Titus Thorne

Last Updated August 20, 2021

Titus Thorne

 August 20, 2021

MK-677 benefits are the talk of the bodybuilding community and biohackers, but are they backed up by evidence? What is the scientific basis and research behind the effects of MK-677?

The study of growth hormone secretagogues and their effect on the body is exciting — what we know is constantly changing and rapidly developing. It can be difficult to keep up with all the promising new compounds and the research that supports their use.

So if you’re feeling like you

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Disclaimer: ResearchPeptides.org contains information about products that are intended for laboratory and research use only, unless otherwise explicitly stated. This information, including any referenced scientific or clinical research, is made available for educational purposes only. ResearchPeptides.org makes every effort to ensure that any information it shares complies with national and international standards for clinical trial information and is committed to the timely disclosure of the design and results of all interventional clinical studies for innovative treatments publicly available or that may be made available. However, research is not considered conclusive. ResearchPeptides.org makes no claims that any products referenced can cure, treat or prevent any conditions, including any conditions referenced on its website or in print materials.


What Is MK-677?

MK-677 is a long-lasting non-peptide agonist of the Ghrelin receptor [1]. It has a chemical structure that allows it to mimic the activity of Ghrelin and thus stimulate the body to produce more growth hormone [2]. Ghrelin causes the body to release more GH [7, 8], ultimately leading to elevated levels of GH in the blood, and more GH available to cells [9].

Growth hormone (GH) is an essential piece of the body’s way of regulating itself. It’s involved in a number of different processes, but it’s especially important for tissue repair functions: keeping skin healthy, recovering and repairing after injuries, and building muscle [3].

GH is secreted regularly from specialized cells in the pituitary gland called somatotrophs. It is secreted in multiple daily pulses and is governed by your circadian rhythm. It works by upregulating insulin-like growth factor-1 (IGF-1), which in turn helps stimulate the growth and repair of tissue.

But some people don’t get enough GH. This is especially the case as we age. Advancing age is associated with a general decline in the body’s production and secretion of GH.

This, in turn, has an effect on the body’s ability to repair tissue and build muscle. People who are deficient in GH tend to have lower muscle mass and strength [4], more fatty tissue [5] and body lipid concentrations that may contribute to vascular diseases [6].

One solution for low GH seems to be the class of chemicals called growth hormone secretagogues, and MK-677 is one of those. By mimicking Ghrelin and binding to the same receptors as Ghrelin, MK-677 has the same effect as Ghrelin does — it upregulates GH.

MK-677 is also known as Ibutamoren and L-163,191.


MK-677-4


MK-677 Benefits

The increased availability of growth hormone has a number of potential benefits for the body.

Of course, the greatest potential direct benefit of MK-677 is that it raises growth hormone. While the research on this substance is still early, it has been found in several studies to be effective at actually increasing blood concentrations of GH.

  • In one small study of GH deficient adult men, researchers found that both 10 mg and 50 mg of daily administration of MK-677 led to significantly increased GH in the blood, as well as significantly more IGF-1. The study found that MK-677 was well-tolerated and did not lead to any serious adverse effects [10].
  • In another randomized double-blind study on elderly men and women, both 10 mg and 25 mg of daily oral administration of MK-677 resulted in significant increases in plasma GH levels. 25 mg even elevated the GH levels to levels common for young adults. MK-677 was well-tolerated with no serious side effects [11].
  • Those results were corroborated by another randomized control study of elderly adults. It found that 0.05 mg of MK-677 per kilogram of body weight led to a 2-fold increase in blood GH levels. A higher dose of 0.1 mg/kg of body weight resulted in a 4-fold increase. No clinically significant side effects were observed [12].
  • In another study on obese individuals, an oral MK-677 dosage of 25 mg each day for 8 weeks led to a significant increase in blood GH [13].

Each of the above studies demonstrates that MK-677 really does have the effect that it’s thought to: increased GH levels.

This begs the question: What are the benefits of increased GH?

The potential benefits of increased GH levels are numerous and well-established.

Strong Bones

Bones typically lose their density as we age, and this can lead to conditions like osteoporosis. Some research suggests that increased GH levels in the blood can help improve bone density and support optimal bone health [14].

MK-677 has been directly linked to increased bone density. In one study, it was tested for its effect on markers of bone turnover and bone mineral density in postmenopausal women, who are especially prone to bone density losses. In that population, a daily dose of 25 mg of MK-677 was found to mitigate the reduction of bone density [15].

If further research confirms these early results, MK-677 could be an effective treatment for osteoporosis and other bone disorders associated with aging.

