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ME/CFS patient goes into remission after taking "elixir of youth" GDF11

Hip

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ME/CFS patient @hamsterman went into full remission from his ME/CFS after taking the protein GDF11 by injection for 2 months.

GDF11 (growth differentiation factor 11) is a protein which is naturally made in the body, and is considered by researchers to be an "elixir of youth" because of its ability to restore youthful characteristics in organs such as the muscle, brain and heart when injected into older animals. Ref: 1



For the first month on GDF11, Hamsterman noticed very little in terms of amelioration in ME/CFS symptoms, apart from some improvements in sleeping patterns, and feeling better in the mornings. But by the end of the second month, he found he was in full remission from ME/CFS.

While taking GDF11, Hamsterman discovered that when he tried to increase his GDF11 dose, he experienced bouts of fever and malaise. When he reduced the dose again, the bout of fever and malaise ended. But he noticed that after every bout of fever subsided, he felt better than before, ie, his ME/CFS had improved. So possibly this fever may be the immune system kicking into gear and fighting off the underlying infections.

Hamsterman has now been taking GDF11 for 3 months. It took 2 months to go into remission, and he has now been in remission for 1 month.

Hamsterman feels that if he were to stop taking GDF11 entirely, he might relapse, because he felt some symptoms start to come back when he reduced the dose.

It should be noted that Hamsterman also has Crohn's disease as well as ME/CFS. However, the GDF11 did not help his Crohn's, it only seemed to work for the ME/CFS. He has had ME/CFS for 15 years, and back in 2016 it his ME/CFS severe, leaving him in bedbound for most of the day; but just before he started GDF11 he was at the moderate level of ME/CFS, on the scale of mild, moderate and severe.

One possible confounding factor is that Hamsterman also started taking the supplement nicotinamide mononucleotide (NMN) about 2 months before he began the GDF11 (and then continued taking NMN with the GDF11). He found NMN helped a bit, but he doubts NMN is related to vast improvements he obtained during the second month of taking GDF11.

Hamsterman gave me permission to post his story.


UPDATE: Hamsterman told me he is not getting the same benefits as he originally obtained with GDF11, though has still improved — see this post.



GDF11 is not an FDA-approved drug, and has not been formally tested on humans. It it a protein which can only be bought for research purposes, and is sold on the understanding it is not for human use. But the body does make this substance itself, so it is naturally present in humans.

Some people on the Longecity.org forum have experimented with GDF11 in recent years, taking it for its assumed health and longevity effects.

The main GDF11 thread on Longecity is here, but there are other threads too.

And a GDF11 pioneer named Steve Perry has an info website here.



The dosage of GDF11 used is incredibly tiny. Drug doses are typically measured in milligram (mg) or micrograms (mcg). If we go 1000 times smaller than micrograms, we get to nanograms (ng). And at 1000 times smaller than nanograms, we have picograms (pg).

Well the doses of GDF11 used are measured in picograms. So very tiny doses. Steve Perry suggests the GDF11 starting dose range is 100 to 500 picograms per day. Then he says after 3 to 6 weeks, you should cut down to 10 to 20 picograms once a week. Ref: here

Hamsterman used a dose of 200 picograms (0.2 nanograms) subcutaneously injected once every two days, for two months. This is equivalent of 100 picograms a day, which is a dose at the bottom of the recommended range.

Since going into remission, Hamsterman has reduced his dose to 100 picograms every 3 days, and then later to 40 picograms twice a week as maintenance doses.

GDF11 can be obtained at buckylabs.com, which sells sells 10 micrograms for $80. (Perhaps 10 μg seems a small amount, but my calculation, that will last you for 274 years when using daily picogram doses!)



I was fascinated by Hamsterman's ME/CFS remission, so decided to try GDF11 myself. I bought some GDF11 from Buckylabs, and on 13 March 2020 injected my first 200 picogram dose. I then followed the same dosing protocol as Hamsterman, injecting 200 picograms subcutaneously every other day.

