Last Updated February 15, 2024

 February 15, 2024

Researchers looking for an in-depth comparison between sermorelin vs. hGH have come to the right place!

In this detailed guide, our experts highlight key clinical data that have demonstrated the effectiveness of HGH and sermorelin in terms of effects like:

  • Increasing serum GH & IGF-1
  • Facilitating fat loss
  • Stimulating muscle growth

We will also provide essential information on the development history and safety profiles of both compounds.

At the end, we will provide reserachers with details on where to reliably source high-quality sermorelin for laboratory experimentation.

Buy Sermorelin from our top-rated vendor...

Disclaimer: contains information about products that are intended for laboratory and research use only, unless otherwise explicitly stated. This information, including any referenced scientific or clinical research, is made available for educational purposes only. Likewise, any published information relative to the dosing and administration of reference materials is made available strictly for reference and shall not be construed to encourage the self-administration or any human use of said reference materials. makes every effort to ensure that any information it shares complies with national and international standards for clinical trial information and is committed to the timely disclosure of the design and results of all interventional clinical studies for innovative treatments publicly available or that may be made available. However, research is not considered conclusive. makes no claims that any products referenced can cure, treat or prevent any conditions, including any conditions referenced on its website or in print materials.

What is HGH?

Human growth hormone (hGH), also known as somatotropin, is an endogenous hormone that plays a pivotal role in human growth, cell reproduction, metabolism, and regeneration. Structurally, it comprises a sequence of 191 amino acids [1].

Its exact amino acid structure was first replicated in laboratory conditions in 1981 via DNA-recombinant technology by the American biotech company Genentech. The synthetic hGH version was also termed recombinant hGH (rhGH) or somatropin, to distinguish it from native somatotropin [2, 3].

Recombinant hGH was developed to treat growth hormone deficiency (GHD) in children and adults. GHD is marked by the inability of the pituitary gland to produce hGH in sufficient quantities, leading to symptoms like stunted growth in children and metabolic issues in adults [4].

Administering rhGH has been proven to elevate serum GH levels thanks to its bioidentical structure, alleviating GHD symptoms in all age groups. The United States Food and Drug Administration (FDA) approved hGH replacement therapy for GHD in 1985 [3].

Subsequently, the medication was approved for other indications related to short stature in children and muscle wasting in adults due to HIV/AIDS or short-bowel syndrome (SBS) [5].

For informational purposes, we present some of the most notable evidence-based guidelines and research studies on hGH replacement therapy and its indications:

  • GHD therapy in adults: The Endocrine Society's clinical guidelines state that hGH therapy is typically started at 0.2-0.3mg (0.6-0.9IU)/daily and then incrementally raised by 0.1-0.2mg/daily every 4-8 weeks [6].
  • Long-term trials in adults with and without GHD: The maximum advised daily dose for continuous hGH is 0.016mg, equivalent to around 1.2-1.3mg daily (3.6-4IU daily). Additionally, research indicates that long-term treatment typically manages GHD symptoms effectively at daily doses between 0.4 and 0.8mg (1.2 to 2.4IU) [7]. Studies in adults without GHD report using similar doses [8].
  • Short-term therapy in muscle wasting: In short-term studies in HIV patients facing muscle degradation, hGH doses have reached up to 0.1mg per kg of body weight for a span of three months. This means that a 175lb individual would receive a daily dose of 8mg (24IU/day) [9].

In the United States, hGH is available by doctor’s prescription. The therapy must be closely monitored by a healthcare provider to ensure its safety and effectiveness.

Sermorelin vs HGH

What is Sermorelin?

Sermorelin, commonly referred to as GRF 1-29, is a synthetic version of growth hormone-releasing hormone (GHRH). Unlike endogenous GHRH, which comprises 44 amino acids, sermorelin is made of only the first 29 amino acids of the original GHRH sequence [10].

Fragment 1-29 of GHRH is the key sequence responsible for stimulating the secretion of growth hormone (GH) from the somatotroph cells in the anterior pituitary gland, while retaining the properties of full GHRH (1-44) [11].

Native GH secretion occurs in a pulsatile manner under the control of GHRH and plays a pivotal role in the body’s growth, metabolism, and cell proliferation.

Due to the pulsatile synthesis of GH, the hormone can be undetectable between pulses even in healthy subjects, so agents like sermorelin must be employed to test the peak GH response of the gland under stimulus.

