The human growth hormone (HGH) is a peptide that’s often rumored as the key to reversing aging and retaining a youthful appearance.
Therefore, many companies exploit the desire to look and feel younger by offering over-the-counter solutions to the problem that HGH levels drop as you age.
One of the most popular dietary supplements that supposedly boost your natural HGH production and reverses aging is SeroVital.
According to the manufacturer’s claims, the product has multiple benefits and is backed up by scientific evidence. Yet, once you take a deeper look you may notice some concerning issues.
Ultimately, the product may turn out to be just a waste of money if you are healthy, but the consequences may be more dramatic if taken instead of therapy by someone with a medical condition.
In this article, we will break down the available scientific evidence on SeroVital and give you the facts behind all the marketing claims.
What Serovital is claimed to be?
SeroVital is a supplement that, according to the claims, can reverse aging by supporting the body’s natural production of HGH. The product is developed by Sierra Research Group and marketed by SanMedica International.
There are 3 main dietary supplement specifications: SeroVital Renewal Complex for women (capsules), SeroVital Advanced for women (capsules), and SeroVital Rapid Dissolve Powder.
All of these products share similar claims, such as:
- boosting your HGH levels
- exerting anti-aging effects
- increasing lean muscle mass
- reducing skin wrinkles and fine lines
- increasing energy levels
- improving sleep quality
- supporting immunity
- causing fat cells to shrink
As mentioned on the official website, these claims are not evaluated by the federal regulatory agencies.
Indeed, dietary supplements are not a subject of control by the FDA so the safety and effectiveness of such products are largely unknown. Currently, the only FDA-registered product with the name SeroVital is a hand sanitizer.
According to the official SeroVital website, the claims are presented as “beliefs of experts” regarding the benefits of higher HGH levels.
Yet, this contradicts the current scientific consensus by experts and researchers that increasing HGH is not an effective anti-aging strategy.
The only benefits observed in healthy individuals include improved body composition, and that is when using a reliable method to increase growth hormone levels, such as HGH injections.
Besides, some authors even suggest that increasing HGH in healthy older individuals may promote aging rather than slow it down.
Does SeroVital really work?
SeroVital does not contain HGH and thus it can’t help patients with growth hormone deficiency (GHD). GHD is a condition caused by the inability of the pituitary gland to produce sufficient HGH levels.
Therefore, stimulating the natural HGH production is an ineffective method to manage the symptoms caused by low growth hormone levels in these patients.
The symptoms of GHD can be managed only via the application of exogenous growth hormone. The hormone must be injected in order to successfully raise serum HGH levels.
The growth hormone is a peptide that gets destroyed in the digestive system if taken orally. Thus, pills or other oral formulations are not effective for managing GHD.
On the other hand, the official website of SeroVital states that its benefits for healthy people are clinically and scientifically validated.
Yet, there is only one full text available on the effects of SeroVital. The study was a randomized controlled trial, funded by Sierra Research Group – SeroVital’s developer.
The study involved only 16 participants, the majority of whom (75%) men, despite the fact that the product is marketed mainly towards women. The researchers in the trial reported a short-term 682% increase in HGH levels, 2 hours after ingestion.
Yet it is unclear what is the minimum or maximum effects achieved or what is the difference between males and females, considering women are significantly less sensitive to HGH stimulation.
Furthermore, the funding is often received only when the results are submitted and approved by the funder. Therefore, research sponsorship is always associated with a significant risk of bias.
There is also an abstract reporting on SeroVital’s effects on patients with fibromyalgia. Yet, the full text is unavailable and the trial is again biased because it was led by one of SeroVital’s experts that publicly endorses the supplement.
Due to the small number of studies, low sample size, and high risk of bias, we can conclude that the clinical evidence cited on the website is of poor quality.
What is the opinion of the Court?
Because of the widespread marketing and poorly supported claims, there have been several lawsuits against Sierra Research Group and SanMedica International.
The main complaints in these lawsuits include lack of scientific evidence, false advertising, and violation of several consumer acts and laws.
The accusers also state that they did not receive any of the advertised benefits of SeroVital and “in no way, shape or form looked or felt younger” even though they used the product as directed.
How effective and safe is SeroVital?
SeroVital contains amino acids that may exert a short-lived stimulus on HGH production in healthy individuals.
For example, two of the amino acids in SeroVital are lysine and arginine. They are common ingredients in HGH-boosting supplements but the evidence on their effectiveness is conflicting.
One study reported a 2-fold increase in the peak HGH production after arginine supplementation in 8 young active men.
Yet, several other studies investigating the combined effect of lysine and arginine report a lack of effectiveness in both younger and older men.
Another ingredient – glutamine, may also result in a small HGH increase according to a small 26-year old study. Unfortunately, the results have not been replicated since.
Furthermore, the HGH increasing effects after supplementation with these amino acids appear to be short-lived, if any at all.
Even if an 8-fold spike was possible after SeroVital supplementation it wouldn’t last more than 2-3 hours. Such a short-term increase in HGH is not likely to produce any notable health effects.
The rest of SeroVital’s ingredients include oxo-proline, fermented L-cysteine, and Schizonepeta (aerial parts) powder. There is not a single study suggesting any increase in HGH levels after supplementation with these ingredients.
According to research, side effects of the amino acids contained in SeroVital may include:
- stomach pain
- low blood pressure
- allergic reaction
How PR helps in popularization?
One of the reasons for SeroVital’s popularity despite its questionable effectiveness is the aggressive marketing strategy of the company.
It presents the product as a natural solution to low HGH which feeds into the misconception that Serovital is safer and more effective than synthetic HGH.
Yet, standard HGH therapy is well-studied, strictly regulated, and FDA-approved for use in both children and adults. Any adverse reactions are directly related to its main effect – increasing serum growth hormone levels.
On the other hand, SeroVital leads to side effects typical for the different amino acids in the product. Due to its lack of effectiveness in increasing HGH, there aren’t any adverse reactions related to high growth hormone.
However, the majority of the information available on Serovital comes from sponsored posts and PR publications that do not report any side effects at all. There are numerous reviews published on these affiliated sites and all appear to be nothing but positive.
Yet, the reviews on Amazon appear to be more genuine and critical. Here are the top 3 of all comments regarding their top product – “SeroVital Advanced” on Amazon:
“I used this product for 30 days and noticed NO change in my skin or hair, my energy level was actually lower, and I experienced weight gain, not loss. This was a VERY expensive experiment and would not recommend” – Tstautz
“This stuff made me very sick, so I threw it away.” – Lynne
“I have been taking this product for three months. I take it as directed with no food besides water two hours prior and two hours after taking the supplements. I have seen no change in my skin my hair my mood my weight etc.” – Allyn