What Is Sermorelin?

Sermorelin is one of a handful of growth hormone releasing hormone (GHRH) analogues that have been developed in recent years in an effort to preserve some of the positive effects of natural GHRH while avoiding undesirable effects. Sermorelin (Geref) is currently used clinically to assess growth hormone secretion, but the peptide is of additional interest for its abilities to:

  • reduce scarring following heart attack,
  • increase bone density,
  • improve nutrition in chronic illness,
  • improve renal function,
  • fight the effects of dementia, and
  • reduce seizure activity.

Sermorelin Peptide Research

1. Sermorelin and Heart Health

Heart attack, while acutely life-threatening, can also lead to long-term disability secondary to heart failure, cardiac conduction abnormalities (arrhythmias), reduced exercise capacity, pain, and more. A number of these problems result from cardiac remodeling that follows damage to myocytes (heart muscle cells). Often, cardiac remodeling leads not only to scarring in the area of damage following a heart attack, but in surrounding, undamaged areas as well. This remodeling causes a number of long-term problems and research has shown that preventing it from happening can significantly improve outcomes both immediately after a heart attack and years down the line.

Sermorelin and Epilepsy

Gamma-aminobutyric acid (GABA) is a central nervous system signaling molecule known to reduce electrical activity in the spinal cord and reduce overall electrical excitability in the central nervous system. A number of anti-seizure medications work either by increasing levels of GABA in the central nervous system or by binding to GABA receptors and mimicking the effects of GABA. In a recent study of mice with epilepsy, scientists administered GHRH analogues, like sermorelin, to test the effect of these peptides on seizure activity. It turns out that GHRH analogues are effective in suppressing seizures by activating GABA receptors. This is a very new finding and an active area of research as medications for treating seizure conditions, while effective, have a range of detrimental side effects that reduce their clinical use.

Sermorelin and Sleep

There is good evidence that sleep cycles are regulated by orexin, a potent neurochemical produced by certain neurons in the brain. It is also well understood that growth and healing, which are strongly associated with growth hormone secretion, primarily take place during sleep. Research in rainbow trout suggests that this is no coincidence, with an intact GHRH axis being a necessary component for proper orexin secretion and function. In addition, the research reveals that exogenous administration of sermorelin and other GHRH agonists can boost orexin secretion. There is ongoing research into the benefits of using sermorelin in sleep disorders.

Sermorelin Preferred to Growth Hormone

Sermorelin is a growth hormone releasing hormone derivative and, as such, produces all of the same effects that GH produces, including increasing muscle mass, boosting long bone growth, and reducing adipose tissue. Even though the effects are the same, the side effects are not. In fact, sermorelin is the preferred way to increase GH levels in humans, even over the exogenous administration of growth hormone itself. The primary reason for this preference is that sermorelin is subject to physiological feedback mechanisms that help to prevent common problems encountered with GH administration. These problems include overdose, improper dosing, and unintended side effects like edema, joint pain, and dysregulation of normal physiology.