Does MK-677 Cause Insulin Resistance? Why You Should Care

Does MK-677 Cause Insulin Resistance? You’re probably approaching this article with the knowledge that you don’t want insulin resistance. It can lead to weight gain, lethargy, pancreas disease, and other factors such as retinopathy, and of course, both pre-diabetes and diabetes.

If a supplement seemed likely to cause insulin resistance, you’d have to think long and hard about using it.  The good news is that there’s no evidence of MK-677 causing insulin resistance.

MK-677 Nuts and Bolts

So what is MK-677? Is it a SARM? And if not, what’s the big deal?

Well, MK-677 is definitely not a SARM.  It is all-natural, and is a peptide that interacts with the pituitary gland.  It causes this gland to trigger the production of the hormone ghrelin to increase the body’s levels of HGH, Human Growth Hormone. 

mk677 solution
Image: Bioscience

The term for that is secretagogue–MK-677 is a hormone secretagogue not a SARM.  Now, how is it similar to a SARM and why do people take it?  Well, it helps grow muscle mass, help a person recover faster after workouts, and stimulates the appetite for bulking up.  It also provides natural energy, helps a person sleep better at night, and helps grow denser, more calcium-rich bones. That’s what MK-677 can offer you.

Does MK-677 Cause Insulin Resistance: Insulin Sensitivity vs. Insulin Resistance

These two concepts are basically at opposite ends of the spectrum–you might say opposite ends of extremes. Insulin sensitivity is what you are going for, while insulin resistance is the enemy. 

First off, insulin is the body’s hormone in charge of dealing with sugar (glucose).  It takes this glucose and distributes it and converts it to energy, keeping blood sugar levels from getting too high or too low.

the words insulin resistance on a tablet
Image by Vitalii Vodolazskyi via Shutterstock

Insulin sensitivity means your cells not needing too much insulin to use it the way they need to. When they receive insulin, they convert sugar into energy, and that means your blood sugar level will be lower, since the sugar is being burned like fuel rather than just sitting there. If you don’t have enough sensitivity, your blood sugar won’t get lowered to a normal degree. 

And that’s where we visit the bad end of the spectrum, insulin resistance. This is another way of describing very low sensitivity.  If various cells in different systems of a person’s body don’t respond well enough, it’s as though the insulin isn’t even there, which means high blood sugar. The pancreas keeps pumping it out, wanting it to get its work done, and this throws the pancreas into overdrive.

Symptoms of Insulin Resistance

Insulin resistance means high blood sugar. People with high blood sugar often feel lethargic or fatigued; frequent urination, dry mouth, and an elevated heart rate are other traits of high blood sugar. Now, we’re talking about blood sugar itself, not resistance per se, but the two generally go hand in hand. 

measuring blood sugar level
Image by Neirfy via Shutterstock

Those are generally the only symptoms of insulin resistance, and that can be dangerous, since those things can be symptoms of all sorts of conditions or realities.  There are some visible symptoms of high blood sugar or pre-diabetes.  These include dark spots on the skin of the armpits or neck.  A more serious symptom is the development of retinopathy.  By the time you get to these symptoms, you’re in rough shape.

Does MK-677 Cause Insulin Resistance: Causes of Insulin Resistance

We usually associate high blood glucose with obesity, and with good reason.  Being overweight is a big factor, as is having too much belly fat.  That is why many athletes who pump iron and are considering using MK-677 are at a very low risk for this malady.

That fact is really driven home when we add to it that inactivity is another main cause of high blood sugar.  High blood sugar, which indicates insulin resistance, is diagnosed with blood tests, and treatments include a medication called metformin, as well as simply exercising.

So, Why Do People Say MK-677 Causes Insulin Resistance?

If you go to various forums where people ask questions and share experiences, you’ll see some references to high blood sugar, bone mineral density, reduced abdominal visceral fat, change in body composition, among people who have used MK-677. In addition, some people report using a medication called metformin, which is meant to keep blood sugar low enough to be manageable.

