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MK-677 vs. HGH: Comparing the Benefits and Differences

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MK 677 vs. HGH

Misinformation abounds when it comes to selective androgen receptor modulators (SARMs), and that includes compounds like MK 677 (Ibutamoren) and human growth hormone (HGH). Neither is actually a SARM, for example, but they often get lumped into the same category. 

The two chemicals have a similar goal in research — to increase growth hormones in the body — but they have different ways of achieving this. 

The important thing to know is that these compounds are not SARMs, but hormones, and are responsible for spurring growth in youth, repairing damaged muscle tissue, regulating metabolism, and providing other benefits to the body’s natural processes. 

In a clinical setting, synthetic versions of these products are used to treat a variety of diseases and conditions. 

This guide will examine human growth hormone and MK-677 in both their clinical applications and their potential for improving growth and healing, the differences in how they work in the body, and the properties scientists are studying. 

The Differences Between Human Growth Hormone and MK-677

Although suppliers often categorize MK-677 alongside SARMs for sale, it is actually a growth hormone secretagogue and ghrelin agonist. Neither MK 677 nor Human Growth Hormone is actually a SARM. Here are some facts to know upfront:

What to Know About Growth Hormone

HGH is a peptide hormone naturally produced by the pituitary gland (PG) to stimulate growth, cell reproduction, and cell regeneration. The circulating half life of hGH is relatively short half-life (20-30min). Synthetic HGH (Somatotropin) increases the presence of growth hormone in the body, which can facilitate muscle development and cell proliferation. 

Growth hormones also stimulate the production of insulin-like growth factor 1 (IGF-1), which is important for adolescent growth but also has an anabolic effect on older subjects. 

According to research, most athletic and anti-doping organizations have banned Somatotropin in competitive sports. HGH is approved for medicinal application with a doctor’s prescription, but it is otherwise unable to be sold legally in the U.S. The legal issues surrounding HGH make it difficult to source and it is therefore often prohibitively expensive.

Understanding MK-677

MK-677, on the other hand, is an experimental compound that the FDA has not yet approved for human consumption, but it can be purchased online by researchers and scientists. It is a growth hormone secretagogue that chemically mimics the hormone ghrelin, commonly known as the hunger hormone. 

Because ghrelin causes the PG to secrete growth hormones and boosts IGF-1 levels, scientists are studying its potential to assist with processes similar to HGH.

There are some similarities and differences between MK-677 and HGH. Synthetic HGH must be administered by subcutaneous injection, for example, whereas MK-677 is orally bioavailable and have been given as oral administration to mammalian test subjects.

HGH needs to be injected multiple times daily, comparatively of MK-677, studies on mice indicate once a day is sufficient for test subjects. Most athletics including the world anti doping agency organization have banned both HGH and MK-677 in competitive sports. Both are believed to increase lean muscle mass, enhance bone mineral density and promote wound healing.

person researching MK 677 vs. HGHOstarine 2

MK-677 vs. HGH: Understanding Side Effects Under Study

Ongoing testing and research are a must in any chemical compound. HGH has had extensive clinical testing going back to the 1980s. MK-677 is still in pre-clinical testing, but researchers have observed some short and long term side effects that are still under study:

HGH Side Effects

HGH can cause: nerve, muscle, or joint pain, swelling due to fluids in the body’s tissues, carpal tunnel syndrome, numbness and tingling in the skin, and elevated cholesterol levels. These have all been observed by researchers, as has an increased risk for diabetes.

Separately, synthetic HGH drives a high price in illicit markets, and bad actors have thus counterfeited such compounds. There’s no telling what is in these counterfeit chemicals and make testings and results under study invalid by researchers.


Very little research has been done on MK-677, but conducting more clinical trials is equally important as small studies being conducted. One 2008 study noted the following in subjects who received it daily for two years:

  • Mild, transient lower-extremity edema
  • Transient muscle pain
  • Increased appetite which subsided in a few months
  • Effects on wound healing

A separate MK-677 study was terminated early due to the adverse effects of a safety signal. This included congestive heart failure in a limited number of subjects, however, and some research indicates that prolonged use of MK-677 may compromise glucose tolerance. Other growth hormone releasing products, like Ipamorelin peptide, have been developed for potentially fewer effects by comparison.

It’s important to emphasize that the FDA has not approved HGH or MK-677 for human consumption outside of a clinical setting. HGH can be taken legally with a doctor’s prescription, but MK-677 is available only as a research chemical. The limited research on the latter also means interactions between MK-677 and other common chemicals, including alcohol, are unknown. 

Benefits of MK-677 and HGH Under Study

These compounds appear to offer a wealth of potential benefits researchers are currently studying. Additional research will be needed before a link can confidently be made between these chemicals and any positive/negative reactions, but here are a few of the potential perks that have so far been observed in research: 

HGH Benefits 

Since the early 1980s, HGH has been used by doctors to provide a host of positive benefits, including:

  • Increasing lean muscle mass and muscle cell hyperplasia
  • Accelerating fat loss while preventing muscle wasting
  • Enhancing bone mineral density
  • Shortening healing and recovery time
  • Enhancing cognitive performance.

