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 GH 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 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 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 GH 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 GH levels.
Therefore, stimulating 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 GH levels.
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.
Is SeroVital clinically and scientifically validated?
Despite the fact that stimulating natural growth hormone production cannot help reverse aging or reduce symptoms of diminishing HGH levels, the official website of SeroVital states that its benefits for healthy people are clinically and scientifically validated.
Yet, there is only one placebo-controlled trial available on the effects of SeroVital. The study was a randomized controlled trial, funded and authored by Sierra Research Group – SeroVital’s developer. The fact that the manufacturer funded and authored the study significantly undermines its authority.
Furthermore, the trial involved only 16 participants, the majority of whom (75%) were men, despite the fact that the product is marketed mainly toward women. They were given both placebo and a supplement on different occasions.
The trial reported a short-term 682% increase in HGH compared to their baseline levels, 2 hours (120 mins) after ingesting SeroVital.
However, the baseline HGH levels before taking the placebo were already 447% higher than the baseline HGH before SeroVital administration. This indicates that the placebo was administered when HGH levels were already peaking naturally due to the fasting, and the results of the study at the 120 mins are incomparable.
Instead, comparing the area under the curve (AUC) 0-120 min for HGH levels in both groups would be a much more reliable indicator. (AUC) 0-120 min is a measure of the total amount of HGH that is circulating in the bloodstream during the first 2 hours after administration.
The data reveals that SeroVital increases (AUC) 0-120 min for HGH levels by only 3.8% compared to placebo, and the difference is barely significant.
Moreover, the increase from SeroVital supplement won’t last more than 2-3 hours.
What about the latest SeroVital study?
As of 2023, Sierra Research Group has funded and authored a second study, but it lacks a control group.
The study reported a significant increase in IGF-1 levels, as well as improvement in body weight, cholesterol levels, and blood pressure after 24 weeks of supplementation.
However, the trial does not compare these results to a placebo, and the administration of SeroVital for 24 weeks coincides with receiving standard care for fibromyalgia.
The therapy included other medications (undisclosed), physical therapy, dietary advice, and exercise advice. Thus, it’s much more likely that the participants lost weight and improved their metabolic markers due to the lifestyle intervention rather than the supplement.
Moreover, the researchers do not disclose any anthropometrics that may suggest if the participants were overweight, normal weight, or underweight at the time of the trial.
The study was conducted on 84 participants with fibromyalgia and IGF-1 levels within the bottom of the reference range.
Fibromyalgia patients often suffer from low HGH levels, and the manufacturers claim that the supplement significantly increased their IGF-1 levels.
This raises concerns that SeroVital manufacturers may suggest the supplement can increase HGH levels in those suffering from low growth hormone, such as patients with GHD.
Such claims are dangerous because they can deceive patients with low growth hormone levels that SeroVital is a viable alternative to the FDA-approved HGH therapy.
In reality, that is not the case, as there is not a single unbiased trial to prove that SeroVital is effective. In comparison, there are dozens of trials showing that HGH therapy is significantly more effective than placebo in increasing HGH and IGF-1 levels in both healthy and GHD patients.
Does Serovital help with weight loss?
The official website of SeroVital states that the supplement can result in losing 8.6 pounds, 2.9 inches around the waist, and 4.8% body weight on average after pooling data from two randomized controlled trials.
However, these trials are nowhere to be found, as the only randomized trial that the company has shared does not report any weight loss from Serovital at all.
Even after a thorough check of the website, the only studies that you may find apart from the RCT and the uncontrolled trial discussed above are other 3 small uncontrolled trials with 5, 12, and 15 participants, respectively, which have highly overlapping data.
Moreover, some of the references cited on the webpage as studies are actually posters or abstracts from scientific conferences that lack peer review. Others cannot be found at all.
Taking a look at the ingredients of SeroVital also reveals that neither of the ingredients can help lose weight as they do not possess fat-burning properties.
Therefore, it remains unclear how SeroVital could result in such quick weight loss and whether there actually is any evidence for that.
In reality, losing such an amount of weight and body fat would require a significant lifestyle change, and it would take several weeks or even months.
Studies in GHD report that HGH therapy also takes at least a month before there is significant weight loss. Moreover, the researchers reported about 6% of body fat reduction within 6 months of HGH therapy.
Does SeroVital work equally for men and women?
It is unclear what the minimum or maximum effects are 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 who 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.
If you’re looking for simple and natural ways to increase GH levels, you can use these scientifically proven methods that will definitely help you boost your GH levels.