Originally developed by the pharmaceutical firm EMD Serono, sermorelin was introduced to the market under the brand name Geref. The FDA approved two specific uses of this peptide [12, 13]:

  • In 1990, 0.05mg sermorelin acetate for intravenous injection was authorized as a stimulation test for diagnosing growth hormone deficiency (GHD).
  • In 1997, 0.5mg and 1mg sermorelin acetate versions were approved for subcutaneous administration to treat children with idiopathic short stature.

In addition, subcutaneous sermorelin has been studied successfully in both healthy adults and those with GHD, with injections given either once or twice daily [10].

Despite its potential, EMD Serono decided to halt the production of sermorelin and requested the FDA to withdraw its approval.

This decision was influenced by commercial and economic factors and not due to safety or efficacy concerns [12].

While sermorelin is not commercially available at present, it remains accessible to accredited professionals for academic and research purposes.

HGH vs. Sermorelin | Comprehensive Comparison

hGH and sermorelin have both been used for therapy in children with short stature. Both have also been studied for their effects on various metabolic parameters in adults.

Below, we outline the key similarities and differences that influence the research potential, uses, and safety of both hGH replacement therapy and sermorelin:

  • Administration: Both hGH and sermorelin are highly effective when applied via subcutaneous injection. They should be administered in the evening, as this helps mimic native GH release and reduces certain side effects. In addition, sermorelin can be applied twice daily due to its short half-life (~10mins). In such scenarios, the first injection is typically applied in the early morning and the second in the evening. According to available data, sermorelin has been applied in doses ranging between 1-2mg/daily for up to 16 weeks [10, 14, 15].
  • Mechanism of action: hGH replacement therapy delivers exogenous growth hormone and increases serum GH even in subjects with total pituitary gland dysfunction. By contrast, sermorelin works by stimulating GH synthesis in the pituitary gland, and its effectiveness depends on the gland's functionality.
  • Half-life: Sermorelin has a half-life of about 10 minutes, sufficient to stimulate a peak in natural GH synthesis. Studies suggest that the increased GH synthesis lasts about two hours after an injection [16]. By comparison, hGH has a half-life of 3.4hrs and serum GH levels can remain elevated for up to 12 hours after administration [17].
  • Changes in serum GH levels: hGH-related increases in serum GH depend solely on the dose applied, and high doses can lead to supraphysiological increases, thereby increasing the risk of side effects. By contrast, sermorelin stimulates natural GH synthesis that remains within physiological limits.
  • Changes in serum IGF-1 levels: Both hGH replacement therapy and sermorelin have been shown to induce a significant increase in insulin-like growth factor-1 (IGF-1), which is the primary anabolic mediator of growth hormone [14, 18].

Below, we dig deeper into the effects of both hGH and sermorelin, including the latest clinical data on each benefit.

Research Applications and Benefits of HGH

The benefits of hGH replacement therapy depend on the dosing protocol applied and the indication for which it is used.

For example, hGH replacement therapy has been reported to cause significant improvement in all symptoms in individuals with GHD when applied in standard therapeutic doses of 0.2-1.2mg/daily.

According to clinical data, hGH replacement therapy helps to manage GHD symptoms by [19]:

  • Reducing symptoms of fatigue and improving quality of life
  • Reducing muscle loss and increasing lean mass by 2-5%
  • Improving bone mass and reducing osteoporosis risk
  • Reducing abdominal obesity and reducing adiposity by 7-10%
  • Decreasing cardiovascular risk associated with GHD and improving LDL cholesterol by 11-16%

The positive effects of hGH replacement therapy seem less pronounced in healthy individuals.
A meta-analysis of 31 randomized trials by Liu et al. (2007) revealed modest body composition benefits among healthy middle-aged and elderly study volunteers.

At a mean daily dose of 14mcg/kg of bodyweight of hGH for up to 52 weeks (mean 26 weeks), researchers observed the following effects [8]:

  • Average -4.6lb greater fat loss compared to placebo
  • Mean +4.7lb increase in lean body mass compared to placebo-treated controls
  • No impact on bone mineral density, LDL levels, or triglyceride levels

Yet, higher doses of hGH may increase its beneficial effects in subjects without GHD. For example, muscle-wasting conditions like HIV/AIDS have been treated with supraphysiological hGH doses (0.1mg/kg of body weight), resulting in a notable lean mass increase (+6.6lb) within a three-month treatment period.

