Sermorelin for anti-aging: better than hormone replacements?

 

 

Sermorelin is a synthetically made version of the peptide Growth Hormone Releasing Hormone (GHRH), which is responsible for stimulating natural growth hormone production. Also known as Growth Hormone Releasing Factor and GRF 1-29, it helps stimulate increased secretion of growth hormone from the pituitary gland. This stimulation of growth hormone production helps increase muscle mass, decrease body fat, enhance recovery, improve sleep, enhance flexibility and joint health, and improve overall health and wellness.

Sermorelin has a more gentle effect on the body than direct replacement with Human Growth Hormone by preventing the shutdown of natural hormone production that usually occurs alongside direct hormone replacement. Sermorelin has also been shown to improve sleep quality by enhancing the length of deep sleep, increasing sleep-related secretion of growth hormone, and decreasing the release of cortisol, which acts to shock the body to alertness during the stress response. Taken together, this can result in a deeper, more relaxed night of sleep- which is important for the whole body’s health and mental fitness.

As we’ve written before about the overall usefulness of growth hormones, and about balancing their effects in the body, let’s focus specifically today on how Sermorelin can benefit the body. What should you use it for? To start with, let’s look at its use for people who are facing a precipitous drop in growth hormone levels in adulthood (adult onset growth hormone insufficiency). In these cases, your practitioner will almost certainly urge you to have hormone replacement therapy. Indeed, “…there is a wealth of information showing that long-term administration of rhGH reduces intrinsic disease and extends life in adults suffering pathogenic GHD…” (Walker, 2006). Increasing your growth hormones is necessary for these diagnoses. Even though it’s justified, there can be some problems with Hormone Replacement Therapy. In normal HRT, the hormone being introduced into the body is not produced by the body itself, so this can affect some cells negatively and also eventually cause a decrease in effectiveness in the hormone administration. This is because, as an outside hormone, it is not controlled the same way by “normal feedback mechanisms” (also Walker in 2006, cited above). In addition, since the body can’t modulate the hormone as it normally would, this means the dosage administered by the practitioner must involve some guesswork. High levels of growth hormones might contribute to certain cancers, but these are thought to be avoided by maintaining normal levels of HGH- something that the feedback mechanisms can make more likely. Anything that might avoid these pitfalls but also boost growth hormone at a stable level would be helpful indeed. An excellent candidate for this is Sermorelin: “…sermorelin, an analog of naturally occurring growth hormone-releasing hormone (GHRH) whose activity declines during aging, may presently offer a more immediate and better alternative to rhGH for GHRT in aging…” (also Walker, 2006). A major reason that Sermorelin is likely to work more effectively in these situations is that peptides act as chemical messengers in the body, in this case telling the pituitary to release more natural HGH. This means that the HGH behaves as it should in the body, and the body’s natural feedback mechanisms will help to regulate any oversupply of Human Growth Hormone. Another reason is that when Hormone Replacement Therapy is used, the outside hormones tend to shut the body’s natural hormone production down, whereas Sermorelin avoids that problem by stimulating the release of natural hormones. 

What about adults who may not have precipitous declines in HGH? Sermorelin is considered an anti-aging compound because of its effectiveness in maintaining HGH in the body as we age, where it would normally continue to decrease over time. In men, particularly those carrying too much weight, this decline in HGH can set up a decrease in testosterone that cycles downward sometimes to hypogonadism which can cause various metabolic impacts in the body. Although direct testosterone replacement can be used, there is the possibility of the same risks discussed above, and again, a lack of engagement of the feedback mechanisms in the body to safeguard against overstimulation. In the same way, Sermorelin can avoid these risks and offer an alternative to testosterone therapy: “These findings revealed that sermorelin promotes changes in GH levels similar to those observed with endogenous GHRH. Simultaneously, sermorelin uniquely stimulated both FSH and LH release, implying a potential role in the treatment of hypogonadism via the stimulation of endogenous testosterone production. Consistent with this observation, in a later study examining GH-deficient rats, sermorelin therapy was shown to result in an increase in testosterone secretion” (Sinha, et al, 2020). Other studies have focused on the role of Sermorelin in increasing lean muscle mass and decreasing fat. One 20-week study with nightly Sermorelin injections for 16 weeks into men and women between 55 and 71 found that “However, in men, lean body mass was significantly increased by 1.26 kg. In both genders, a significant increase in skin thickness was observed after 16 weeks. For men, no changes in testosterone levels were observed but a significant increase in insulin sensitivity was noted along with improvements in wellbeing and libido.” (Khorram, et al, 1997, as reported in Sinha, cited above). Sermorelin may also be an effective anti-aging tool due to its ability to release Human Growth Hormone. As we get older, especially men, HGH levels may need to be boosted to allow us to have normal hormonal function, and that in turn makes it easier to lose weight, keep that weight off, and develop lean muscle mass. If you are concerned about these things as you age, Sermorelin therapy may offer a better alternative than hormone replacement. Possible benefits of Sermorelin include:

  • Increase in muscle and lean body mass
  • Reduction of fat 
  • Improved weight loss
  • Increase in metabolic energy 
  • Increase in endurance while training
  • Faster injury and wound healing
  • More robust cardiovascular and immune health
  • Better sleep and resultant mood
  • Improvement in collagen for skin and connective tissues