Sermorelin Therapy: The Secret to Youthful Skin
Scientists have studied human growth hormone (HGH) and its levels throughout our lifespans. GH levels begin to decline after age 30.1 GH production is reported to decrease by about 14% each decade and up to 50% every seven years in adult men. A decline in growth hormone has many effects associated with aging, but supplementing with HGH can cause several serious side effects, and it is illegal to prescribe HGH off-label in the United States.2
Sermorelin is a synthetic growth hormone secretagogue. It stimulates your body’s natural release of growth hormone. Since GH reduction is most prominent in sleep-related GH pulses, people take sermorelin at night on an empty stomach. Sermorelin has many potential benefits, including producing more youthful appearing skin.
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What does human growth hormone do in your body?
Growth hormone (GH) is released from the pituitary gland in short bursts throughout the day and night. The biggest pulses of growth hormone occur at night, right before you enter deep sleep.3
Growth hormone-releasing hormones, ghrelin, stress, amino acids, and low blood sugar stimulate GH release. GH release is inhibited by somatostatin, free fatty acids, and insulin-like growth factor 1 (IGF-1).4 These factors work together to ensure your body has enough GH throughout the day without releasing too much and causing serious side effects.
In adults, GH is released and binds to receptors in the liver to increase the production of IGF-1. This sets up a feedback loop. GH is released to increase IGF-1. When IGF-1 levels increase, it inhibits the release of GH. This is why peptides such as sermorelin are safer than taking HGH. Sermorelin stimulates the natural release of GH but leaves all the feedback loops intact.
A decline in growth hormone is thought to underlie many of the symptoms associated with the aging process, including reduced energy, slower metabolism, difficulty maintaining muscle mass, increased abdominal fat, poor sleep, prolonged recovery times, and cognitive changes.4
What is Sermorelin?
Sermorelin is a peptide that stimulates the release of growth hormone. It acts as a growth hormone-releasing secretagogue.
Multiple research studies suggest that replenishing GH levels in older adults increases lean body mass and decreases fat mass. Sermorelin can increase lean body mass and decrease fat mass without changing your body’s natural feedback loops. Taking Sermorelin with testosterone can have an additive effect on body composition.
More research is needed to explore Sermorelin’s potential effects on muscle strength and cardiovascular function.5,6
How might Sermorelin improve your skin?
While most GH research has focused on increasing muscle mass and strength and decreasing fat mass, GH affects collagen production and cell growth in the skin. Stimulating natural growth hormone release may improve skin thickness and texture by supporting collagen production and skin cell growth.
Growth hormones are also essential for skin healing. As an anabolic hormone, GH increases skin cell size, growth, and tissue differentiation. Growth hormones promote the release of factors such as EGF, VEGF, and FGF to increase collagen production, skin density, thickness, and mechanical strength.
GH may also improve skin health through its ability to induce the immune system. GH acts on specialized immune cells called macrophages and T-lymphocytes. These important cells are involved in healing skin damage and protecting against infection.7
Sermorelin is an amino acid peptide that is used to treat age-related growth hormone deficiency. Research suggests that sermorelin increases GH and, subsequently, IGF-1 by working through your body’s natural feedback loops. Unlike GH supplementation, which disrupts these feedback loops and causes more side effects, sermorelin works with your endocrine system, which is a safer process that will take 3 to 6 months to achieve the sermorelin benefits expected for men and women.
While we strive to always provide accurate, current, and safe advice in all of our articles and guides, it’s important to stress that they are no substitute for medical advice from a doctor or healthcare provider. You should always consult a practicing professional who can diagnose your specific case. The content we’ve included in this guide is merely meant to be informational and does not constitute medical advice.
- Giustina A, Veldhuis JD. Pathophysiology of the neuroregulation of growth hormone secretion in experimental animals and the human. Endocr Rev. 1998 Dec;19(6):717-97. doi: 10.1210/edrv.19.6.0353. PMID: 9861545.
- Sattler FR. Growth hormone in the aging male. Best Pract Res Clin Endocrinol Metab. 2013 Aug;27(4):541-55. doi: 10.1016/j.beem.2013.05.003. Epub 2013 Jun 18. PMID: 24054930; PMCID: PMC3940699.
- Salvatori R. Growth hormone and IGF-1. Rev Endocr Metab Disord. 2004 Mar;5(1):15-23. doi: 10.1023/B:REMD.0000016121.58762.6d. PMID: 14966386.
- Garcia JM, Merriam GR, Kargi AY. Growth Hormone in Aging. [Updated 2019 Oct 7]. In: Feingold KR, Anawalt B, Blackman MR, et al., editors. Endotext [Internet]. South Dartmouth (MA): MDText.com, Inc.; 2000-. Available from: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/sites/books/NBK279163/
- Aguiar-Oliveira MH, Bartke A. Growth Hormone Deficiency: Health and Longevity. Endocr Rev. 2019 Apr 1;40(2):575-601. doi: 10.1210/er.2018-00216. PMID: 30576428; PMCID: PMC6416709.
- Blackman MR, Sorkin JD, Münzer T, Bellantoni MF, Busby-Whitehead J, Stevens TE, Jayme J, O’Connor KG, Christmas C, Tobin JD, Stewart KJ, Cottrell E, St Clair C, Pabst KM, Harman SM. Growth hormone and sex steroid administration in healthy aged women and men: a randomized controlled trial. JAMA. 2002 Nov 13;288(18):2282-92. doi: 10.1001/jama.288.18.2282. PMID: 12425705.
- Cristóbal L, de Los Reyes N, Ortega MA, Álvarez-Mon M, García-Honduvilla N, Buján J, Maldonado AA. Local Growth Hormone Therapy for Pressure Ulcer Healing on a Human Skin Mouse Model. Int J Mol Sci. 2019 Aug 26;20(17):4157. doi: 10.3390/ijms20174157. PMID: 31454882; PMCID: PMC6747216.