MK-677 Ibutamoren

Ibutamoren (MK-677) – Top 9 Health Benefits and Side Effects

Ibutamoren is a substance that is associated with more discussions on online forums than actual clinical research. However, the research so far does support several benefits of ibutamoren, associated with its ability to increase growth hormone and IGF-1 levels. Read on to find out what these benefits are, whether ibutamoren can help you, and how to deal with potential side effects.


MK-677 Ibutamoren

Ibutamoren is frequently discussed on online forums for its anabolic muscle-building properties. It is available over the counter and used by those wishing to increase their growth hormone levels.

However, clinical studies of this compound are relatively few. In the text below, we will highlight what is known about ibutamoren so far.

Ibutamoren (also known as ibutamoren mesylate or MK-677), promotes the secretion of the growth hormone (GH) and increases insulin-like growth factor 1 (IGF-1) (R, R).

Ibutamoren increases growth hormone levels, by mimicking the action of the hormone ghrelin (R), and binding to one of the ghrelin receptors (GHSR) in the brain (R). Activated GHSR stimulates growth hormone release from the brain.

GHSR is found in brain regions that control appetite, pleasure, mood, biological rhythms, memory, and cognition (R). Therefore, we can expect that ibutamoren may also affect these functions. However, so far, clinical studies describe only the effects ibutamoren has on appetite – and as expected, like ghrelin, ibutamoren increases it.

A great thing about ibutamoren is that it increases growth hormone levels with little or no increase in other hormones, such as cortisol (R, R). Cortisol suppresses the immune system, reduces wound healing, and impairs learning and memory, and it’s usually not good to have this hormone elevated.

Health Benefits of Ibutamoren

1) Ibutamoren Helps Build Muscles


Ibutamoren is frequently used as an anabolic substance, to increase lean body mass i.e. create bigger muscles. It is orally active and can be taken once a day. These are all benefits compared with other growth hormone stimulators.

As previously mentioned, ibutamoren increases growth hormone levels and IGF-1 (R, R). Both growth hormone and IGF-1, in turn, increase muscle mass, muscle strength, and reduce body fat (R, R, R).

In healthy obese men, a two-month treatment with ibutamoren increased lean mass, and transiently increased basal metabolic rate (BMR) (R).

2) Ibutamoren Reduce Muscle Wasting

In food-deprived healthy volunteers, ibutamoren reversed diet-induced protein loss (R), that could cause muscle wasting.

In elderly patients with hip fracture, ibutamoren improved gait speed, muscle strength and reduced the number of falls (R).

3) Ibutamoren Increases Bone Density


Growth hormone (GH) increases bone turnover and eventually bone density (R). However, because of the increased turnover in subjects treated with growth hormone, bone density can initially decrease before increasing (R). Basically, it takes time (> 1 year) to see the bone density increase.

In healthy obese male volunteers, ibutamoren increased bone turnover (R).

In elderly adults, ibutamoren increased bone building, as measured by osteocalcin, a marker of bone turnover (R).

In post-menopausal women, ibutamoren increased bone mineral density, which helps increase bone strength and prevent osteoporosis (R).

4) Ibutamoren Improves Sleep


A study showed that in both younger and elderly subjects, ibutamoren improved sleep quality and REM (rapid eye movement) sleep duration (R).

Apart from scientific studies, there have been many reports of subjective improvements in sleep quality, across various online forums.

5) Ibutamoren Combats Aging and May Increase Longevity


Growth Hormone (GH) secretion and muscle mass both decline from mid-puberty throughout life (R).

In a study in the elderly, daily ibutamoren increased GH and IGF-1 levels to those of healthy young adults without serious adverse effects (R). IGF-1 is known to have beneficial effects on longevity (R, R).

In another study, ibutamoren rejuvenated the growth hormone profile in obese subjects (R).

6) Ibutamoren May Have Nootropic Effects


Some people use ibutamoren as a nootropic because it acts on the ghrelin receptor, which has nootropic effects. You can read more about these effects in the post on ghrelin. Science is, however, yet to study if and how ibutamoren affects cognitive performance.

Two indirect mechanisms by which ibutamoren can improve brain function:

  • Ibutamoren increases IGF-1, which is known to improve memory and learning (R, R, R).
  • Ibutamoren also increases REM sleep duration and sleep quality (R). And we know that sleep is essential for good cognitive function (R).

A study questioned the association of low IGF-1 and Alzheimer’s disease, and whether ibutamoren could be of help. However, in this study, ibutamoren was ineffective at slowing the progression of Alzheimer’s in humans (R).

7) Ibutamoren is Beneficial in Treating Growth Hormone Deficiency

Ibutamoren can increase growth hormone, IGF-1, and IGFBP-3 levels in children with growth hormone deficiency (R). Furthermore, these effects are achieved without changing the concentrations of prolactin, glucose, triiodothyronine (T3), thyroxine (T4), thyrotropin cortisol or insulin (R).

In severely GH-deficient men, ibutamoren increased IGF-1 and growth hormone, with no significant changes in cortisol, PRL, and thyroid hormone levels. However, insulin and glucose were increased (R).

8) Ibutamoren May Help with Wound Healing and Tissue Regeneration

Growth hormone increases tissue regeneration and wound healing (R, R), so ibutamoren may help with these.

There are individual reports of ibutamoren being helpful, but scientific studies are lacking.

