The MK-677 Bloat: Can MK-677 Cause Bloating?

In this article, we will closely examine the potential bloating side effects of MK-677, a growth hormone secretagogue. We will understand to the role of the hunger hormone ghrelin, which MK-677 mimics, and its impact on digestive processes. Additionally, we will discuss the difference between bloating and oedema, a common side effect of MK-677.
Klara Hatinova

Klara Hatinova

Klara is postgraduate researcher in experimental psychology at the
University of Oxford.

A blue image with text saying "Can MK-677 Cause Bloating?"

Does MK-677 Cause Bloating?

Yes, MK-677 can cause bloating if combined with a low or high-calorie diet. Edema, which is different to bloating, is a common side effect, but can be perceived as bloating.

MK-677 Bloat

MK-677, also known as Ibutamoren, is a growth hormone secretagogue. This means that it increases the release of growth hormone from your pituitary gland by mimicking the hunger hormone ghrelin. Ghrelin is released from the stomach in response to hunger or energy deficiency; hence, it is tightly linked to digestive processes. It is, therefore, reasonable to assume that MK-677 could have gastrointestinal side effects. This blog will cover whether MK-677 causes bloating.

What Causes Bloating?

Bloating is a common symptom that can be attributed to various factors. 

One of the primary causes is the buildup of gas in the digestive tract. This happens when undigested food gets broken down by enzymes or gut microbiota or when you swallow air [1, 2]. Swallowing air can be caused by eating or drinking too quickly; in that case, you swallow more air than when eating/drinking slowly [3, 4].

Food and drink can also contribute to bloating. Consuming high-fiber foods like beans, lentils, and certain whole grains increases gas production, especially if you do not eat these foods regularly [4]. Similarly, carbonated beverages can release carbon dioxide in the stomach, leading to bloating [4]. Food allergies and intolerances, such as lactose, fructose, eggs, wheat, soy, and gluten, can cause excess gas production and bloating [4].

Hormonal changes, particularly before or during menstruation, can also lead to bloating [4]. Additionally, certain medical conditions, such as irritable bowel syndrome (IBS), inflammatory bowel disease, and small intestinal bacterial overgrowth (SIBO), can cause bloating by affecting gas transit, gut motility, or the balance of bacteria in the gut [3, 1].

Finally, lifestyle factors can also contribute to bloating. Persistent stress, inadequate sleep or poor sleep quality, and imbalanced hormones other than menstrual hormones can all lead to bloating [4]. Furthermore, a spectrum of gastrointestinal health conditions, such as irritable bowel syndrome, is characterised by bloating [5, 6].

Can Ghrelin Activation Cause Bloating?

Ghrelin, a hormone secreted by the stomach, is significant in stimulating food intake and regulating gastrointestinal (GI) motility. However, the direct link between ghrelin activation and bloating is not well established.


Ghrelin's impact on gastric functions has been studied extensively [7]. For instance, it has been found to increase gastric tone in the fasting state and enhance gastric emptying in gastroparesis [8].

This could mean that if food enters the gut before being properly broken down in the stomach, there is a higher risk of bloating from it being broken down and fermented. On the other hand, ghrelin also increases intestine motility, making the intestine better at handling excess gas. Overall, disruption of ghrelin levels increased bloating. 

What is MK-677?

MK-677 increases the release of Human Growth Hormone and Insulin-like Growth Factor 1 (IGF-1). This increases anabolic metabolism, which includes muscle growth and bone mineral density and can accelerate recovery from injury. It can also prevent loss of lean body mass in catabolic conditions, such as extreme diets, chemotherapy or ageing [9].

When MK-677 is combined with extreme caloric restriction, one is more likely to experience bloating as the body adjusts to a different dietary pattern.

Nonetheless, no specific evidence exists on whether MK-677 leads to bloating when used for anabolic muscle growth or improving recovery after injury [9, 10]

MK-677 can, however, lead to increased water retention, referred to as oedema. This is different to bloating, which is air in your gastrointestinal tract. Edema is when your body retains more water in the muscles and space between your cells, which can appear puffy and 'bloated'. The best way to reduce oedema when taking MK-677 is to stay hydrated and limit sodium intake.

If you suffer from a gastrointestinal condition, it is best to consult a healthcare provider before taking any supplements, especially MK-677.


MK-677 is not an FDA-approved drug and is a banned doping substance in sports.

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Klara Hatinova

Klara Hatinova

Klara is a postgraduate researcher in experimental psychology at the University of Oxford. She has worked across a spectrum of hot topics in neuroscience, including her current project measuring reinforcement learning strategies in Parkinson’s disease. Previously, she studied the efficacy of psilocybin as a therapy for critical mental health conditions and examined molecular circadian rhythms of migraine disorders. She completed her undergraduate degree in Neuroscience at the University of Glasgow and participated in a year abroad at the University of California, where she worked on a clinical trial for spinal cord injury.