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Ibutamoren Mesylate 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.

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. 


Ibutamoren is frequently discussed on online forums for its 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 and binding to one of the ghrelin receptors (GHSR) in the brain. 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.

Optimize your levels and keep them balanced with our free Blood Test Reference Guide.

Uses 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 to 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 24 obese men, a two-month treatment (DB-RCT) with ibutamoren increased lean mass, and transiently increased basal metabolic rate (BMR) [R].

2) Ibutamoren Reduces Muscle Wasting

In a study (DB-RCT) in eight food-deprived healthy volunteers, ibutamoren reversed diet-induced protein loss [R], that could cause muscle wasting.

In 123 elderly patients with hip fracture, ibutamoren improved gait speed, muscle strength and reduced the number of falls (RCT) [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 24 healthy obese male volunteers, ibutamoren increased bone turnover (DB-RCT) [R].

In 187 elderly adults (65 years or older), ibutamoren increased bone building, as measured by osteocalcin, a marker of bone turnover in multiple studies (3 DB-RCTs) [R].

In one study (DB-RCT) with 292 post-menopausal women, ibutamoren increased bone mineral density, which helps increase bone strength and prevent osteoporosis [R].

4) Ibutamoren Improves Sleep

A study (DB-PCT) 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.

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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 with 65 elderly men and women (DB-RCT), 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 with 24 obese males (DB-RCT), ibutamoren rejuvenated the growth hormone profile [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 [RR].
  • Ibutamoren also increases REM sleep duration and sleep quality [R]. And we know that sleep is essential for good cognitive function [R].

A study (DB-multicenter) 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. 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 (DB-RCT) [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.

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  • Gil

    Truth about not taking MK 677 if Th1 dominant. My BP systolic spiked 25 points. My diastolic gained 10 points. Returned to normal after stopping. The cycle was 1 month long. I didn’t check BP during this time. Never had a BP issue before. 120/75.

    The muscle gains were and still impressive. I still have a bottle left. I’m tempted to try again with my lab rat, while measuring BP.

  • Kelly

    Will this product make me gain more weight I was told by a friend that it would help me lose weight and give me more energy. I have been taking 1ml every night for a week now but have not lost any weight nor do I feel energized. Should I continue. I am not a gym person but an overweight 54 yr old female . Any advice would be appreciated. I do suffer from diverticulitis which is not fun.

  • J.D

    Can you drink this with water MK677? Coz the pill is so big lol I hate taking pills. Pls n thank you.

  • Daniel Schaefer

    Sarah, be aware that some weight gain isn’t muscle but actually water retention.

    When I was on mk my fingers were bigger and my ring was too tight, but it was water retention, even in the muscles themselves. After he cycles off, you’ll know how much is muscle.

  • Mark

    But, cortisol then switches to burning fat and preserving muscle in the process of a caloric deficit.

  • Luciana

    Where can I buy this guys ? Please share the info with me .

  • Mike

    Curious if there is any data indicating ibutamorern can stimulate hgh release in the presence of exogenous igflr3, which typically inhibits hgh release as far as I know. I’m guessing no, but think out would be interesting to study if it has not already been done

  • Fabyo

    Hi ! I would like to try ibutamoren in order to have a better sleep efficiency. Problem is i have a crohn dissease. Even if it’s in rémission…. I don’t know if it good to try it…

  • Michael

    Does anyone know of sarms center on amazon? They say they sell the real deal but it’s made in the USA and say for research only but I’m hesitating I know of alot of fakes

  • Frank

    Sarms have never altered my sexual performance in a negative way. Ibutamoren works for GH activation and Ostarene works for testosterone activation. Read up on them and only use them in their proper cycle time frame. Respect sarms. Not toys. They really work. Ibutamoren for GH release has a really strong potential to heal an injured body. Good luck with your use.

  • Leonidas

    Hi Roger. Look, when i was 20+ i injured myself in the gym quite badly. Short version, i got a disk displacement in the lumbar area. It took me one year to go to quiropractic, when i realised it was severe injury. I was Too late for a total recovery. It became a chronic problem. Thanks to bodybuilding, according to the doctor, i could keep it on place, kind of… But off and on i had episodes of pain i couldn’t walk, couldn’t stand, couldn’t seat, couldn’t lay on the bed. Holding with both hanfs to a wall for walking… Normally i always had the sensitive feeling in that area, stiffness especially in the mornings. Now i am 43y.o. I started taking it for 3 months roughly and that sensitivity and stiffness are gone. I wouldn’t say 3 monthd using healed a 20 years problem, but i definitely feel far much better.