Muscle Growth

GH plays an essential role in the construction and maintenance of lean muscle tissue. Higher blood GH levels make it easier for the body to synthesize muscle after a workout. Several high-quality research studies have demonstrated that elevated GH levels in the blood result in increased muscle mass [16, 17].

That research is corroborated by studies of MK-677 that have found that an 8-week cycle of 25 mg MK-677 doses leads to an increase in lean body mass and muscle for some groups, including obese males [13]. It also has been found to be effective in reversing diet-induced protein catabolism, which occurs when the body breaks down muscle tissue to meet its protein needs [15].

These studies suggest MK-677 could be effective in building and maintaining muscle.

Diminished Fat Tissue

GH also plays a role in metabolism and lipolysis — the burning of fatty tissue. Research has found that when GH is elevated from secretagogue substances, in combination with an exercise program, body fat is burned more efficiently [16, 18].

Research on MK-677 in one group of obese individuals hasn’t demonstrated that it results in diminished fat tissue direcly, but it has found that daily administration of MK-677 over an 8-week cycle led to a significant increase in energy expenditure and an increase in the basal metabolic rate [13]. The researchers concluded, “further studies are needed to evaluate whether a higher dose of MK-677 or a more prolonged treatment period can promote a reduction in body fat.”

Improved Sleep

We know that sleep and GH are part of the same complex process, although how they influence each other is unclear. For example, we know that GH levels are at their highest when we’re sleeping. And the relationship seems to go the other way, too: more GH seems to result in better sleep quality [19].

MK-677 in particular has been found to have a significant effect on sleep. In one study it was found that doses of 25 mg increase stage IV sleep by about 50% and increase REM sleep by 20% compared to a placebo [20].

Injury Recovery

Repair goes along with resting.

GH appears to play a central part in the process through which the body repairs tissue. So it makes sense that higher GH levels have been found to be associated with the faster recovery of tissue from injuries [21].

Antiaging Effects and Skin Repair

Elevating GH levels back to what they were in a person’s youth seems to also come with looking young. At least, it does for the skin [22].

GH is well-recognized for having anti-aging effects. It appears to be able to improve skin quality in part by repairing and replacing the collagen that is responsible for making skin look smooth and elastic [23, 24].


MK-677


MK-677 Side Effects

Research on MK-677 ibutamoren is still ongoing, so we’re continuing to learn about the substance.

So far, it appears that MK-677 is generally well-tolerated; it has not been found to lead to serious adverse effects [10, 11].

Research and clinical trials have so far identified side effects that could be related to the medication. These include [10, 11, 15]:

  • increase in appetite
  • headache
  • diarrhea
  • dry skin
  • night sweats
  • numbness and tingling
  • abdominal pain
  • transient flushing of the face

Side effects seem to be dose-dependent, meaning that higher doses are associated with a greater likelihood of experiencing side effects. The implication is that test subjects starting with lower doses may be less likely to experience side effects.

What about long-term side effects?

Well, long-term tests of the side effects of MK-677 are still scarce. In one study on elderly women, MK-677 was used safely and without serious adverse effects for 18 months [15]. Still, the long-term effects of the use of this substance are not yet clear.


MK-677 Dosage Guide

Studies differ in how they’ve administered the MK-677 dosage to study participants. The following have all been effective doses in the various studies conducted on MK-677 [10, 11, 13]:

  • 10 mg, administered orally, once per day, for 2 weeks
  • 50 mg, administered orally, once per day, for 2 weeks
  • 10 mg administered orally, once per day, for 2 to 4 weeks
  • 25 mg, administered orally, once per day, for 2 to 4 weeks
  • 25 mg, administered orally, once per day, for 8 weeks
  • 0.05 mg/kg of body weight, administered intravenously with saline, in a single instance
  • 0.1 mg/kg of body weight, administered intravenously with saline, in a single instance

Based on that information and the commonalities between these MK-677 dosing regimes, it appears that a typical dosing schedule for research subjects includes the following:

  • Between 10 and 50 mg. 25 mg seems to be the dose used most frequently for healthy adults.
  • Administered orally with water once per day, ideally on an empty stomach
  • For a cycle of 2 to 8 weeks, with several weeks off.

MK-677 Cycle?

Again, the information we have on the ideal MK-677 cycle for test subjects isn’t clear because of the lack of high-quality research on the subject.

Based on most of the research we’ve seen, short-term studies typically use cycles that last for between 2 to 8 weeks, followed by several weeks off [10, 11, 13]. There is at least one study, however, that provided participants daily administration over 24 months and it was well-tolerated [25].


Where To Buy MK-677 Online | 2021 Guide

Researchers who are looking to buy MK-677 for use in their research can find it legally available for sale online.