9) Ibutamoren May Help with Hangovers

This one is anecdotal, but people report curing hangovers with ibutamoren.

Side Effects

The most frequent side effects of ibutamoren are an increase in appetite and transient, mild lower extremity edema and muscle pain (R).

Several studies report an increase in fasting blood glucose and a decrease in insulin sensitivity (R, R).

These side effects are similar to those observed in people with elevated growth hormone levels, mainly joint pain and insulin resistance (R, R).

Although most studies report little or no side effects, one study was terminated because of serious adverse events. In elderly patients with hip fracture, ibutamoren elevated blood pressure, blood glucose and HbA1c, and there were cases of congestive heart failure (R). The patients experiencing congestive heart failure were over 80 and had a history of prior heart failure.

It would be prudent to watch your carbohydrate intake and regularly check blood sugar and insulin levels while taking ibutamoren.

As an anabolic, ibutamoren should be avoided if you have cancer. Both growth hormone and IGF-1 may promote cancer growth.

I would not take Ibutamoren if you are Th1 dominant, since growth hormone has immune stimulatory properties.

Genetics Affecting Responses to Ibutamoren

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SNPs in the GHSR gene

GHSR is the gene that codes for the ghrelin receptor. When this receptor is activated by ghrelin or ibutamoren, the pituitary gland is given the signal to start releasing growth hormoneIt’s better to have this gene increased most of the time.

  1. RS2232165
  2. RS2922126
  3. RS2948694
  4. RS490683
  5. RS509035
  6. RS572169
  7. RS9819506

Buy Ibutamoren

  • Ibutamoren by IRC.BIO, a research chemical store that you can buy from.


  1. I’ve tried but the fatigue side effect are completely debilitating to overcome the benifits. Even after two weeks, can barely get energy to get motivated to go to the gym. I won’t even go into the ravenous hungar side effect. I’ll stick with rad140!

  2. Paul

    Sounds potentially dangerous to me. Increasing IGF-1 promotes cancer growth, but not just in people who have an active case of diagnosed cancer. Everyone has many small inclusions of cancer, perhaps less than one millimeter in diameter which normally present no threat. But these could explode into rapid growth at any time, given the right conditions, Increased IGF-1 is certainly necessary for this to happen. Inflammation would be another along with angiogenesis and increased mTOR activity, promoted possibly by IGF-1 and excess protein consumption. Also a loss in IGFBP might contribute.

      • Paul

        I think that balance can be provided by eating a healthy diet low in meat, protein powders and high glycemic foods with more fruits, vegetables- especially those rich in beta carotene and soy isoflavone foods such as tofu which has naturally occurring IGF binding protein. Also there is the need for adequate sleep and proper exercise, particularly, resistance training and HIIT. The diet will lower IGF and the others will raise it to the levels needed to support the body’s activities, allowing nature to determine the proper level of IGF. Supplements however, may increase IGF to harmful levels.

        • Jessica

          With respect, Paul, try telling that to somebody with severe IBD and a gut badly damaged through chronic infection with multiple bacterial and helminthic pathogens (including C. difficile, Aeromonas hydrophila and veronii, and Strongyoides stercoralis) – a gut which has not been able to handle any fruit or vegetables whatsoever for a number of years, and for whom the only somewhat digestible foods are protein and certain fats.

          In such people, even following eradication of infection (frequently a very long story in itself), and despite supplementing with a carefully-researched array of vitamins, minerals, and other nutraceuticals – all helpful up to a point, but no more than that -, tissue healing remains elusive: with ongoing ulceration, fissures, haemorrhoids, and the inevitable diarrhoea, you cannot absorb food, you cannot sleep, and you cannot exercise because sometimes even walking at a snail’s pace is enough to cause another tear in your gut, whilst every bathroom visit re-opens rectal wounds.

          There are many layers to address concurrently, and a number of pros and cons to be considered for each potentially appropriate therapy. All of this can be overwhelming – especially to those raised to believe that doctors knew what they were talking about, actually cared, and could be trusted.

          It is, indeed, a balancing act requiring patience, humble and persistent seeking of wisdom, and faith.

          It is simply not possible to guarantee 100% that we will not, even when informed as well as possible, make mistakes: we are living in a Fallen world, a world in which a once perfect Creation has gone wrong for reasons which followers of Darwin will never face, but which we are nevertheless having to deal with every day of our lives. So it is a world filled with risk; but on the other hand, that is also what enables us to experience redemption and restoration in small and sometimes large ways, and that is also what makes life an adventure despite (or is it actually because of?) the struggles.

          Thanks for your stimulating comment, Paul; and thanks to Joseph and his team for all they are trying to do on behalf of the many individuals ‘out there’ struggling with chronic debilitating illness.

  3. Cara

    Who is at risk for the side effects mentioned, if this is supposed to decrease appetite, and promote fat burning and lean muscle mass?

    • Mike

      @Cara if I’m not mistaken it actually causes fat gain (in addition to muscle mass). MK-677 increases average blood glucose levels.

          • Mike

            Correction on my comment: “it actually causes fat gain” not accurate; from one of the studies: “No significant differences were observed in abdominal visceral fat or total fat mass; however, the average increase in limb fat was greater in the MK-677 group than the placebo group ” I take this to mean in the study group receiving MK-677 there was no net change in fat mass but some redistribution was observed.

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