  • Jerm

    Did it mess with his sexual performance? This is the only thing that scares me with trying sarms.

  • Luke

    15 lbs in 2 months?? You must be kidding Sarah

  • otto

    This is interesting in that calorie restriction and intermittent fasting lowers IGF-1 and insulin resistance.

  • Richard Diesel

    To Jessica….Are you suffering from Crohn’s. I seen in a few comments of IBD. Crohn’s can effect anywhere from mouth to anus. The whole G.I system, which is a 30 foot food tube. Crohn’s is different than Ulcerative Colitis. Not just because U.C is just relegated to the colon. However, Crohn’s can effect all lining of the G.I tract. Usually it is the small intestine it attacks. U.C, most 90% of cases are in the rectum. 33% of those effected with U.C will require surgery. 75% with Crohn’s, will elect. These are all within 10 years. I am not here to replace medical advice. However, I did speak at a college about IBD. I have also grown bacteria in Labs and tested anti-biotics on bacteria. Basically you grab a dish, you let bacteria grow. Then you crab small anti-biotic agents, in the form of small discs, and place them onto the bacteria. A ring may form around the anti-microbial. This detects how sensitive, or how non resistant the bacteria is to that particular anti-biotic…and that is how Dr.s know what to prescribe, well should know, but a lot don’t. Anti-biotic does not just destroy bad bacteria, but also good. Hence Anti- Bacteria. Sometimes in rare cases, it kills more good than bad. Pro-biotics can help at times. People who get J pouches, when they get pouchitis, pro biotics can be used, but more likely an antibiotic is used. Your right in the fact, it’s what you can absorb. I mean if you eat 6 meals a day, but absorb barely much, but eat 3 and absorb say 60%…the latter is more ideal. The thing is, stress can induce symptoms of IBS…I dislike the new terminology with IBS…now IBS-C and IBS-D…..for constipation and diarrhea. Think it’s dumb, as IBS can produce both or either or. In fact, there is an enzyme called ” Lactase.” It breaks down, ” Lactose.” Lactose is a carb sugar is diary. Lactose is formed by a Beta bond. There are alpha and beta bonds. These beta bonds are the hardest to digest. Also, understand, as we age, our digestion can slow down, as seen in elderly. However, do not confuse digestion with absorption. Digestion is the act of breaking something down so small that the body and cells can use it. Also, absorb. So not only are these naturally by their chemical bonds harder to digest, but sometimes when not digested, they go to the colon and bacteria metabolize this sugar for energy and that can create gas. So basically it can go through some people. On a second note, if you lack the Lactase enzyme to break down lactose, then lactose will not be digested properly, and you can have the same problems as scenerio one. Anti-inflammatory things like fish, or thickeners fr food like bananas or apple sauce can help with digestion. Liquid vitamins absorb better than oral. If you ever need to talk feel free to add me or shoot a message on FB…it is Rick Bitty from Kent State University. Gl!

  • Rick Diesel

    @cristobol…..Gaining 10lbs is because of the ghrenlin…..basically the stomach thinks it’s emptying. It induces hunger. For a bodybuilder this could be a positive to stimulate appetite. However, it can burn fat..You just have to watch the cravings. What I will say, is that women, when they crave good, tend to eat more sweats than men. So the idea is for men to take this a few hours before bed, and fight off hunger. Sometimes this wears off, the hunger feeling. If you ever want to talk, I have my degree in science. My FB is Rick Bitty, from Kent State University. If you message just let me know where from we talked, so I remember.

  • Roger

    I’ve been told this could be helpfull in recovering from injuries such as runners knee and jumper knee. Is there any experience in such benifits?

  • Steve

    It is offered as a powder. What is the best way to ingest, mixed with water, milk or something else?

  • Frank

    When dealing with SARMs there are positives and potential negatives that may affect some people. Cycle off of SARMs and let your receptors reset, so to speak, and monitor the results both positive and negative. A check up and a conversation with your physician afterwards is recommend. Example month or two on…month off. I have noticed positives like no soreness after working out intensely. Amazing product but be cautious and cycle off of it.

  • RUSS Tildsley

    Sarah, I read your article. I was most interested where you could buy this from over the counter. As I bought some from a firm on the internet. At least you know your getting the proper stuff from the shop. But I have not tried it yet.

  • Cristobal Ferryman

    It is not available over the counter, at least not in the United States (I doubt in Canada). That makes the rest of the information in the article suspect. I have gained 10 pounds in the month I’ve been taking it, binge eating, and this article at least explains that effect.

