CJC-1295/Ipamorelin: Growth hormone secretagogues
Written by Leann Poston, M.D.
Growth hormone secretagogues such as CJC-1295/Ipamorelin stimulate the release of growth hormone from the pituitary gland. Unlike injectable growth hormone, secretagogues stimulate the release of naturally produced growth hormone, essentially working with your body instead of replacing its natural processes. Growth hormone secretagogues are peptides or short chains of amino acids developed by reverse pharmacology to rejuvenate the growth hormone/ IGF axis and restore some of the myriad benefits that higher hormone levels can produce. Benefits that were gradually lost in the aging process. Studies have demonstrated that the changes in growth hormone release associated with aging are due to decreased growth hormone release, not resistance to growth hormone effects. This finding opens the door for the pharmaceutical development of peptides to stimulate the natural release of growth hormone (García-San Frutos et al. 2007).
The Growth Hormone/IGF-1 Axis
The pituitary gland secretes growth hormone. Growth hormone stimulates the breakdown of fat cells and the conversion of glycogen to glucose. Breaking down fat cells and releasing glucose from the liver provides energy for cells to grow and reproduce.
Growth hormone also stimulates the release of IGF-1 from the liver. IGF-1 targets bone cells, muscle cells, nervous system cells, and immune cells by stimulating these cells to increase their uptake of amino acids (building blocks of protein) to enhance cellular growth.
Overall, growth hormone by stimulating the release of IGF-1 from the liver has the following effects:
- Building muscle mass, which increases strength
- Burning fat for energy, which increases energy levels and endurance and keeps weight under control
- Increasing bone density
- Promoting testicular growth and development and stimulating the production of male and female sex hormones
- Increasing exercise capacity
- Strengthening cardiac muscle
- Thickening skin which can help prevent wrinkles
- Affecting brain function and fluid memory (Devesa et al., 2016).
It is easy to see the correlation between the functions of growth hormone, the drop in growth hormone levels as we age, and the symptoms of aging. This is why research is ongoing to evaluate the potential of peptides as anti-aging molecules.
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How the level of growth hormone is regulated in the body
Hormones in the body are regulated by either negative or positive feedback. Growth hormone is regulated by negative feedback in much the same way a thermostat regulates your home’s temperature. When the room gets too warm, the cooling system is started. Similarly, when the room is too cool, the heat comes on. When growth hormone or IGF-1 levels get too high, somatostatin is released to decrease the release of growth hormone from the anterior pituitary. When growth hormone levels are too low, growth hormone-releasing hormone stimulates the production and release of growth hormone as does ghrelin, a hormone secreted by the stomach.
Can peptides mimic the role of growth hormone-releasing hormone (GHRH) and ghrelin?
Yes. Researchers are focused on developing and testing these peptides as they provide a much safer alternative to injecting growth hormones into the body. Growth hormone secretagogues stimulate the release of growth hormone and therefore leave the growth hormone/IGF-1 axis intact as well as the natural negative feedback mechanisms used to control its release.
CJC-1295 is a synthetic version of growth hormone-releasing hormone that stimulates the release of growth hormone from the pituitary gland. ConjuChem Biotechnologies developed CJC-1295. CJC-1295 is unique in that it binds to albumin, thereby extending its half-life. Albumin protects CJC-1295 from breakdown by enzymes, thereby extending its half-life (Thorner, 2008).
Two separate testing sites were used to study CJC-1295 in a randomized, placebo-controlled, double-blinded study in which healthy people aged 21-61 were given increasing doses of CJC-1295 or placebo. The results showed dose-dependent increases in mean plasma growth hormone by a 2- to 10- fold increase for six days or more. After multiple doses, the mean IGF-1 level remained above baseline for up to 28 days.
The reported adverse effects for CJC-1295
The following adverse effects were reported:
- Injection site reactions: redness, irritation, pain or itching, which all resolved spontaneously (70%)
- Headaches (63%)
- Diarrhea (43%)
- Flushing, warmth, or low blood pressure (30%)
- Fatigue and water retention have been reported in other studies (Neobiolab Research, 2015).
All of these side effects were at high doses of CJC-1295 (125 or 250 μg/kg), and no serious adverse effects were reported, even at high doses (Teichman et al., 2006). Of note, the study was funded by ConjuChem. In a separate study, when 20 healthy men were injected with a 60-μg/kg dose of CJC-1295, no serious adverse effects were observed (Ionescu & Frohman, 2006).
The benefits of CJC-1295
Benefits of CJC-1295 are based on animal studies and include:
- Increased bone density
- Enhanced immune system
- Improved sleep
- A boosting of protein synthesis (Neobiolab Research, 2015).
Read More: CJC-1295 Benefits and Side Effects
Ipamorelin is a synthetic version of ghrelin, which, when combined with CJC-1295, stimulates the release of growth hormone by two separate mechanisms. Acting like ghrelin, Ipamorelin stimulates the release of growth hormone-releasing hormone and reduces the release of somatostatin. This process has been demonstrated in the lab, but ghrelin’s ability to directly influence growth hormone release in the human remains controversial (García-San Frutos et al. 2007).