Review of SeroVital ingredients
SeroVital contains amino acids that may exert a short-lived stimulus on HGH production in healthy individuals.
The acids included in the main formula are:
- L-lysine hydrochloride
- L-arginine hydrochloride
- N-acetyl L-cysteine
In addition, the formula also contains Schizonepeta extract from the aerial parts of the plant.
Unfortunately, the ingredients are implemented as a proprietary blend, and there is no data on the amount of each amino acid per dose.
Thus, it’s not clear which is the main ingredient in SeroVital and whether each serving delivers a sufficient amount.
In fact, most studies that suggest any potential benefit of amino acid supplementation involve much higher doses than the whole serving of the SeroVital blend.
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 after taking at least 5g per serving.
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 slight 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 growth hormone 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.
SeroVital Advanced is another product that contains the exact same proprietary blend with the same dose per serving. In addition, the product also contains three vitamins, three minerals, and a second proprietary blend of 11 herbal extracts.
Once again, the specific doses of each herbal extract are unknown, leaving ambiguity regarding the possible outcomes or adverse reactions that may arise after supplementation.
Neither of the 11 herbs included in the blend has shown any effect on GH levels in the available research.
What are the side effects of using SeroVital?
The majority of the information about the effects of Serovital Advanced 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.
However, we have concluded that SeroVital may lead to side effects typical for the different amino acids in the product. And due to its ineffectiveness in raising GH levels, there are no adverse reactions associated with high levels of growth hormone, such as acromegaly. However, according to research, the side effects of the amino acids contained in SeroVital may include:
- stomach pain
- low blood pressure
- allergic reaction
Who should not take Serovital
SeroVital Advanced is a dietary supplement, which means that it does not undergo quality or safety control.
The available safety data comes solely from heavily biased research that is conducted by researchers employed or associated with the company manufacturing SeroVital.
Therefore, the safety of the product is largely unknown. This is why the product should be avoided by any population group at risk of unexpected reactions, including:
- pregnant and breastfeeding women
- elderly people
- people with acute or chronic illnesses
- people taking any medications
For example, there are concerns that one of the main ingredients in SeroVital – Schizonepeta, may worsen liver health in patients with chronic liver diseases.
One of the main risk groups that should avoid taking SeroVital Advanced is adults with GHD. This is because the product is ineffective, and choosing it over proven medical therapy can delay treatment and prolong symptoms.
Serovital reviews from verified buyers
Better Business Bureau (BBB) is a non-profit organization that aims to promote marketplace trust by encouraging ethical business practices and providing consumers with unbiased information about businesses.
BBB collects and maintains information about businesses, including complaints from customers, and SeroVital is one of the brands listed on the website. Currently, the brand has 6 reviews by customers, and all of them have given it the minimum score of 1/5 stars.
Some customers report suffering from severe gas and relentless, painful diarrhea for 3 weeks before ultimately quitting. These symptoms may occur as a side-effect of some of the amino acids which are part of the original SeroVital blend.
In addition, another customer who used the advanced formula reported that it caused their face and lips to become very dry. Additionally, they noticed the appearance of deep creases under their eyes and red spots.
The customers also revealed that it took 3-5 days to see any improvement in their side effects after discontinuing the supplement.
Many of the reviews on Amazon appear to be genuine and critical as well. Here are just 7 of all the comments about their best 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
“I’m 63 years old and I purchased the regular SeroVital at my local Costco store. I took it religiously as directed for approximately 3 weeks. Within that amount of time, I started getting horrible body aches from my feet to shoulders plus severe fatigue. Prior to that I had the normal aches and pains a 63 years old woman would have, but nothing like what I experienced since taking the supplement. It’s 3 days since I stopped, and I’m still not back to “normal”. I’m hoping I didn’t trigger something else by taking this stuff.” – Carol
“After seeing the commercials on TV and in other advertisements, I was truly hoping this product would work. It didn’t, not even a little bit. To say I was disappointed doesn’t even begin to describe it.” – SCB
“I have taken this faithfully for a year, I’m 15 pounds heavier, my hair is course and has fallen out. The makers and advertisers of Serovital should be sued for all the lies they publish. As a medical professional I should of known better. Please don’t be lured in by the lies!” – Ramona
“After 3 days I was in pain arm shoulder wrist and indigestion. If you value your health don’t go near this. I read up some more on this and many reviews had the same complaints. I’m out 100 but I’ll be pain free and healthy!!!” – Kheak
How does marketing help in the promotion?
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 GH levels.
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 against Serovital 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.