I continued this for 25 days, later increasing the dose to 400 picograms once every two days.

I have not noticed any improvements in ME/CFS symptoms yet, but Hamsterman did not notice anything in the first month either.

The only side effect I am getting is some mental agitation, anger and irritability, making it hard to relax mentally. My guess is that GDF11 may be increasing testosterone, as I always find testosterone-boosting supplements cause an angry and irritable mental state in me. So now I am taking a short break from GDF11, and will restart at a lower dose, to try to avoid this side effect.

Other than that, I've noticed no other effects yet, good or bad. But Hamsterman's experience suggests the improvements, if they manifest, will not appear until the second month.

So I have another month to go, at least, before I will be able to pass verdict on GDF11.



You may wonder how it's possible to measure out such tiny 200 picogram doses. When I bought the GDF11 from Bucklabs, it arrived in a little glass bottle containing a tiny speck of white powder about the size of a sugar grain, which was the 10 micrograms of lyophilized (freeze dried) GDF11 protein.

Those familiar with reconstituting lyophilized proteins and peptides will know how to inject bacteriostatic water into the little glass bottle to dissolve the protein into water, in the process of making it ready for injection.

The trick with picogram dosing is serial dilution the GDF11 using two or more bottles of bacteriostatic water.

You add the dissolved GDF11 into the first bottle of bacteriostatic water, mix, then take out a tiny but measured fraction of the water from that bottle using a hypodermic needle and a 1 ml insulin syringe, and inject that into a second bottle of bacteriostatic water. This greatly dilutes the GDF11. But you have to do this precisely, exactly calculating your dilution process.

If you get your dose dilution calculations wrong, you could end up injecting yourself with a GDF11 dose far higher than a picogram dose, which might be dangerous. Full details on how I measured out my tiny GDF11 doses given in this post.



What are the risks or side effects of using GDF11? Well, we are entering uncharted territory here, as there is very little research on GDF11. Regarding these dangers, Steve Perry on his website says:
Hundreds of people have taken GDF11 and there have been no fatalities or serious side effects. However, this does not mean you won't have issues. The human body is an extraordinarily complex machine and it is possible that there is some outlier scenario where GDF11 could have adverse effects.
Perry is not a medical scientist though. He's just the first person to ever try GDF11, and now has a business advising people who want to take GDF11.

So no guarantee of safety at all, except that hundreds of people have tried it so far, with no serious side effects as yet.

That said, startup company Elevian has been researching the beneficial effects of GDF11 in animal studies, and is planning GDF11 human clinical trial shortly:
In tests, Elevian has found that giving recombinant GDF11 to older animals stimulates stem cells to repair the tissue damaged by aging and degeneration. The animals in those studies showed a reduction in age-related cardiac hypertrophy, youthful skeletal muscle repair, improved brain function and metabolism, reversal of renal and pulmonary disease and tumor suppression.
...
Elevian plans to start a human clinical trial in two years [written in Sept 2018]
Source: here



Further Info
 
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junkcrap50

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Wow awesome! I've been waiting for more news and research about GDF11. I saw Steve Perry's RADFEST presentation (forget which year, 2017 I think), which was pretty good.

Maybe this is the "lack of 'something in the blood'" in CFS patients. (Unlikely, bc Ron Davis was able to filter out something.)

How did you hear about @hamsterman 's remission? What was his CFS onset / illness background like?
 
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percyval577

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The dosage of GDF11 used is incredibly tiny. Drug doses are typically measured in milligram (mg) or micrograms (mcg). If we go 1000 times smaller than micrograms, we get to nanograms (ng). And at 1000 times smaller than nanograms, we have picograms (pg).

Well the doses of GDF11 used are measured in picograms. So very tiny doses. Steve Perry suggests the GDF11 starting dose range is 100 to 500 picograms per day. Ref:

Hamsterman used a dose of 200 picograms (0.2 nanograms) subcutaneously injected once every two days. This is equivalent of 100 picograms a day, which is a dose at the bottom of the recommended range.
I too use incredible tiny dosages with the best success, now not GDF11.