HGH has also been studied extensively as an anti-aging agent with mixed results. 

MK-677 Benefits

MK-677 aims to provide similar benefits to HGH by mimicking hormones that cause the body to produce more natural growth hormones. Here are some of the potential benefits researchers are looking into from MK-677

  • Increasing growth hormone levels
  • Increasing muscle mass and bone density, accelerating muscle growth, and facilitating fat-burning and fat-mass reduction
  • Improving immune functions
  • Enhancing sleep quality
  • Reversal of growth hormone deficiency
  • Increasing appetite for those struggling to consume enough calories 

All together, MK-677 shows potential in comparison to HGH but in a more accessible and affordable product. Researchers may uncover additional benefits as they perform further studies and clinical trials. 

Buying MK-677 online can be risky, and those qualified and interested in acquiring MK-677 for research purposes should do so from a trusted supplier.

Sports Technology Labs has its products tested by third-party laboratories to ensure 98% purity — the same standard used by laboratories, universities, and chemical suppliers worldwide. Quality is essential when performing research on the efficacy of any substances. 

Check Out the Sports Technology Labs Blog

If you have questions about SARMs, you are not alone. You just need a reliable source to ensure you’re getting the best information possible!

For the highest quality RAD 140, Ligandrol, Ostarine, MK 677 (MK-677 Powder) and other SARMs, look no further than Sports Technology Labs. Visit our research blog for information about new products, updates in the industry, side effects, new scientific literature, and product comparisons.

Scientific References:

1. Murphy MG, Weiss S, McClung M, Schnitzer T, Cerchio K, Connor J, Krupa D, Gertz BJ; MK-677/Alendronate Study Group. Effect of alendronate and MK-677 (a growth hormone secretagogue), individually and in combination, on markers of bone turnover and bone mineral density in postmenopausal osteoporotic women. J Clin Endocrinol Metab. 2001 Mar;86(3):1116-25. doi: 10.1210/jcem.86.3.7294. PMID: 11238495.

2. Chapman IM, Pescovitz OH, Murphy G, Treep T, Cerchio KA, Krupa D, Gertz B, Polvino WJ, Skiles EH, Pezzoli SS, Thorner MO. Oral administration of growth hormone (GH) releasing peptide-mimetic MK-677 stimulates the GH/insulin-like growth factor-I axis in selected GH-deficient adults. J Clin Endocrinol Metab. 1997 Oct;82(10):3455-63. doi: 10.1210/jcem.82.10.4297. PMID: 9329386.

3. Sevigny JJ, Ryan JM, van Dyck CH, Peng Y, Lines CR, Nessly ML; MK-677 Protocol 30 Study Group. Growth hormone secretagogue MK-677: no clinical effect on AD progression in a randomized trial. Neurology. 2008 Nov 18;71(21):1702-8. doi: 10.1212/01.wnl.0000335163.88054.e7. PMID: 19015485.

4. Svensson J, Lönn L, Jansson JO, Murphy G, Wyss D, Krupa D, Cerchio K, Polvino W, Gertz B, Boseaus I, Sjöström L, Bengtsson BA. Two-month treatment of obese subjects with the oral growth hormone (GH) secretagogue MK-677 increases GH secretion, fat-free mass, and energy expenditure. J Clin Endocrinol Metab. 1998 Feb;83(2):362-9. doi: 10.1210/jcem.83.2.4539. PMID: 9467542.

5. 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.

6. Sigalos JT, Pastuszak AW. The Safety and Efficacy of Growth Hormone Secretagogues. Sex Med Rev. 2018 Jan;6(1):45-53. doi: 10.1016/j.sxmr.2017.02.004. Epub 2017 Apr 8. PMID: 28400207; PMCID: PMC5632578.

7. Burstein HJ, Somerfield MR, Barton DL, Dorris A, Fallowfield LJ, Jain D, Johnston SRD, Korde LA, Litton JK, Macrae ER, Peterson LL, Vikas P, Yung RL, Rugo HS. Endocrine Treatment and Targeted Therapy for Hormone Receptor-Positive, Human Epidermal Growth Factor Receptor 2-Negative Metastatic Breast Cancer: ASCO Guideline Update. J Clin Oncol. 2021 Dec 10;39(35):3959-3977. doi: 10.1200/JCO.21.01392. Epub 2021 Jul 29. PMID: 34324367; PMCID: PMC8659999.

8. Adunsky, A., Chandler, J., Heyden, N., Lutkiewicz, J., Scott, B. B., Berd, Y., … & Papanicolaou, D. A. (2011). MK-0677 (ibutamoren mesylate) for the treatment of patients recovering from hip fracture: A multicenter, randomized, placebo-controlled phase IIb study. Archives of Gerontology and Geriatrics, 53(2), 183-189.

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