Yet, this dosage was associated with considerable side effects, including joint pain in 50% of study participants and limb swelling in 37% of study participants [9].

Research Applications and Benefits of Sermorelin

Sermorelin stimulates GH production, which can promote fat loss and increase lean mass.

Studies have highlighted sermorelin’s ability to increase levels of both GH and those of its anabolic mediator, IGF-1.

In a six-week study, 11 elderly men were administered 2mg/daily sermorelin via subcutaneous injection. The results showed an 82% surge in mean GH, lasting approximately two hours post-injection [16].

In another 16-week study by Khorram et al. (1997), elderly subjects were given sermorelin at 10mcg/daily and showed GH and IGF-1 levels akin to those seen in young individuals [20]:

  • In men, GH levels rose by 107%, and IGF-1 levels by 28%.
  • In women, GH levels increased by 70%, and IGF-1 levels by 27%.

Key benefits of sermorelin, stemming from its ability to elevate GH and IGF-1 levels, include:

  • Lean Mass Enhancement: The 16-week study by Khorram et al. highlighted an increase of +2.78lb (+1.26kg) in lean mass among male participants. However, no significant change was observed in the female participants. Both sexes exhibited heightened nitrogen retention, underscoring the peptide's anabolic properties.
  • Skin Cell Growth: The same study by Khorram et al. found that when treated with 10mcg/daily sermorelin, both sexes had increased skin thickness. This suggests that the GH boost also amplified the growth of collagen-generating skin cells like fibroblasts.

Unfortunately, clinical studies on sermorelin have not exceeded 16 weeks, and no substantial fat loss within the published research has been recorded [10, 20].

HGH Side Effects and Complications

Based on extensive clinical trials, recombinant hGH has received FDA approval for its safety and efficacy in both adults and children, demonstrating favorable safety with minimal side effects [21].

In addition, the medication has been deemed safe when used in physiological doses on adults without GHD. The aforementioned meta-analysis by Liu et al. highlighted the following hGH replacement therapy side effects and their prevalence [8]:

  • Soft tissue edema: 50%
  • Reduced glucose tolerance: 22%
  • Joint pain: 21%
  • Carpal tunnel syndrome: 19%

Side effects like soft tissue edema, arthralgia, and carpal tunnel syndrome are primarily due to temporary water retention during rhGH treatment. These effects are transient and tend to diminish as individuals adjust to the dosage.

Even potentially serious side effects such as reduced glucose tolerance and insulin resistance have been reported to normalize within 12 weeks of low dose (about 17mcg/kg/daily) therapy [22].

Further, adverse effects can be mitigated by adjusting the dosage gradually or halting the therapy.

It is crucial to note that recombinant hGH therapy is not recommended for individuals with untreated diabetes, a history of cancer, elevated intracranial pressure, carpal tunnel syndrome, or edemas. Additionally, hGH therapy might elevate mortality rates in critical medical conditions [23].

Sermorelin Side Effects and Complications

Sermorelin was FDA-approved for use in children, albeit the approval was later withdrawn for commercial reasons unrelated to safety.

Thus, sermorelin has been considered safe for human use, and this is supported by extensive studies in children with growth failure, reporting only minor side effects such as facial flushing and injection site reactions [24].

Research involving adults further supports the peptide's favorable safety profile, with the only side effects reported being local reactions at the injection site and transient hyperlipidemia [14, 16, 20].

Sermorelin is contraindicated in subjects with a history of malignant neoplasia. This is due to concerns that increased GH levels might accelerate cell growth and cancer progression.

Sermorelin vs HGH

Where to Buy Research Peptides Online? | 2024 Edition

Qualified professionals engaged in GH secretagogue research may procure research-grade compounds from a trusted online vendor.

Based on our team’s experience of testing numerous sermorelin products on the market, we are pleased to offer the following recommendation of an online vendor.

Xcel Peptides

Xcel Peptides stands out as a premier global supplier of sermorelin and other GH secretagogues.

Here is why we recommend them:

  • Superior Peptide Quality: Xcel Peptides offers top-notch sermorelin that undergoes rigorous in-house and third-party testing for purity and potency.
  • Affordability and Options: Xcel Peptides provides sermorelin at competitive rates in 5mg vials, with a variety of cost-saving promotions always available.
  • Swift Deliveries: The vendor prioritizes quick and reliable shipping. Plus, shipping fees are waived on orders over $100.
  • Exceptional Service and Support: Xcel Peptides’ service and support is second to none. A dedicated team of experts is always available to assist with any product-related queries.

