Since 2010, there has been a steady increase in the number of adverse analytical findings (AAFs) involving SARMs around the world.
Selective Androgen Receptor Modulators (SARMs) are a class of compounds that are similar in properties to anabolic steroids. The idea behind SARMs is to provide the same body-positive results as steroids without adverse side effects.
Unlike anabolic steroids, individual SARMs bind to selective androgen receptors in certain tissues. One of the most common SARMs is Ibutamoren (MK-677).
There are possible benefits and Ibutamoren side effects that users should know about. Keep reading to learn them.
What Is Ibutamoren?
MK 677, otherwise referred to as Ibutamoren, promotes the growth hormone (GH) and increases the insulin-like growth factor (IG1-1). It mimics the hormone ghrelin and binds to the hormone’s receptors.
Ibutamoren is a SARM (Selective Androgen Receptor Modulator) and a ghrelin receptor agonist. It is one of the most popular rapid muscle-building compounds used today.
After binding to one of the ghrelin receptors (GHSR) in the brain, it stimulates growth hormone release. These receptors are found in the brain regions that control pleasure, mood, appetites, memory, cognition, and biological rhythms.
Along with building muscle, MK-677 might affect the above functions. However, this SARM can increase growth hormone levels without increasing other hormones, such as cortisol.
Before getting to Ibutamoren side effects, it’s advantageous to understand why people take this SARM. The most obvious benefit is muscle building and reducing muscle waste, but there is more to it.
It’s important to know that some of these benefits are anecdotal. There is still little research on SARMs, but Ibutamoren is one of the most popular ones that has gone through human trials.
Still, more research needs to happen before any claims can be proven. These are some of the main Ibutamoren benefits in-depth. Keep in mind that these are only potential benefits:
One of the most common Ibutamoren uses is for bodybuilders that want to increase lean body mass. MK-677 is orally active and can be taken once per day.
Ibutamoren stimulates the growth hormone and IGF-1 that help with maintaining lean body mass. The growth hormone stimulates an increase in muscle size and strength.
The results of MK-677 stimulating muscle growth vary from person to person. The results can depend on a number of factors, including health conditions and exercise regimen.
Reduces Muscle Wasting
In recent studies, MK-677 alleviated muscle wasting caused by a decline in protein. MK-677 is promising in its ability to reverse protein catabolism.
It’s possible that Ibutamoren is an effective treatment for individuals that suffer from catabolic conditions.
Increases Bone Density
There have been several studies that indicate that long-term use of MK-677 can increase bone mineral density. This finding could benefit different populations, including:
- Older adults
- Obese individuals
- Women with menopause
These populations are known to have health problems caused by low bone mineral density.
As well as being a treatment for certain conditions, a lot of bodybuilders and those in the fitness community want to increase bone density using this SARM.
There is still little known about the long-term side effects of using MK-677 to increase bone density. Increases in bone density typically require more than a year’s use, but it’s not known whether or not long-term use is safe.
The growth hormone is known to help improve sleep quality. Since MK-677 stimulates the production of the growth hormone, it may assist with sleep quality.
A clinical study of elderly adults and younger subjects showed that Ibutamoren improved sleep quality and rapid eye movement (REM) sleep duration.
Users outside of scientific studies have also reported improvements in sleep quality. These are anecdotal results.
Growth hormone naturally starts to decline once an individual reaches a certain age, much like other hormones in the body.
Aging individuals might be able to take MK-677 to improve overall hormone profiles that give declining GH levels a boost.
It’s possible that MK-677 has nootropic effects as it shares a lot of similar properties to Ghrelin and binds to its receptors. Researchers are still studying whether or not Ibutamoren can have the same effects on the brain as Ghrelin.
Currently, no studies confirm the nootropic effects of MK-677. There is hope that MK-677 might assist cognitive function.
If MK-677 can improve sleep quality by increasing REM sleep, there is a better chance of adequate cognitive function. Individuals that get a good night’s rest from Ibutamoren may indirectly improve cognitive function.
Treatment for Growth Hormone Deficiency
Those with growth hormone deficiency might be able to take MK-677 to increase the growth hormone, IGFBP-3 levels, and IGF-1.
These effects might be achieved without changing concentrations of the following:
- Thyroxine (T4)
- Triiodothyronine (T3)
There are some circumstances where these areas are affected by the use of MK-677 as well.
It’s important to note that the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has not approved any SARMs for prescription use. It’s not legal for a doctor to prescribe a SARM to a patient.
SARMs are used for research purposes in clinical trials and might have positive impacts on individuals with certain conditions. In the future, after more testing and research, we could see the globalized use of SARMs for certain conditions.
Ibutamoren Side Effects
There are still studies being conducted on Ibutamoren, so not all Ibutamoren side effects are known. In low doses, users don’t have to be concerned about MK-677, but the long-term effects are still unknown.
Certain populations, like those with Diabetes or insulin sensitivity, might be at risk when taking MK-677. Symptoms that occur from these conditions might be exacerbated by using MK-677.