But researchers should be careful: There are a number of online MK-677 vendors that do not sell a legitimate, pure product and instead are simply operating online scams. We encourage you to do your due diligence to ensure that you’re getting a high-quality, research-grade product.

In our experience, we’ve found Science.bio to be among the most trustworthy sources for research-grade substances and medical supplies. There are a number of standout features of this team that, together with our consistently superior experience, lead us to recommend them over other vendors.

  • High-quality products. Science.bio gets their products independently tested and posts the laboratory analyses on their website for all customers to view. Of all the vendors we’ve seen, they are the only ones with an actual quality control policy published on their website. This helps you ensure you’re getting a pure product. This vendor currently offers MK-677 in either powder or solution form.
  • Great customer service. Science.bio has created their company with the customer experience in mind. That’s evident in their fantastic customer service. We have found that they are very helpful and prompt in resolving issues.
  • Reasonable prices. For the quality of the product you’re getting, Science.bio has some of the best prices out there.
  • Quick shipping. They promise 24-hour shipping. The arrival time of your order depends on your location, but it’s typically within 2-4 days in the United States. They also ship internationally, with orders typically arriving within 21 days.

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MK-677


Benefits of MK-677 | Verdict

MK-677 ibutamoren is a powerful addition to the group of GH secretagogues. It works: the evidence consistently suggests that this substance does increase plasma GH levels. It also seems to have a wide range of other potential benefits including:

  • increased muscle
  • decreased fat
  • improved bone density
  • better sleep

If you’re looking to study the effects of GH on the human body, MK-677 is a worthwhile addition to your research program.


