Sermorelin is not a magic weight loss solution and much of the evidence behind why Sermorelin may work is theoretical. Many more studies are needed to fully understand if Sermorelin is actually an effective weight loss medication without long-term complications. As with any other medication, it should be used in conjunction with a healthy diet and exercise program in order to achieve the best results. Additionally, Sermorelin should only be used under the guidance of a medical professional.
Sermorelin is an injectable medication that is commonly used in the treatment of growth hormone deficiency, particularly in children. It is a growth hormone releasing hormone (GHRH) that works by stimulating the pituitary gland to produce more growth hormone (GH). Medications like these are also known as growth hormone secretagogues (GHS). Growth hormone is important for a variety of functions in the body, including metabolism, muscle growth, and bone density. One benefit of using a GHS, rather than direct GH therapy, is that there are fewer side effects seen with GHS medications (1). Although it is an off-label use, some people are now turning to Sermorelin as a means of weight loss, which we will explore below.
Based on what is known about intrinsic growth hormone, Sermorelin is theorized to help with weight loss in many ways, though there is very limited evidence in the literature that supports these proposed biological mechanisms. Here are a few of the possible pathways of action:
Sermorelin may help to increase metabolism, which means that the body burns more calories. This can be particularly helpful for people who are struggling to lose weight due to a slow metabolism. Sermorelin can also potentially help to increase muscle mass, which further boosts metabolism and burns more calories.
In addition to these metabolic effects, Sermorelin may decrease body fat. This is thought to be due to the fact that growth hormone stimulates the breakdown of fat cells, which can lead to a reduction in body fat. As a result, people who use Sermorelin for weight loss may notice that they lose fat from areas such as the stomach, thighs, and hips.
Another benefit of Sermorelin is that it can help to improve sleep quality. This is important because poor sleep has been linked to weight gain and obesity. Sermorelin can help to regulate sleep patterns, which may help to improve overall health and aid in weight loss.
A 2006 literature review in the European Journal of Endocrinology reported that growth hormone therapy in adults found to be GH deficient led to a statistically significant reduction in weight, body fat content, and increase in lean body mass (2). Although Sermorelin may have similar effects given its ability to increase the secretion of GH, this study did NOT directly evaluate Sermorelin and these findings can only be extrapolated. This study did report that patients on GH therapy had an increased risk of joint stiffness and edema (fluid retention in the tissues, like the legs), which may not occur as often with Semorelin since it has a more desirable side effect profile.
A 2018 article compiled different studies on the benefits and risk of growth hormone therapy (again, not looking at Sermorelin directly), and reported benefits that have been discussed above. However, there was some evidence on potential negative impacts of long-term GH therapy, including reduced insulin sensitivity and a possible increase in certain neoplasias (3). See more about this in the attached table from that article below.
It is important to note that Sermorelin is not a magic weight loss solution and much of the evidence behind why Sermorelin may work is theoretical. Many more studies are needed to fully understand if Sermorelin is actually an effective weight loss medication without long-term complications. As with any other medication, it should be used in conjunction with a healthy diet and exercise program in order to achieve the best results. Additionally, Sermorelin should only be used under the guidance of a medical professional.
There are other medications that are FDA-approved for weight loss in patients with obesity, including GLP-1 medications, which have been well-studied over the past several years. If you would like to learn more about these options, you can connect with us at Mochi Health, where physicians trained in Obesity Medicine can help you decide if you are a good candidate for medication-assisted weight loss.
Dr. Amanda Galambas MD