Wikipedia say it has pro-neurogenic effects. Such were in essence also my interpretation of the actions of the stuff I take, but for the most of them it cannot already argued for, literature wise. Importantly, I take the different molecules or atoms, respectively, not together. And it can easily be overdone.

Further on, good luck!
 

percyval577

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@percyval577 are you saying you use small doses of GDF11 and get good benefits from it?
NO, I havn´t tested it.

I use small dose of other stuff, and its with the most of stuff I figured out, that it is importantly small dose*.

In addition I think that the action is on making (SOME) new synpases (like GDF11), or resolving synapses.
Only in some cases there is literature.


*It´s these ones: B5, B7, B2, B1 ---- Zn, Ni, (Cr) --- VitC, citrate, acetate --- Se, seldom B12
I have also some stuff in normal dose, Se again, Zn possible, and [Cr, Tyr, gaba, taurin]. Eating chocolate sometimes.

EDIT: I stopped it for now, working on a second avoidance: carbs (=sugar starch), next to my most important manganese avoidance. But it seems already that I will reinvent it, along the two avoidances.
 
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Hip

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@Hip is there any relation or crossover between HGH and GDF11?
GDF11 definitely is a cell growth factor substance, and cell differentiation substance.

GDF11 is part of the transforming growth factor beta (TGF-β) family which controls cell proliferation and differentiation, and more specifically, is part of the growth differentiation factors subfamily. In that subfamily you have GDF1 to GDF15, each with their own functions.

TGF-β1 is known to be elevated in ME/CFS. I don't know if that has any direct significance for the possible benefits of GDF11 in ME/CFS, but apparently GDF11 can bind to TGF-β1 receptors. Ref: 1



In terms of GDF11's growth factor effects:

GDF11 has been shown to increase the number of neural stem cells in the brain:
GDF11 also reverses aging in the brain. Older mice injected with the protein experienced an increase in neural stem cells and renewed development of blood vessels. His team also found that the older mice treated with the protein recovered function in their ability to smell odors, like mint, typically only detected by younger mice.
And GDF11 appears to be able to repair damaged DNA in muscle stem cells:
“Based on other studies, we think that the accumulation of DNA damage in muscle stem cells might reflect an inability of the cells to properly differentiate to make mature muscle cells, which is needed for adequate muscle repair.”
GDF11 increased the volume of blood vessels in mice, one study found:
The volume of blood vessels in GDF11-treated old mice increased by 50%
This paper says GDF11 improves brain blood vessels:
Recombinant GDF11 (rGDF11) treatment improves the cerebral vasculature and enhances neurogenesis
This study says:
Our new study demonstrates that GDF11 enhances hippocampal neurogenesis, improves vasculature and increases markers of neuronal activity and plasticity in the hippocampus and cortex of old mice.

Given that in ME/CFS there is a reduced blood circulation in the brain, this improvement of the brain's vascular system induce by GDF11 might have an impact on the disease.



But GDF11 research is in its infancy, and other studies have questioned these growth effects, and indeed, some studies have found injecting GDF11 worsens muscle repair:
The leading theory for why the blood of younger mice rejuvenates the muscles of older mice is now in contest. The vampiric exchange of young blood and old blood has long been reported to have anti-aging effects, but it was in 2013 when Harvard University researchers first linked GDF-11, a molecule that circulates in the blood, to this effect.

Now, an analysis that set out to see how GDF-11 works in the muscles published May 19 in Cell Metabolism found just the opposite.
...
They also show that regularly injecting mice with pure GDF-11 causes muscle repair to worsen.
...
"Clearly, like the mythical fountain of youth, GDF11 is not the long sought rejuvenation factor," write Caroline Brun and Michael A. Rudnicki
Source: here



We know when blood from young animals is placed into older animals, there is a rejuvenation effect, and researchers have long sought the factors in the young blood that are responsible for this rejuvenation. GDF11 was singled out as the leading contender for the rejuvenation effects of young blood, but other factors are likely also involved.