Studies on the benefits of ipamorelin have demonstrated the following anti-aging benefits:
- Increase bone density (Svensson et al., 2000)
- Increases body fat loss in obese adults (Kim et al, 1999)
- Increased muscle mass (Andersen et al, 2001)
Read More: What is Ipamorelin?
Dosing and Administration of CJC-1295/Ipamorelin
CJC 1295/Ipamorelin is 300 μg injected subcutaneously (under the skin). The recommended schedule of dosing is at night to mimic the effects of natural growth hormone release. CJC-1295/ipamorelin is best taken at least 30 minutes before or after food consumption. It is better to take CJC-1295/ipamorelin at least two hours after eating dinner, so food does not interfere with the release of growth hormone and IGF-1. Staying well-hydrated is also recommended.
It can take up to three to six months to get the full benefits from CJC-1295/ipamorelin. The peak level of ipamorelin is reached within 5 to 20 minutes, whereas peak levels for CJC-1295 are more steady-state due to the drug’s long half-life.
CJC-1295/Ipamorelin is used off-label to counter the side-effects of aging. CJC-1295/Ipamorelin requires a prescription. This requirement does not mean that no sellers are offering CJC-1295/Ipamorelin at discounted prices and without a prescription. They hope to take advantage of anyone willing to purchase peptides without knowing its chemical composition and ensuring that the peptide is a good choice to meet their needs without any medical contraindications.
When you have a telemedicine consultation with a licensed medical provider at Invigor Medical, they will discuss any medical conditions you might have; medications, supplements, or herbal products that might interact with CJC-1295/Ipamorelin; and the risks and benefits you can expect from CJC-1295/Ipamorelin.
In addition to ensuring that your health care provider is licensed and informed, you would also want to check the pharmacy’s status. In addition to being US-based, the pharmacy that fulfills the order when you buy CJC-1295 online must be fully licensed and reputable, compliant with relevant state and federal requirements for operation. You should be able to check the pharmacy’s license status at the relevant state health department’s website. For example, the pharmacy used by Invigor Medical, Olympia Compounding Pharmacy, can be verified through the Florida Department of Health website (Lic. #PH27414).
Read More: How to buy CJC-1295 Online safely
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.
- Devesa, J., Almengló, C., & Devesa, P. (2016). Multiple Effects of Growth Hormone in the Body: Is it Really the Hormone for Growth?. Clinical medicine insights. Endocrinology and diabetes, 9, 47–71. https://doi.org/10.4137/CMED.S38201
- Svensson, J, Lall, S, Dickson, SL, Bengtsson, BA, Romer, J, Ahnfelt-Ronne, I, Ohlsson, C, & Jansson, JO. (2000). The GH secretagogues ipamorelin and GH-releasing peptide-6 increase bone mineral content in adult female rats, Journal of Endocrinology, 165(3), 569-577. Retrieved Sep 12, 2020, from https://joe.bioscientifica.com/view/journals/joe/165/3/569.xml
- Kim, K.R., Nam, S.Y, Song, Y.D., Lim, S.K., Lee, H.C., Huh, K.B. (1999). Treatment with Diet Restriction Accelerates Body Fat Loss, Exerts Anabolic Effect and Improves Growth Hormone Secretory Dysfunction in Obese Adults. Horm Res 1999;51:78–84 https://doi.org/10.1159/000023319
- Andersen NB, Malmlöf K, Johansen PB. The growth hormone secretagogue ipamorelin counteracts glucocorticoid-induced decrease in bone formation of adult rats. Growth Horm IGF Res. 2001 Oct;11(5):266-72. [DOI: 10.1054/ghir.2001.0239]
- Thorner, M.O. (2008), The Discovery of Growth Hormone‐Releasing Hormone1: An Update. Journal of Neuroendocrinology, 20: 653-654. doi:10.1111/j.1365-2826.2008.01740.x
- García-San Frutos, M., Cacicedo, L., Fernández, C., Vicent, D., Velasco, B., Zapatero, H., & Sánchez-Franco, F. (2007). American Journal of Physiology-Endocrinology and Metabolism 293:5, E1140-E1152
- Teichman, Sam L., Neale, Ann, Lawrence, Betty, Gagnon, Catherine, Castaigne, Jean-Paul, & Frohman, Lawrence A. (2006). Prolonged Stimulation of Growth Hormone (GH) and Insulin-Like Growth Factor I Secretion by CJC-1295, a Long-Acting Analog of GH-Releasing Hormone, in Healthy Adults. http://doi.org/10.1210/jc.2005-1536 https://academic.oup.com/jcem/article/91/3/799/2843281
- Neobiolab Research. (2015). Current research findings regarding CJC-1295. Retrieved from http://neobiolab.com/research/current-research-findings-regarding-cjc-1295
- Madalina Ionescu, Lawrence A. Frohman, Pulsatile Secretion of Growth Hormone (GH) Persists during Continuous Stimulation by CJC-1295, a Long-Acting GH-Releasing Hormone Analog, The Journal of Clinical Endocrinology & Metabolism, Volume 91, Issue 12, 1 December 2006, Pages 4792–4797, https://doi.org/10.1210/jc.2006-1702