References

  1. Patchett, A. A., Nargund, R. P., Tata, J. R., Chen, M. H., Barakat, K. J., Johnston, D. B., … & Hickey, G. (1995). Design and biological activities of L-163,191 (MK-0677): a potent, orally active growth hormone secretagogue. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, 92(15), 7001-7005.
  2. Cassoni, P., Papotti, M., Ghè, C., Catapano, F., Sapino, A., Graziani, A., … & Muccioli, G. (2001). Identification, characterization, and biological activity of specific receptors for natural (ghrelin) and synthetic growth hormone secretagogues and analogs in human breast carcinomas and cell lines. The Journal of Clinical Endocrinology & Metabolism, 86(4), 1738-1745.
  3. Liu, H., Bravata, D. M., Olkin, I., Friedlander, A., Liu, V., Roberts, B., … & Hoffman, A. R. (2008). Systematic review: the effects of growth hormone on athletic performance. Annals of Internal Medicine, 148(10), 747-758.
  4. Salomon, F., Cuneo, R. C., Hesp, R., & Sönksen, P. H. (1989). The effects of treatment with recombinant human growth hormone on body composition and metabolism in adults with growth hormone deficiency. New England Journal of Medicine, 321(26), 1797-1803.
  5. Rudman, D., Feller, A. G., Nagraj, H. S., Gergans, G. A., Lalitha, P. Y., Goldberg, A. F., … & Mattson, D. E. (1990). Effects of human growth hormone in men over 60 years old. New England Journal of Medicine, 323(1), 1-6.
  6. Markussis, V., Beshyah, S. A., Johnston, D. G., Fisher, C., Nicolaides, A. N., & Sharp, P. (1992). Detection of premature atherosclerosis by high-resolution ultrasonography in symptom-free hypopituitary adults. The Lancet, 340(8829), 1188-1192.
  7. Bowers, C. Y., Alster, D. K., & Frentz, J. M. (1992). The growth hormone-releasing activity of a synthetic hexapeptide in normal men and short statured children after oral administration. The Journal of Clinical Endocrinology & Metabolism, 74(2), 292-298.
  8. Penalva, A., Carballo, A., Pombo, M., Casanueva, F. F., & Dieguez, C. (1993). Effect of growth hormone (GH)-releasing hormone (GHRH), atropine, pyridostigmine, or hypoglycemia on GHRP-6-induced GH secretion in man. The Journal of Clinical Endocrinology & Metabolism, 76(1), 168-171.
  9. Smith, R. G., Cheng, K., Schoen, W. R., Pong, S. S., Hickey, G., Jacks, T., … & Judith, F. (1993). A non-peptidyl growth hormone secretagogue. Science, 260(5114), 1640-1643.
  10. Chapman, I. M., Pescovitz, O. H., Murphy, G., Treep, T., Cerchio, K. A., Krupa, D., … & Thorner, M. O. (1997). Oral administration of growth hormone (GH) releasing peptide-mimetic MK-677 stimulates the GH/insulin-like growth factor-I axis in selected GH-deficient adults. The Journal of Clinical Endocrinology & Metabolism, 82(10), 3455-3463.
  11. Chapman, I. M., Bach, M. A., Van Cauter, E., Farmer, M., Krupa, D., Taylor, A. M., … & Thorner, M. O. (1996). Stimulation of the growth hormone (GH)-insulin-like growth factor I axis by daily oral administration of a GH secretagogue (MK-677) in healthy elderly subjects. The Journal of Clinical Endocrinology & Metabolism, 81(12), 4249-4257.
  12. Chapman, I. M., Hartman, M. L., Pezzoli, S. S., & Thorner, M. O. (1996). Enhancement of pulsatile growth hormone secretion by continuous infusion of a growth hormone-releasing peptide mimetic, L-692,429, in older adults–a clinical research center study. The Journal of Clinical Endocrinology & Metabolism, 81(8), 2874-2880.
  13. Svensson, J., Lonn, L., Jansson, J. O., Murphy, G., Wyss, D., Krupa, D., … & Bengtsson, B. A. (1998). Two-month treatment of obese subjects with the oral growth hormone (GH) secretagogue MK-677 increases GH secretion, fat-free mass, and energy expenditure. The Journal of Clinical Endocrinology & Metabolism, 83(2), 362-369.
  14. Landin‐Wilhelmsen, K., Nilsson, A., Bosaeus, I., & Bengtsson, B. Å. (2003). Growth hormone increases bone mineral content in postmenopausal osteoporosis: a randomized placebo‐controlled trial. Journal of Bone and Mineral Research, 18(3), 393-405.
  15. Murphy, M. G., Weiss, S., McClung, M., Schnitzer, T., Cerchio, K., Connor, J., … & MK-677/Alendronate Study Group. (2001). Effect of alendronate and MK-677 (a growth hormone secretagogue), individually and in combination, on markers of bone turnover and bone mineral density in postmenopausal osteoporotic women. The Journal of Clinical Endocrinology & Metabolism, 86(3), 1116-1125.
  16. Thompson, J. L., Butterfield, G. E., Gylfadottir, U. K., Yesavage, J., Marcus, R., Hintz, R. L., … & Hoffman, A. R. (1998). Effects of human growth hormone, insulin-like growth factor I, and diet and exercise on body composition of obese postmenopausal women. The Journal of Clinical Endocrinology & Metabolism, 83(5), 1477-1484.
  17. Welle, S., Thornton, C., Statt, M., & McHenry, B. (1996). Growth hormone increases muscle mass and strength but does not rejuvenate myofibrillar protein synthesis in healthy subjects over 60 years old. The Journal of Clinical Endocrinology & Metabolism, 81(9), 3239-3243.
  18. Taaffe, D. R., Pruitt, L., Reim, J., Hintz, R. L., Butterfield, G., Hoffman, A. R., & Marcus, R. (1994). Effect of recombinant human growth hormone on the muscle strength response to resistance exercise in elderly men. The Journal of Clinical Endocrinology & Metabolism, 79(5), 1361-1366.
  19. Ghigo, E., Arvat, E., Giordano, R., Broglio, F., Gianotti, L., Maccario, M., … & Camanni, F. (2001). Biologic activities of growth hormone secretagogues in humans. Endocrine, 14(1), 87-93.
  20. Copinschi, G., Leproult, R., Van Onderbergen, A., Caufriez, A., Cole, K. Y., Schilling, L. M., … & Van Cauter, E. (1997). Prolonged oral treatment with MK-677, a novel growth hormone secretagogue, improves sleep quality in man. Neuroendocrinology, 66(4), 278-286.
  21. Erotokritou-Mulligan, I., Holt, R. I., & Sönksen, P. H. (2011). Growth hormone doping: a review. Open Access Journal of Sports Medicine, 2, 99.
  22. Van Hout, M. C., & Hearne, E. (2016). Netnography of female use of the synthetic growth hormone CJC-1295: pulses and potions. Substance Use & Misuse, 51(1), 73-84.
  23. Ganceviciene, R., Liakou, A. I., Theodoridis, A., Makrantonaki, E., & Zouboulis, C. C. (2012). Skin anti-aging strategies. Dermato-endocrinology, 4(3), 308-319.
  24. Bartke, A. (2019). Growth hormone and aging: updated review. The World Journal of Men's Health, 37(1), 19-24.
  25. Nass, R., Pezzoli, S. S., Oliveri, M. C., Patrie, J. T., Harrell Jr, F. E., Clasey, J. L., … & Thorner, M. O. (2008). Effects of an oral ghrelin mimetic on body composition and clinical outcomes in healthy older adults: a randomized trial. Annals of Internal Medicine, 149(9), 601-611.

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