Oxytocin, the love hormone, has also been singled out as being on of the rejuvenation factors in young blood. And so has CCL11 (eotaxin-1), a chemokine. Ref: 1

It's interesting that oxytocin was one of Dr Jay Goldstein's ME/CFS treatments, which seemed to work well for a small subset of ME/CFS patients. I tried oxytocin injections and nasal sprays years ago, but it did not really help my ME/CFS.



Note that I would think supplemental GDF11 might possibly be risky in pregnancy, assuming it can cross the placenta, as GDF11:
controls anterior-posterior patterning by regulating the expression of Hox genes.
Source: GDF11 Wikipedia
Anterior-posterior patterning and Hox genes relate to development of the embryo, so that suggests taking supplemental GDF11 would not be advisable during pregnancy, if that is, GDF11 can cross the placenta.
 
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knackers323

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I think HGH is also has these same benefits that GDF11 is supposed to have doesn’t it?
And since HGH has had much more study done on it, apart from the cost, is there any reason that GDF11 would be a better option than HGH?
 

Hip

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I think HGH is also has these same benefits that GDF11 is supposed to have doesn’t it?
And since HGH has had much more study done on it, apart from the cost, is there any reason that GDF11 would be a better option than HGH?
All growth factors have very specific effects, so you cannot really substitute one for another.

And a study found HGH provided no major benefit for ME/CFS patients.


Though there was once a patient on this forum who was diagnosed with ME/CFS for 10 years, but it turned out she had HGH deficiency, and all her symptoms rapidly disappeared once given HGH injections.

However, apart from that, I don't think HGH will be of any great help for ME/CFS. I tried a few short courses of HGH 1 IU daily injections a few years back, and it did not help me.
 
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Hip

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Did you use actual hgh or hgh releasing peptides?
Both, and neither really did much for me. I tried various HGH-releasing peptides first; but then I read a post by the above ME/CFS patient with HGH deficiency that HGH-releasing peptides did not fix her deficiency at all, but actual HGH did. So then I bought some HGH from a reliable source to try, but no joy.
 

junkcrap50

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And a study found HGH provided no major benefit for ME/CFS patients.

...

However, apart from that, I don't think HGH will be of any great help for ME/CFS. I tried a few short courses of HGH 1 IU daily injections a few years back, and it did not help me.
I've tried HGH for 9 months using the real deal HGH from my pharmacy (It was expensive). And did not notice anything. Though I tested normal for HGH levels on the glucagon stimulation test.

Researchers who were searching for the "elixir of youth" in young blood had to have considered and eliminated HGH as a possibility.
 

Hip

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Here is some useful info about GDF11 overdosing side effects, which comes from a document written by Steve Perry entitled: Results of my 5 years of injecting exogenous GDF11:
Dosing GDF11 and Side Effects

It appears that overdoses of GDF11 are not lethal, just uncomfortable. Unfortunately, I did not have a patient zero to turn to, so I had to guess what a reasonable dose would be based on mouse studies. I started with 50 ug (1,000,000x more than I take now), got side effects in a week, cut dose by half, got side effects in a week, cut dose in half again, etc.

The side effects of excessive GDF11 are dyspnea (shortness of breath), acid reflux (also known as GERD), insomnia, elevated blood pressure and in rare cases arrhythmia.

If you follow my dosing guidelines below, extreme dyspnea is highly unlikely. Though as you down regulate, a bout or two of insomnia could be experienced and others have reported this.


From the same document, Perry recommended checking blood pressure:
And as with many exogenous peptides (think GH or testosterone), excess GDF11 can raise your blood pressure. Monitor your blood pressure every morning carefully – if it goes up, take a GDF11 “holiday” and cut the dose.


