SR9009, also known as Stenabolic, is a synthetic drug created to study the circadian rhythm. It was shown to boost endurance, reduce anxiety, and decrease cholesterol, weight, and inflammation in mice. These effects, if proven in humans, would replicate some of the beneficial effects exercise has on our bodies and thus, improve our health. However, although available as a supplement online, it has not been tested in humans and its side effects are still unknown. Read on to learn more about SR9009.
Note: By writing this post, we are not recommending this drug. Some of our readers who were already taking the drug requested that we commission a post on it, and we are simply providing information that is available in the scientific literature. Please discuss your medications with your doctor.
What is Sr9009?
The circadian rhythm is maintained through a loop mechanism that turns genes on and off (when CLOCK and BMAL1 genes are turned on, they turn on PER and CRY. Then, PER/CRY turn BMAL1/CLOCK off and the 24-hour cycle resets) [R].
The REV-ERBs are a pair of proteins that stabilize our internal clock by turning BMAL1 off. They are, in turn, activated by the heme group. Heme is a small iron-containing compound found all throughout our body, for example, in red blood cells [R, R].
SR9009 is a compound that enhances REV-ERB activity (known as agonists) and has good bioavailability [R].
Because of the many positive effects seen in animals, SR9009 found its way online and is being sold and used as a supplement, mainly within the bodybuilding community. It has been referred to as “exercise in a bottle.” However, there are still a lot of things we don’t know about this drug, including its side effects.
Mechanism of Action
REV-ERB is mainly found in liver, muscle, and fat tissue:
- Liver: REV-ERB affects the rhythm of 90% of the about 900 genes under circadian control in mice liver. It turns off the genes that produce glucose without altering insulin sensitivity. It also turns on genes that generate new fat cells and reduces the inflammatory response (by affecting macrophage production) [R, R, R, R].
- Muscles: REV-ERB promotes the burning of fat, increases the activity of mitochondria, and promotes the generation of new while decreasing the destruction of old mitochondria [R].
- Fat cells: REV-ERB turns off the genes responsible for storing fat and decreases triglyceride production [R].
In animal and cell studies, SR9009:
- Increased oxygen consumption [R]
- Decreased generation of new fat cells in the liver [R]
- Decreased production of cholesterol and bile acids in the liver [R]
- Increased the number of mitochondria in muscle [R]
- Increased glucose and fatty acid use in muscle [R]
- Decreased fat storage [R]
Effects of SR9009
1) Weight Loss
Mice injected with SR9009 for 7 days lost weight due to a decrease in fat mass. Food intake was not affected [R].
Similarly, diet-induced obese mice injected with SR9009 for 30 days lost 60% more weight than control animals. Blood levels of triglycerides, total cholesterol, free fatty acids, and insulin levels also decreased [R].
2) Blood Cholesterol
SR9009 given for 7 to 10 days reduced blood levels of triglycerides and total cholesterol in mice [R].
Genetically modified mice undergoing a high cholesterol diet to obtain a fat profile similar to humans were given SR9009 for 8 weeks. Total cholesterol and triglycerides were similarly lowered, while LDL cholesterol was lowered but HDL cholesterol was unaffected [R].
Mice treated with SR9009 for 30 days showed increased endurance. They ran for a longer time and covered more distance than controls [R].
4) Decreasing Inflammation
5) Heart Disease
Genetically modified mice susceptible to hardening of the arteries were treated with SR9009 for 7 weeks. The size of the blood vessel lesions was reduced, while food intake, body weight, and blood fat levels were not affected [R].
In both normal and genetically modified old mice, SR9009 injected for 28 days improved heart function [R].
In mice with surgically induced heart growth (hypertrophy), SR9009 given for 2 weeks reduced heart size and weight, with no effect on blood pressure [R].
Mice injected with SR9009 during daytime (this is when the mice are supposed to be asleep) were more active during the day and had less deep sleep (less REM and slow-wave sleep). However, when SR9009 was injected during the night (when mice are active), it had no effect [R, R].
SR9009 may potentially help in maintaining wakefulness when the drive for sleep is significant including shift work, jet lag, and some sleep-related disorders.
8) Tissue Damage (Fibrosis)
SR9009 decreased tissue damage in mice with induced liver scarring when treated with SR9009 for 2 weeks [R].
Side effects of SR9009 are unknown.
So far, SR9009 has shown no liver toxicity in mice when used for up to 7 weeks [R].
Some users reported insomnia.
Limitations and Caveats
To date, no scientific studies on the use of SR9009 in humans have been published.
No human dosage has been established so far. Most experiments in mice have used a dose of 100 mg/kg applied intraperitoneally; that is, injected directly into the body cavity.
Online bodybuilding forums, however, suggest a much lower daily dose of 10-40 mg. They also suggest dividing this into 3-4 doses per day.
There are no scientific reports on the effectiveness of SR9009 when taken orally.
SR9009 is sold online for use as a performance enhancer in bodybuilding.
Some users report improved endurance, while others state it has limited or no benefits. For many, the suggested repeated dosing (3-4 times a day) makes it bothersome to use.
- “I feel it immediately. With SR9009 it’s like there’s this little “pop” of alertness. It can cause insomnia (which happened to me), and might explain that “pop” like a flash of “it’s daytime!”
- “I’ve used it a bit. The energy and stamina increases are pretty pronounced.”
- “It gives really nice increases to endurance, but feels different than a traditional stimulant.”
- “Didn’t feel much.”
There are vendors who sell SR9009 online, but we at SelfHacked advise against getting and/or trying this drug given that its safety has not been confirmed in humans.