SARMs and GH-Secretagogues: The Pitfalls

A Case Study

Do they work? Are there side effects? Check out this disturbing new case study.

Do SARMs (Selective Androgen Receptor Modulators) work? Do they have side effects? Honest answer: It’s really anyone’s guess. I can’t say for sure what will happen if you take various SARMs, peptides, and GH-secretagogues marketed for “research purposes.” That’s why I recommend that people avoid them.

A recent case report study documenting some of the effects in an individual self-administering a SARM (LGD-4033) and a GH-secretagogue (MK-677) provided some useful info. Despite many claiming that these compounds provide benefits without drawbacks, this individual experienced deleterious changes in blood lipids and bone mineral density while experiencing suppressed endogenous testosterone production.

This individual did gain some lean body mass, but he also gained fat mass, which you don’t typically see with the use of exogenous androgen or growth hormone (1). Based on previous data on the elderly, MK-677 may have caused the fat gain (2).

Another unusual finding? The decrease in bone mineral density. Usually, androgens increase bone mineral density, and we haven’t seen this effect from MK-677 before. So, in this case, it’s difficult to explain the decrease.

The authors speculate that the decrease in endogenous testosterone may have played a role. However, there was no analytical confirmation of the substances this individual used, so it’s difficult to draw strong conclusions.

So What Can We Take Away Here?

While a single case report isn’t much to go on and isn’t a strong form of evidence, these data seem to indicate that this particular SARM product and this particular GH-secretagogue combined were effective for increasing lean mass and strength. However, this combo also led to several unwanted side effects, including deleterious changes in cholesterol, fat gain, and decreased bone mineral density. Buyer beware.

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  1. Cardaci TD, Machek SB, Wilburn DT, Heileson JL, Harris DR, Cintineo HP, Willoughby DS. LGD-4033 and MK-677 use impacts body composition, circulating biomarkers, and skeletal muscle androgenic hormone and receptor content: A case report. Exp Physiol. 2022 Dec;107(12):1467-1476. doi: 10.1113/EP090741. Epub 2022 Nov 16. PMID: 36303408.
  2. Nass R, Pezzoli SS, Oliveri MC, Patrie JT, Harrell FE Jr, Clasey JL, Heymsfield SB, Bach MA, Vance ML, Thorner MO. Effects of an oral ghrelin mimetic on body composition and clinical outcomes in healthy older adults: a randomized trial. Ann Intern Med. 2008 Nov 4;149(9):601-11. doi: 10.7326/0003-4819-149-9-200811040-00003. PMID: 18981485; PMCID: PMC2757071.