Given their high product quality, reasonable prices, efficient delivery, and stellar customer support, Xcel Peptides is our preferred choice for sermorelin among online vendors.

Buy Sermorelin from our top-rated vendor...

Sermorelin vs. HGH | Overall

Sermorelin and hGH are both highly effective at elevating serum GH and IGF-1 levels, amplifying the body's anabolic processes. As a result, both compounds are associated with significant increases in lean mass among test subjects.

While hGH replacement therapy is known to aid in decreasing body fat, sermorelin's potential for weight loss requires more extensive research for confirmation.

Interestingly, sermorelin may have a reduced risk of side effects compared to exogenous hGH. This is because sermorelin promotes increased physiological GH production without leading to excessively high levels of the hormone.

Professionals interested in sermorelin for laboratory research are encouraged to check out our top recomended online supplier when sourcing.


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  3. Ayyar V. S. (2011). History of growth hormone therapy. Indian journal of endocrinology and metabolism, 15 Suppl 3(Suppl3), S162–S165.
  4. Gupta V. (2011). Adult growth hormone deficiency. Indian journal of endocrinology and metabolism, 15 Suppl 3(Suppl3), S197–S202.
  5. Navarro, R., Dunn, J. D., Lee, P. A., Owens, G. M., & Rapaport, R. (2013). Translating clinical guidelines into practice: the effective and appropriate use of human growth hormone. The American journal of managed care, 19(15 Suppl), s281–s289.
  6. Molitch, M. E., Clemmons, D. R., Malozowski, S., Merriam, G. R., Vance, M. L., & Endocrine Society (2011). Evaluation and treatment of adult growth hormone deficiency: an Endocrine Society clinical practice guideline. The Journal of clinical endocrinology and metabolism, 96(6), 1587–1609.
  7. Feldt-Rasmussen U, Klose M. Adult Growth Hormone Deficiency- Clinical Management. [Updated 2022 May 23]. In: Feingold KR, Anawalt B, Blackman MR, et al., editors. Endotext [Internet]. South Dartmouth (MA):, Inc.; 2000-. Available from:
  8. Liu, H., Bravata, D. M., Olkin, I., Nayak, S., Roberts, B., Garber, A. M., & Hoffman, A. R. (2007). Systematic review: the safety and efficacy of growth hormone in the healthy elderly. Annals of internal medicine, 146(2), 104–115.
  9. Schambelan, M., Mulligan, K., Grunfeld, C., Daar, E. S., LaMarca, A., Kotler, D. P., Wang, J., Bozzette, S. A., & Breitmeyer, J. B. (1996). Recombinant human growth hormone in patients with HIV-associated wasting. A randomized, placebo-controlled trial. Serostim Study Group. Annals of internal medicine, 125(11), 873–882.
  10. Sinha, D. K., Balasubramanian, A., Tatem, A. J., Rivera-Mirabal, J., Yu, J., Kovac, J., Pastuszak, A. W., & Lipshultz, L. I. (2020). Beyond the androgen receptor: the role of growth hormone secretagogues in the modern management of body composition in hypogonadal males. Translational andrology and urology, 9(Suppl 2), S149–S159.
  11. Ayhan-Sahin, B., Apaydın, Z. E., Obakan-Yerlikaya, P., Arisan, E. D., & Coker-Gurkan, A. (2022). Synthesis and characterization of novel ssDNA X-aptamers targeting Growth Hormone Releasing Hormone (GHRH). PloS one, 17(1), e0260144.
  12. Determination That GEREF (Sermorelin Acetate) Injection, 0.5 Milligrams Base/Vial and 1.0 Milligrams Base/Vial, and GEREF (Sermorelin Acetate) Injection, 0.05 Milligrams Base/Amp, Were Not Withdrawn From Sale for Reasons of Safety or Effectiveness. (2021). Retrieved 3 June 2021, from
  13. Yuen KCJ. Growth Hormone Stimulation Tests in Assessing Adult Growth Hormone Deficiency. [Updated 2023 Aug 8]. In: Feingold KR, Anawalt B, Blackman MR, et al., editors. Endotext [Internet]. South Dartmouth (MA):, Inc.; 2000-. Available from:
