AOD9604 Peptide: Benefits and Side Effects

In this article, we will take a close look at AOD9604, a synthetic peptide that mimics a part of the human growth hormone. We will understand its uses, particularly as a weight-loss drug, and discuss the results of clinical trials investigating its safety and effectiveness.
Jakub Hantabal

Jakub Hantabal

Postgraduate student of Precision Cancer Medicine at the University of Oxford, and a data scientist.

A blue image with text saying "AOD9604"

What is AOD9604?

AOD9604 is a synthetic peptide that mimics a part of the human growth hormone. A peptide is a short sequence of amino acids, which are the building blocks of proteins. Naturally, we get peptides through our diet as a result of digesting proteins.

Besides their nutritional function, peptides also fulfil a variety of other physiological roles, including some functions of the immune system, act as neurotransmitters, cell-to-cell signalling, and functions in growth and development.

AOD9604 consists of 16 amino acids, which are a part of the human growth hormone. The human growth hormone itself is an ubiquitous hormone with many roles, including the development of children and adolescents by increasing muscle mass.

Another of the growth hormone's functions is to regulate fat metabolism. The hormone signals to release stored fat into the bloodstream, which can be then used to generate energy, thus contributing to a favourable lipid profile in the body.

What is the AOD9604 peptide used for?

The AOD9604 peptide s used as a supplement to reduce body fat. The 16 amino acids found in AOD9604 are the domain of the growth hormone that signals to the fat deposits to release fat.

AOD9604 gained popularity in the fitness community, following some anecdotal evidence that AOD9604 can function in a targeted manner, with a preference to areas of the body where fat accumulation is common, such as the waistline and hips. Additionally, AOD9604 does not exert diabetogenic (leading to development of diabetes) side effects.

AOD9604 is administered either orally as a tablet or as an injection, with no scientifically validated evidence on dosing and usage being available. It is important to note that laws may prohibit individuals from using AOD9604 in the UK and the USA, as well as other jurisdictions. Additionally, it is also banned by the World Anti-doping agency (WADA). There is a standardised test from urine available through a method called solid-phase extraction method, with more than 50 pg/mL (picograms per millilitre) being a positive sample [1].

Supplementing with peptides, comes with risks. We explored some of these in our blogs about the cancer side effects of MK-677, the effects of CJC 1295 on the heart, or the effect of thymosin beta 4 (TB-500) on tumor growth.

Is AOD9604 safe and effective?

AOD9604 is not used in human medicine. To date, there were six clinical trials investigating its use, with approximately 900 people enrolled in total. Most trials were performed on obese, but otherwise healthy adults, mostly men. The outcomes of these trials was largely positive, with the key findings being that treatment with AOD9604 was safer and better tolerated than supplementation with whole human growth hormone molecule. Adverse effects were very mild and non-specific, including pain at the injection site and headaches. However, in these trials, the drug was not proven effective at significantly reducing weight of the obese individuals, supported by robust statistical analysis.

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Jakub Hantabal

Jakub Hantabal

Jakub is a postgraduate student of Precision Cancer Medicine at the University of Oxford, and a data scientist. His research focuses on the impact of hypoxia on genetic and proteomic changes in cancer. Jakub also consults and collaborates with multiple institutions in the United Kingdom and Slovakia supporting research groups with advanced data analysis, and he also co-founded an NGO organising educational events in data science.