And he says heart rate variability (HRV) is also useful to measure, and says you have to watch out for heart arrhythmia side effects (which can be detected with a HRV monitor):
Heart rate variability (HRV) is an even better biomarker that can be done at home. Your HRV, RMSSD and PNN50 should improve on GDF11. Excess GDF11 will have the opposite effect, so logging and watching your HRV readings is highly recommended. Instructions on purchasing an HRV monitor (cost $50) are on GDF11Rejuvenation.com.

In a few cases, we have HRV RMSSD become “high and spikey” which suggests arrhythmia.
Note: RMSSD reflects the beat-to-beat variance in hear rate. pNN50 is another HRV measurement.



Interesting that GDF11 has effects on the circadian rhythm:
Speaking of insomnia, GDF11 enforces circadian rhythms and I almost always wake up 8 hours after I go to sleep. There is no “sleeping in” on GDF11. Note that if you are taking too much GDF11, you will wake up earlier than you usually do, and if you take way too much you won’t sleep at all. If insomnia occurs, discontinue GDF11 for a few days and cut the dose in half.
I notice while taking GDF11 that I am sleeping less than normal, but not feeling tired when I get up, in spite of the fewer hours of sleep. However, GDF11 has fixed my ME/CFS delayed sleep cycle (ie, I still go to bed very late around 4 am, and get up about 1 pm).



In terms of getting the dose right, and avoiding side effects, Perry says:
We have recently discovered that moving averages of BP, pulse, HRV and reaction time are the best way to fine tune your GDF11 dose.
So he suggests monitoring these parameters, and adjusting the dose if the trends go out of wack. If side effects do appear, the usual action is to stop taking the GDF11 for say a week, and then restart at a lower dose.



The GDF11 dosing protocol he suggests is:
My current recommendations are a starting dose of 100 to 500 pg/day. Then watch trending and take a holiday/cut dose if trending is going the wrong direction.

Within 3 to 6 weeks, you should down regulate and need only 10 to 20 pg once/week.


All the above comes from this document: Results of my 5 years of injecting exogenous GDF11, which is recommended reading.
 

Wally

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@Hip - Years ago when first seeing my ME/CFS specialist, he told me about a patient with severe ME/CFS symptoms who developed an infection (I can’t remember what he said the person was diagnosed with) and ended up hospitalized in the ICU with a very high fever (I believe in the 106 range, but once again the specific details are a little fuzzy because the story was told to me about 10 years ago). They were sure the patient was not going to make it, but after about five days the high fever finally broke and the person had a full recovery from the infection and all symptoms of ME/CFS had also disappeared.

They felt it was the high fever and not the drugs that were given for the infection that had somehow reset the body for recovery from ME/CFS. There had historically been a couple of other cases like this (infection with high fever) and then a full recovery from the acute infection and a simultaneous recovery from the chronic ME/CFS illness. But this occurrence was so rare that it was only a hypothesis that the “high fever” was the driver of the reset. As far as this doctor knew the patient did not have a return of ME/CFS symptoms (symptom free for 5+ years when I was told about this recovery story). But because ME/CFS has been known to have long periods of remission and then suddenly years later something seems to trigger a relapse, it may not have been an actual full recovery unless it could be shown over a much longer period of time.

Do you think that the biology of a “high sustained fever” could somehow correlate to changes in the blood/ blood vessels as seen that may be occurring with the use of GDF11 or a similar substance?

Edit - I found this study from 2016 about fever and infection that discusses what we know about this topic and what has so far been missing from research into this topic. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4869589/
 
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Hip

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@Hip why are you reporting this for @hamsterman ?
Do you think he might agree to an interview on @ScottTriGuy ’s podcast show?
Hamsterman contacted me personally to report his gains about six weeks ago, and said he would get around to posting a thread on PR at some point; but I thought people here might want to know sooner, that's why I started this thread. I also find posting threads, and the discussion which ensues, helps me better absorb and understand the material, because I find you learn things more in-depth when talking to others.

Hamsterman is also the person who innovated the clever use of one-off corticosteroids just before going to a gym, allowing him to do a full gym workout without any PEM repercussions — see the PEM busters thread. By going to the gym once a week like this, Hamsterman was able to cure his POTS (which often responds well to exercise). But on non-corticosteroid days, he remained a severe mostly bedbound patient.