These are examples of what is called anecdotal evidence, or isolated stories from healthy older adults. These are not doctors or experts, but just people taking guesses.  A reason that people circulate rumors about insulin resistance is that some people report anecdotes of having low blood sugar. A large degree of low blood sugar is called hypoglycemia (not to be confused with hyperglycemia, which is too much blood sugar). 

blood sugar level normal level hyperglycemia and hypoglycemia
Image by Designua via Shutterstock

Now, if they think their blood sugar is too low, what does that have to do with insulin resistance?  OK, let’s work through it.  So, if you have insulin resistance, your pancreas will blast out too much insulin. What this does breaks through the resistance, but actually overcompensates, and the result is low blood sugar, hypoglycemia.

Therefore, if one of your fellow weight lifters experiences (what they think is) low blood sugar, they may report insulin resistance.

False Signs of Low Blood Sugar

MK-677 increases growth hormone by acting as an oral ghrelin mimetic.  MK-677 is also called a growth hormone secretagogue. Growth hormone is closely-related to insulin-like growth factor (IGF). By drawing out ghrelin, MK-677 succeeds in making people hungry.  Well, some people take this hunger to mean low blood sugar, and then blame the low blood sugar on insulin resistance.  It’s like seeing a shadow and thinking someone is going to steal your wallet!

Does MK-677 Cause Insulin Resistance: Berberine to the Rescue?

A minute ago, I mentioned a drug called metformin, which requires a prescription and is taken by those with diabetes or pre-diabetes.  Well, in addition to metformin, you may see references to berberine in forums pertaining to muscle building.  What is berberine? Well, it’s a chemical that can be extracted from several different plants, including goldenseal, tree turmeric, and pholledendron.  It is then sold under the name berberine.

Berberine is used by some people with pre-diabetes to help keep their blood sugar under control.  When a person is eating a high glycemic food, the presence of berberine in their system can help prevent spikes.  Some preliminary research shows that berberine can help insulin sensitivity.  It can also help people with metabolic disorder and improve their quality of life.

Because blood sugar is likely to rise just a bit with MK-677, taking small doses of berberine (perhaps a bit less than the recommended dosage on the bottle) might not be such a bad idea. It may help your overall well-being and preempt some possible problems.  But there’s another way to look at it.  Even though it’s just a dietary supplement, berberine isn’t really necessary, since MK-677 doesn’t cause insulin resistance.  It’s a little strange to take something you don’t need–remember that if you’re feeling hunger, that’s the increase in the grehlin.

To Micromanage Your Blood Sugar?

Well, this clinical trial showed an increase in fasting glucose among the participants (though keep in mind, they were all elderly).  If you’re afraid that some increase will go so far as to cause insulin resistance, or to make blood sugar pingpong up and down, it’s your right to monitor your blood glucose.  However, we absolutely don’t think it is necessary.

Disclaimer

We give you facts based on scientific research, which you should check out yourself.  But there are many complicating factors, with interpretation that needs to be done.  If you knew all these, you’d be a doctor. You are not and we are not, so consider this just useful information, not medical advice.

Does MK-677 Cause Insulin Resistance: FAQ

Q. Does MK-677 Affect Blood Sugar

A. It can cause a small increase in blood sugar.  However, there is no evidence of ibutamoren (MK-677) causing insulin resistance.  It does not cause one to become hypoglycemic, but does lead to an increase in appetite. Many supplements that people take for bulking up do so. That ends up giving the person the effect they are looking for.

Q. Why is MK-677 Illegal?

It isn’t illegal.  It’s just not approved by the FDA and is considered legal only for research and investigative purposes.  It hasn’t gotten to the legal stage yet, that’s all. Stay tuned.

Q. Is MK-677 Bad For Your Heart?

A. This is a bit complicated.  One study actually linked a deficiency of HGH (human growth hormone) to cardiovascular problems. The reason it’s somewhat relevant is that the same study also indicated that an excess of HGH, which could possibly come from taking MK-677, could cause heart problems.  However, if you use a correct dosage and not for an extended period of time, you’ll be OK.  Further, some users report having a strengthened heart while using MK-677.

Q. What Does MK-677 Do to Your Body?

A. MK-677 causes the body to produce the hormone grehlin which in turn causes production of human growth hormone (HGH).  This is what causes energy for workouts and helps a person recover after them.  It then increases lean muscle mass and decreases belly fat via a process called lipolysis.  It also increases bone density and increases sex drive.

Q. Does MK-677 Cause Insulin Resistance?

A. No. To some extent, according to some research, it increases blood sugar.  It is possible that when too much insulin is produced, the body can develop a resistance. But this is only deductive rather than quantitative.