  14. Corpas, E., Harman, S. M., Piñeyro, M. A., Roberson, R., & Blackman, M. R. (1992). Growth hormone (GH)-releasing hormone-(1-29) twice daily reverses the decreased GH and insulin-like growth factor-I levels in old men. The Journal of clinical endocrinology and metabolism, 75(2), 530–535.
  15. Ishida, J., Saitoh, M., Ebner, N., Springer, J., Anker, S. D., & von Haehling, S. (2020). Growth hormone secretagogues: history, mechanism of action, and clinical development. JCSM Rapid Communications, 3(1), 25-37.
  16. Vittone, J., Blackman, M. R., Busby-Whitehead, J., Tsiao, C., Stewart, K. J., Tobin, J., Stevens, T., Bellantoni, M. F., Rogers, M. A., Baumann, G., Roth, J., Harman, S. M., & Spencer, R. G. (1997). Effects of single nightly injections of growth hormone-releasing hormone (GHRH 1-29) in healthy elderly men. Metabolism: clinical and experimental, 46(1), 89–96.
  17. Cai, Y., Xu, M., Yuan, M., Liu, Z., & Yuan, W. (2014). Developments in human growth hormone preparations: sustained-release, prolonged half-life, novel injection devices, and alternative delivery routes. International journal of nanomedicine, 9, 3527–3538.
  18. Juul, A., Andersson, A. M., Pedersen, S. A., Jørgensen, J. O., Christiansen, J. S., Groome, N. P., & Skakkebaek, N. E. (1998). Effects of growth hormone replacement therapy on IGF-related parameters and on the pituitary-gonadal axis in GH-deficient males. A double-blind, placebo-controlled crossover study. Hormone research, 49(6), 269–278.
  19. Kokshoorn, N. E., Biermasz, N. R., Roelfsema, F., Smit, J. W., Pereira, A. M., & Romijn, J. A. (2011). GH replacement therapy in elderly GH-deficient patients: a systematic review. European journal of endocrinology, 164(5), 657–665.
  20. Khorram, O., Laughlin, G. A., & Yen, S. S. (1997). Endocrine and metabolic effects of long-term administration of [Nle27]growth hormone-releasing hormone-(1-29)-NH2 in age-advanced men and women. The Journal of clinical endocrinology and metabolism, 82(5), 1472–1479.
  21. Maghnie, M., Ranke, M. B., Geffner, M. E., Vlachopapadopoulou, E., Ibáñez, L., Carlsson, M., Cutfield, W., Rooman, R., Gomez, R., Wajnrajch, M. P., Linglart, A., Stawerska, R., Clayton, P. E., Darendeliler, F., Hokken-Koelega, A. C. S., Horikawa, R., Tanaka, T., Dörr, H. G., Albertsson-Wikland, K., Polak, M., … Grimberg, A. (2022). Safety and Efficacy of Pediatric Growth Hormone Therapy: Results From the Full KIGS Cohort. The Journal of clinical endocrinology and metabolism, 107(12), 3287–3301.
  22. O'Neal, D. N., Kalfas, A., Dunning, P. L., Christopher, M. J., Sawyer, S. D., Ward, G. M., & Alford, F. P. (1994). The effect of 3 months of recombinant human growth hormone (GH) therapy on insulin and glucose-mediated glucose disposal and insulin secretion in GH-deficient adults: a minimal model analysis. The Journal of clinical endocrinology and metabolism, 79(4), 975–983.
  23. Kim, J. H., Chae, H. W., Chin, S. O., Ku, C. R., Park, K. H., Lim, D. J., Kim, K. J., Lim, J. S., Kim, G., Choi, Y. M., Ahn, S. H., Jeon, M. J., Hwangbo, Y., Lee, J. H., Kim, B. K., Choi, Y. J., Lee, K. A., Moon, S. S., Ahn, H. Y., Choi, H. S., … Lee, E. J. (2020). Diagnosis and Treatment of Growth Hormone Deficiency: A Position Statement from Korean Endocrine Society and Korean Society of Pediatric Endocrinology. Endocrinology and metabolism (Seoul, Korea), 35(2), 272–287.
  24. Prakash, A., & Goa, K. L. (1999). Sermorelin: a review of its use in the diagnosis and treatment of children with idiopathic growth hormone deficiency. BioDrugs : clinical immunotherapeutics, biopharmaceuticals and gene therapy, 12(2), 139–157.

Scientifically Fact Checked by:

David Warmflash, M.D.

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