    1. Jessica

      Hi, Cristobal,

      If you are 55 lbs below your normal healthy weight at never more than a slim 200lbs and 6′, 6″ tall, thanks to chronic infectious IBD and severe damage to you colon, then a 10 lbs weight gain thanks to Ibutamoren would be the greatest blessing. It all depends which end of the telescope you are looking down.

      It is also illogical to presume that the article must be suspect just because the drug is not yet readily available OTC.

      Substances affect differently people differently, and even affect the same people differently depending on certain variables. For my son, the maximum effective dose of Ibutamoren is still not quite effective enough for the major turnaround he needs; but it is still making a small but important difference.

      I, for one, am most thankful for the research and reporting on this amazing substance, and hope that further elucidation and understanding – including reviews from many users – will help people such as yourself fine-tune protocols to aid in a more constructive experience. Binge eating urges also provide an opportunity to try ways of improving one’s self-discipline, so that negative could be turned into a positive for you too, with some clever tactics up your sleeve.

      All the best. : )

    2. Sarah

      It is available in canada my bf takes it and loves it
      He gained 15 pounds muscle In 2 months 🙂

      1. j

        where in Canada? it’s banned. I’d like to buy it.

        1. Mike

          j, Buy online is probably your best option, of course at your own risk. Published data appears to indicate this is relatively safe but there are unknowns and individual differences. For me personally I am done with the compound. Even taken in the AM it is very disturbing to restful sleep but this does not seem to be a common complaint so I guess that’s just me. Some say they get greatly improved sleep. If it did that for me I would love it, I did gain strength on it.

          There are lots of online stores selling this compound including the link provided by Joseph near the end of this article.

          Purchase of this compound outside of legitimate research is what I would call a “grey market loophole”. Honestly I am surprised our government (US) has not cracked down to protect us from ourselves by banning this, I won’t be surprised if it happens. This is not something I am a fan of, I strongly believe in personal liberties and personal responsibility for our choices not paternalistic control and loss of rights. That said at least in the US MK-677 not a supplement and cannot be sold as such. In the US I believe this would be classified as an investigational drug which allows it to be shipped and sold for research purposes only. This most commonly means non-human use as there are additional restrictions for human studies.

          My prediction and opinion is this will never be fully approved. Not due to safety but rather profitability. Full FDA trials are hugely expensive so a Pharm will not invest in the venture unless high returns are likely. Also to secure profits a Pharm must be able to control exclusive rights to the compound so they can charge a high price. Its obvious that MK-677 is generating massive revenue on the grey market with sales to the performance enhancement community but FDA approval would actually kill this and likely not generate much revenue at all for the company funding the research. This compound can never be sold as a supplement in the US as it does not meet the definition. This would mean for the performance enhancement community it would only be available to individuals who were willing to ask their doctors for a prescription, the cost would greatly increase, and then the doctor would have to deem the usage medically necessary, control the dosage if they even allow it. This would most likely preclude 98% or more of the current customer base. Granted it would have other uses if you could get doctors to prescribe it and patients to use it, mainly in the geriatric community. I don’t see this one going forward beyond its current status except maybe into the controlled category due to fearful and ignorant legislators who ban compounds for reasons such as “unfair advantage in sports, etc” – which would be unfortunate in my opinion.

          I may have digressed beyond your question. Hope this helps.

    3. Sarah

      It’s over the counter at certain stores I forgot to add I don’t want to mention names cus it’s kinda hush hush but if u buy things once then go again they will sell It to u 🙂

      1. Jane

        What stores? Please share

  • Emanuel Stamathis

    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!

  • 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.

    1. Nattha Wannissorn

      True, but not having IGF-1 is also dangerous. It’s a balancing act.

      1. 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.

        1. 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.

        2. Emanuel Stamathis

          What medical study did you get diets low in meat are good for you or that protein powders are bad??? Whey protein is the essential precursor to the production of the master antioxidant L-Glutathione.

    2. Korey Martinez

      This stuff isnt like juicing 15 ius of gh a day. It brings us back to where we were at 20yo. I didnt get cancer from gh levels when i was 20, doubt if i will now.

  • myersguidesGeorge

    Needs more on the negatives

    1. John

      Several anecdotal reports of fat mass gain and increased insulin resistance.

  • 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?

    1. Mike

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

      1. Cara

        If it’s causing fat gain and increasing glucose levels, how is it improving body shape? Increased muscle mass?

        1. Joseph M. Cohen


          1. 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.

            reply icon
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