Alexamorelin is a fairly new peptide that could help athletes around the globe up their performance. It’s a type of growth hormone-releasing peptide that encourages the body to release growth hormone. With more growth hormone, athletes could experience improved performance, stamina, and recovery. But what exactly is alexamorelin? How does it work? Let’s discuss.
To understand alexamorelin, we must first discuss the growth hormone secretagogues (GHS) family. This is a class of drugs known as secretagogues – in other words, they induce secretion. In this case, these secretagogues generate the release of growth hormone (GH).
Human growth hormone plays many roles in the body. It is naturally produced in the body, but its production slows as we age. GH is produced in the pituitary gland and is responsible for the growth of children and teens. Additionally, this hormone can help regulate muscle and bone growth, body composition, bodily fluids, heart function, and the metabolism of sugar and fat.
Synthetic GH is FDA approved for certain conditions, like kidney disease and Turner’s syndrome. However, some people also take GH for its ergogenic effect – its ability to boost performance, stamina, and recovery.
This is why the GHS family is so important – these secretagogues can stimulate the production of growth hormones, which could have big benefits for athletes and people looking to improve physical performance.
Alexamorelin is a growth hormone-releasing peptide (GHRP) and is a member of the GHS family. Alexamorelin, along with the other secretagogues, is a synthetic molecule. These molecules take action in the central nervous system (CNS) and stimulate the secretion of cortisol, prolactin, somatotrophs, and adrenocorticotrophin.
It’s important to note that some peptides act like GH on their own. The issue with taking these peptides is that you can have an excess of GH in the system. When the body notices this surplus, it tells the body part that makes that particular type of GH to stop working, leading to further medical issues. This is what causes atrophy of the pituitary glands, testicles, and other body parts.
Instead, alexamorelin and other growth hormone-releasing peptides encourage the body to naturally release its own GH. This may be a safer option, as the peptide is telling the body to release GH rather than simply adding more GH on top of what you’re already producing.
Many of the effects of growth hormones, like those that alexamorelin stimulates, are thanks to insulin-like growth factor 1 (IGF-1). IGF-1 is a highly anabolic factor, meaning that it enhances the growth and repair of skeletal muscle. In fact, it can help to increase lean muscle while reducing adipose tissue. It essentially helps build muscle and burn fat, which is ideal for many people in terms of their physique goals. This could potentially help athletes build muscle, but it’s important to remember that muscle also burns fat. Therefore, when we stimulate IGF-1, it can also lead to increases in metabolism.
Within the family of growth hormone secretagogues, alexamorelin is classified as a ghrelin receptor agonist. In other words, this heptapeptide is a chemical that activates the receptors that produce ghrelin.
Drugs containing GH and GHRPs are only approved by the FDA for certain medical conditions. As such, alexamorelin and similar heptapeptides are considered to be non-approved pharmaceuticals. The FDA has not approved them as safe. GH is also deemed unfair in competitive sports, so drug testing organizations also consider GH a concern.
Still, this may be a cautionary approach. Of course, we’re limited to current literature and studies, but growth hormone secretagogues appear to be safe. There are a few occurrences of serious adverse effects in some studies, but the safety data are actually limited because of the small size and short durations of these studies. For example, of all the studies of ibutamoren, a non-peptide ghrelin receptor agonist, only one found significant adverse effects related to the use of the secretagogue.
Ultimately, more research is still needed on alexamorelin, as well as other growth hormone secretagogues. It’s generally best to stay away from human growth hormones and growth hormone-releasing peptides until we have further information. While these peptides could be incredibly promising for athletes and people in the competitive space, they aren’t yet ready for consumption – and they may never be. In the meantime, know that you can naturally increase growth hormone and IGF-1 by participating in strenuous exercise and sauna therapy, so try these methods first.
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