Correct dosing and usage of MK-677 are key. Unwanted side effects are using the result of extended use and improper dosage.
These are some of the possible side effects users of Ibutamoren might experience:
- Increased appetite
- Possible increase in prolactin levels
- Joint pain
- Insulin resistance
- Flushing of the face
Bodybuilders that take more than the recommended dosage of MK-677 undergo post-cycle therapy (PCT) to help the body with its natural productions.
There is not enough knowledge about the safety profile of this drug to recommend it to anyone.
Side Effects in Trials
The side effects that most people experience in clinical trials are similar to those in people with elevated growth hormone levels.
Most studies report little to no side effects, but there was a study that was terminated because of adverse events. This is generally a sign that researchers consider the compound to be unsafe.
In elderly patients, a study on Ibutamoren caused elevated blood glucose, HbA1c, and blood pressure. There were even a few patients that experienced congestive heart failure, but they had a history of heart failure.
The FDA has warned consumers about potentially life-threatening side effects of all SARMs, including the increased risk of stroke and heart attack.
Long-term use in those who use Ibutamoren for bodybuilding increase the likelihood of developing soft tissue swelling, carpal tunnel syndrome, joint stiffness (arthralgia), and gynecomastia.
There haven’t been a lot of long-term studies of Ibutamoren. The long-term side effects remain an open-ended question in the science world, but there are user stories that indicate a negative impact of long-term use.
Post-Cycle Therapy (PCT)
When used as a performance-enhancing drug, PCT is necessary after a cycle of MK-677.
Although there are possible benefits of Ibutamoren, taking a high dosage for an extended period of time can mess up your body’s hormones. With the assistance of PCT, your body’s normal production can take over again.
In a matter of weeks, you’ll be able to get back to your body’s normal testosterone production. Plus, it helps prevent adverse side effects from occurring once you complete your cycle.
If you don’t do PCT, your body has to independently recover which can take months, or even longer. During this period, you’ll experience symptoms of low testosterone, including:
- Mood swings
- Decreased muscle mass
- Increased fat mass
This means if you are using MK-677 to build muscle mass and cut down on body fat, your work can be completely reversed without PCT once your cycle is up.
To get your hormones back on track with PCT, you need to know which products to utilize. The compound you get should be potent enough to get your hormonal levels back to normal efficiently and quickly.
There are three common products that you can use for PCT:
- Rebirth PCT
- Clomid PCT (Clommiphene)
- Nolvadex (Tamoxifen)
You can get Rebirth PCT over the counter. The other two drugs will have to be given through a doctor’s prescription.
MK-677 and Bodybuilding
As stated before, clinical trials showed few side effects of taking a low dose of MK-677. Despite being advertised as a research chemical and not for human consumption, bodybuilders take this SARM in high dosages for complete cycles.
Bodybuilding and Ibutamoren are related to each other, which is why this compound has become popular in the fitness community.
Since the SARM, Ibutamoren MK-677 is a selective ghrelin receptor agonist, it may promote muscle growth and rapid cell regeneration through the natural production of the growth hormone.
This process can also increase IGF1, another important chemical that we’ve discussed.
IGF1 is a protein, but it acts as a hormone. It is like insulin in that it acts as a factor in the growth of muscle tissue. It regulates energy and enhances metabolism during the process of cell proliferation.
This particular SARM has a half-life of 24 hours, making it a popular choice for bodybuilding. This means users only need to take one per day to maintain the anabolic effect.
In theory, MK-677 can benefit bodybuilders looking for rapid physical benefits and enhanced energy. Bodybuilders in competition need to be wary of using MK-677 and SARMs in general.
MK-677 is not FDA-approved and is banned by the World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA). If a bodybuilder tests positive for SARMs, they face possible elimination from the competition.
Since MK-677 can cause lethargy, most users take it before bed each night. However, some individuals use Ibutamoren to increase their appetite and will take it in the morning.
If you decide that taking a SARM is right for you and you choose to take MK-677 at night, you may wake up with tingling or numb hands. This is a common side effect that won’t last.
Buying, selling, and having Mk-677 is not illegal. However, this compound is sold as research chemicals only. Those in the fitness community still utilize this compound for human consumption.
If you intend on taking Ibutamoren or other SARMs, it’s important that you learn all you can about the product. There are third-party websites looking to capitalize on the popularity of SARMs by selling dangerous products.
Some websites sell products that they describe as SARMs, but they don’t have any SARMs in them. Research thoroughly before buying these compounds and check that they are tested.
Ibutamoren: Are SARMs Right for You?
SARMs like Ibutamoren are legally sold as research chemicals and are not FDA-approved. Since there are a lot of tests required to determine the facts and long-lasting effects of SARMs, it’s not recommended to take them.
Despite this, and knowing the possible Ibutamoren side effects, bodybuilders have popularized MK-677 for its muscle-building properties. The effects of MK-677 are highly individualized.
If you come across SARMs or are looking for speedy ways to increase muscle mass and lose fat, consider this guide before taking any chances. Don’t forget to keep coming back for more articles like this on our blog.