are generally associated with increased levels of growth hormone, and Ibutamoren has also been noted to increase fasting blood glucose and reduce insulin sensitivity. [R] [R

In the study of elderly patients with hip fractures referred to above, a number of the subjects experienced congestive heart failure; although it should be noted that they had a history of heart failure.

A more obvious cause for concern is the role of growth hormone and IGF-1 in stimulating cancer growth. [R] As a result, it’s advisable that cancer sufferers should avoid taking Ibutamoren. 

My MK-677 Experience

Is Rats Army Legit?
Is Rats Army Legit?

In a previous article on SARMs provider Rats Army’s legitimacy, I disclosed my personal experiences with MK-677:

Ibutamoren has become a popular intercycle option for SARMs users in an effort to preserve the gains they’ve made on cycle. It has also become a TRT replacement in itself for some TRT clinics as it boasts rejuvenating effects that can be enjoyed throughout a lengthy cycle.

If you can stomach (no pun intended) the spikes in hunger pangs due to ghrelin receptor activation, Ibutamoren can serve as a great fat loss supplement with improved fat mobilization.

On MK-677 my sleep quality has been first class — I sleep like a baby and often experience vivid and nostalgic dreams. My skin quality improved; while my hair and nails also seemingly grew quicker than usual.

I did not experience any Carpal Tunnel or tingling in my extremities.

And I have managed to keep most of the gains I made on cycle.

Make sure to order at least two vials of MK-677 if you intend to run a full cycle which can last to up to 24 weeks.

MK-677 can help you keep your gains between cycles and my side-effects have been practically non-existent.

Of course, some people may experience different results off MK-677. If you experience side effects revise your dose to mitigate them.

You do not need a Post-Cycle Therapy (PCT) after a cycle of MK-677. It doesn’t activate the androgen receptors, and it’s not an anabolic hormone that will shutter your natural testosterone production either.

Testosterone, on the other hand, even in lower exogenous doses such as the ones administered in testosterone replacement therapy are likely to require a PCT after discontinued use, making MK-677 an attractive alternative.

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How MK-677 Distances Itself from TRT

In conclusion, MK-677 may be an alternative to TRT for the following reasons:

  • No PCT required upon discontinuation
  • Value for money
  • No natural suppression
  • Great quality sleep
  • Healthy skin, hair, and nails
  • Improved appetite
  • Easier on the lipid profiles
  • Potential nootropic qualities
Coach Greg explaining MK-677