Ibutamoren (developmental code names MK-677, MK-0677, ) is a potent, long-acting, orally-active, selective, and non-peptide agonist of the ghrelin receptor and a growth hormone secretagogue, mimicking the growth hormone (GH)-stimulating action of the endogenous hormone ghrelin. It has been shown to increase the secretion of several hormones including GH and insulin-like growth factor 1 (IGF-1) and produces sustained increases in the plasma levels of these hormones without affecting cortisol levels. Ibutamoren has been shown to sustain activation of the GH–IGF-1 axis and to increase lean body mass with no change in total fat mass or visceral fat. It is under investigation as a potential treatment for reduced levels of these hormones, such as in children or elderly adults with a growth hormone deficiency, and human studies have shown it to increase both muscle mass and bone mineral density, making it a promising potential therapy for the treatment of frailty in the elderly. As of June 2017, ibutamoren is in the preclinical stage of development for growth hormone deficiency.
Since MK-677 is still an Investigational New Drug, it has not yet been approved to be marketed for consumption by humans in the United States. However, it has been used experimentally by some in the bodybuilding community. MK-677 has the chemical formula C27H36N4O5S and a molar mass of 528.662 g/mol. The elimination half-life of MK-677 is approximately 4-6 hours, but IGF-1 levels in humans remain elevated at a single oral dose of up to 24 hours.
In a clinical study of 8 food-deprived healthy volunteers, ibutamoren reversed protein loss that could cause muscle wasting. In 123 elderly patients with hip fractures, ibutamoren improved gait speed and muscle strength and reduced the number of falls. These studies have shown that ibutamoren has a great ability to prevent muscle loss and has strong anti-catabolic effects. Because of these abilities, ibutamoren is a promising candidate for the treatment of muscle wasting diseases (muscular dystrophy, etc). A performed scientific study showed that both in younger and older people, MK-677 improved the quality of sleep and increased the REM sleep time phase (rapid eye movement). In addition to scientific research, there have been many reports about the subjective improvement of sleep quality in various internet forums.
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