Ibutamoren has been recently hyped as something of an elixir of life. Massive muscle gains and tons of positive anecdotal reviews — but is it everything that it has been trumped up to be?

In our ongoing ultimate series on SARMs (selective androgen receptor modulators), we have been examining the effects of these compounds on muscle growth, strength and endurance. 

SARMs, or selective androgen receptor modulators, are a relatively new class of chemical compound most of which were initially developed for the purpose of aiding patients suffering from the effects of muscle and bone wastage. Muscle wastage, or cachexia, accompanies a wide variety of conditions, including cancer and its treatment, HIV, immobilization and glucocorticoid use. Bone wastage, or osteoporosis, may also be caused by some forms of cancer or cancer treatment, as well as dietary deficiencies and aging.

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

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Clinical studies have already shown that SARMs do indeed offer a powerful stimulus to muscle and bone growth, which is why they have been enthusiastically adopted for use by athletes and physique competitors; although they are scheduled as prohibited substances by the World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA). 

In addition SARMs show great promise as treatments for a variety of other conditions such as breast and prostate cancer, enlargement of the prostate (BPH), which can cause a variety of unpleasant urinary conditions in men, and hypogonadism, which causes the male gonads to produce extremely low levels of male hormones. SARMs may even have a role to play as a form of male contraception and in combating one of the most terrifying diseases of the modern world, Alzheimer’s disease.

In this article we will consider Ibutamoren, a compound which is not technically a SARM but which is frequently used in SARM stacks. It has similar effects to SARMs and is used by the same demographics. Ibutamoren is also scheduled as a prohibited substance.

In the previous articles on SARMS, we have touted the anabolic potential of these new compounds for athletic performance and aesthetics, but we have also been at pains to ensure you understand that they have specific uses that will suit some individuals and contexts more than others. 

That caveat applies here too. If you put Ibutamoren to the right uses, you will see positive results, with fewer of the side effects associated with the use of performance-enhancing substances like steroids. 

You must, however, be in no doubt of the potential risks and side effects, which we will discuss below.

If you’d like to take performance enhancing drugs, please read our article outlining how long you should wait before taking the plunge.

What is Ibutamoren?

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.

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.

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. 

Ibutamoren MK-677

Is Ibutamoren MK-677 safer than steroids?

Yes, Ibutamoren MK-677 is much safer than anabolic steroids. 

Does Ibutamoren MK-677 Build Muscle?

Yes, Ibutamoren MK-677 can help build muscle thanks to its increase in HGH although some users prefer to supplement it to facilate post-training recovery, connective tissue and skin health, and better sleep quality.

Does Ibutamoren MK-677 Burn Fat?

Ibutamoren MK-677 will burn some fat off your body by speeding up the process of lipolysis. That said, you probably shouldn’t pig out on cheeseburgers as you would need a miracle to lose fat then. 

Is Ibutamoren MK-677 Legal?

Ibutamoren MK-677 is legal to be sold for “research purposes” but is not legal for human consumption. 

Does Ibutamoren MK-677 Require a PCT?

Ibutamoren MK-677 isn’t technically a SARM and does not suppress your natural testosterone production.

Can I Stack Ibutamoren MK-677 With Other SARMs?

Yes, Ibutamoren MK-677 is one of the most common compounds to stack with SARMs. Many SARMs users take it between SARMs cycles to help preserve lean muscle tissue while they recover natural testosterone levels. 

What is the Dosage for Ibutamoren MK-677? 

You should dose Ibutamoren MK-677 at 10-25 mg. I prefer to take it before bed as it can significantly increase hunger. 

How long do I run Ibutamoren MK-677?

You should run Ibutamoren MK-677 from anywhere between 8-24 weeks depending on your goals.

What are the known Ibutamoren MK-677 side-effects?

The side effects of Ibutamoren MK-677 are: insulin resistance and mild inflammation, however the majority are still unknown as there are a lack of long term human studies.

Ibutamoren MK-677 User Reviews? 

When it comes to muscle gains and fat loss, Ibutamoren is definitely useful. It’s not as good at it as SARMs, but it’s still noticeable. I think that gaining about 3-5lbs of muscle and losing a few lbs of fat is a good expectation from this compound.

MorePlatesMoreDates explains Ibutamoren (MK-677)

Disclaimer: we are not medical professionals. If you wish to consume SARMs and/or other performance enhancing drugs, we urge that you take the appropriate channels and consult your physician. Please ensure that you request comprehensive bloodwork to protect your health, under the care of your physician.

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