You'd have to contact him to ask if he's happy to do an interview. I would say it is a bit too early, as at the moment, Hamsterman is experimenting with the dosage level for the maintenance dose regimen. He's finding when he doses too low, the ME/CFS symptoms start coming back. And if he doses to high, the fever and malaise come back. So it's still early days, trying to work these things out.

Steve Perry recommends a maintenance dose in the range of 10 to 20 picograms once a week. Hamsterman has been experimenting with maintenance doses of 100 picograms every 3 days, and later lowered to 40 picograms twice a week. Hamsterman has also tried returning back to the full dose of 200 picograms every other day, and found when he did so, he got a surge of energy.



He went from bed bound to mild or to completely cured?
When I asked him how severe his ME/CFS was, he said:
At my lowest, around 2016, I was mostly bed-bound. The brain-fog and sensory stimulation aversion to was so bad, I couldn't do much of anything, other than watch a little TV later in the day.

I am not quite sure of the ME/CFS level he was at just before starting GDF11, but I will ask to clarify. After the 2 months of GDF11, he told me:
Now I basically feel 100% cured. I genuinely don't have CFS/ME at all. I do have 'headaches', and a very subtle 'mini-fevers' that pop in and out, and I do still like to take a nap during the late afternoon, but nothing else. I can wake up, and feel 'refreshed', which has never happened once in the last 15 years.

It wasn't just a matter of gaining energy, it was losing all the horrible brain/sensory problems that made life so miserable.
EDIT: I asked Hamsterman your question, and he clarified that he was severe in 2016, but just before starting the GDF11 he was at the moderate level of ME/CFS.


Also is there a verified COA for the product?
I did not notice any COA when I received the product, but I always tend to throw invoices and any sales bumf away immediately without reading them. You would have to contact Buckylabs. Though in any case, I am not sure a COA certificate (which typically tells you heavy metals etc are below the maximum permitted amount) makes much sense in the context of buying 10 micrograms of a product.
 
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Hip

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Do you think that the biology of a “high sustained fever” could somehow correlate to changes in the blood/ blood vessels as seen that may be occurring with the use of GDF11 or a similar substance?
I pointed out to Hamsterman that when Dr John Chia uses the immunomodulator oxymatrine to treat ME/CFS patients, Chia notes that after around 6 weeks or so on oxymatrine, patients may experience a sudden bout of fever for several days, like coming down with the flu. After that fever is over, patients typically feel much better, and their ME/CFS is substantially improved. Dr Chia thinks the fever may be the immune system clearing the viruses and other infections linked to ME/CFS.

So maybe the same could be true with GDF11, maybe that fever is an indication the immune system working. I suspect during the fever it's not just the high temperature that's having an effect; it may be a whole coordinated immune response mounted by the body, of which the fever is one aspect.

In my case, I have not experienced any fevers or malaise on GDF11, even when I increased the dose to 400 picograms every other day. Maybe that's a bad thing, because maybe you need the fevers in order for GDF11 to work for ME/CFS, which is a virally-associated disease.
 
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Hip

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What was his CFS onset / illness background like?
I missed that question earlier. This is what Hamsterman said in a personal conversation with me:
My CFS/ME was caused/triggered by Crohns, but it doesn't go away when the Crohns is in remission, it really becomes it's own separate disease. It's sorta like post-viral CFS, after the infection, it just sorta lingers as it's own disease.
There is a possibility, that I do in actuality have post-viral CFS/ME. The reason I say this, is that before I got CFS/ME, I caught the flu, but after the typical symptoms went away, I had severe fatigue/malaise that lasted about 50 days, and it wasn't from a bacterial infection or anything. I had never experienced anything like it before. But after this, it went away, and I felt fine.

But the following year, I started my decent into gradual onset CFS. It's possible that Crohns, and other autoimmune diseases, make the body more 'susceptible' to contracting post-viral CFS.