Read our most recent article on SARMs “Are SARMs safe?” here.
Good workouts, a nutritious diet, and healthy sleep act as the foundation for good fitness, but many athletes, weightlifters, and gym aficionados often turn to supplements to give them an extra edge to achieve even greater results. Selective androgen receptor modulators, or SARMs, have become a popular supplement for many bodybuilders. Let’s take a closer look at SARMs and why they are NOT a safe option for you.
What are SARMs?
Selective androgen receptor modulators are synthetic drugs marketed as supplements for building muscle and strength similar to testosterone booster supplements. They come in oral forms and have various mechanisms of action based on the compound.
SARMs work by stimulating or inhibiting certain receptors in body tissue. This can, on paper, help to support more positive effects and benefits while limiting any negative side effects. Research and anecdotal evidence suggests that SARMs can effectively increase muscle mass and bone mass and improve fat loss. Sounds pretty great, but be sure to also read the possible negative side effects below.
How Do SARMs Work?
SARMs operate by actively modulating your body’s androgens. Androgens are chemicals in your body responsible for controlling the development and maintenance of characteristics considered masculine, like a deeper voice, facial hair, higher muscle and lower fat stores. Testosterone tends to be the most well-known of these androgens.
Androgens operate by:
- Binding directly to androgen receptors
- Converting to DHT (dihydrotestosterone), which then connect to androgen receptors
- Converting to estrogen, which connect to estrogen receptors
Your body normally regulates your androgen production to prevent imbalances that could lead to potential health issues.
The science behind them suggests that they have a specific affinity for muscle and bone cells, completely avoid your heart, brain, prostate or liver. Furthermore, SARMs do not break down into DHT, estrogen or other unwanted molecules. They do not easily convert into 5-a reductase, an enzyme that turns testosterone into DHT, and they are generally resistant to aromatase, an enzyme responsible for converting testosterone into estrogen.
The Downside to SARMs
Some of the most popular selective androgen receptor modulators are:
Why do these SARMs have the names of potential robots? Most marketers don’t bother naming their products because SARMs actually have not been approved for medical use by any governing body or clinical research facility. In fact, they are sold on the internet for research purposes only.
Put simply, SARMs are technically illegal. They are not allowed for use in any sport, and they cannot legally be included as an ingredient in any sort of dietary supplement. This signifies that any company selling SARMs is using a manufacturer that clearly does not abide by FDA Regulations or cGMP policies. No manufacturer would risk their business housing ingredients that are in clinical trials to help prevent muscle wasting in HIV and cancer patients.
The Negative Side Effects of SARMs
Most marketers and companies that sell selective androgen receptor modulators will tell you that there aren’t any negative side effects and that the S4 SARM and its related cousins may actually be safer to use than other similar supplements that alter or modulate your androgen levels. Despite what these companies want you to believe, SARMs do come with a wide range of potential side effects that could harm your health.
In the short term, studies on the SARM LGD-4033 and similar products have found that some users experience temporary vision impairment. Studies using animal testing models also showed that some SARMs rapidly caused cancer in multiple organs of the test animals.
Some negative side effects that come with long-term use of SARMs include:
- Male pattern baldness
- Male breast growth
- Body hair growth
- Liver toxicity
- Cholesterol imbalance
Many companies also want you to believe that SARMs will not have negative hormonal implications, but the above side effects are all a result of hormonal imbalances. In fact, taking SARMs for an extended period of time can actually have the opposite intended effect and halt your testosterone production completely. The masculinizing effects can also become more pronounced in women, and SARMs can be incredibly dangerous in women who are nursing or pregnant.
When researching SARMs, it is important to read what dosage was used in clinical trials. Many companies may site that their products have no negative side effects on your liver, hormones, or endocrine system, but don’t be fooled and look deeper into the research. Many of the studies use dosages of only a small fraction of what they recommend that their customer’s take. SARMs have been shown to be dangerous even in small doses thus, when taking SARMs as instructed at a much higher dose, could result in some very dangerous side effects.
Sometimes, SARMs are included as ingredients in dietary supplements marketed specifically at bodybuilders despite their questionably legal status and harmful side effects. Some consumers may not even know they are ingesting SARMs until it’s too late. To keep you safe and prevent potential health risks, make sure you check the ingredients on websites and on the product labels of any dietary supplements. Some of the most common SARMs included in dietary supplements:
- S4 (also known as Andarine)
- MK-2866 (also known as Enobosarm and Ostarine)
- LGD-4033 (also known as Ligandrol)
- RAD140 (also known as Testolone)
Healthier, Safer Alternatives to SARMs
Thankfully, there are plenty of alternatives to SARMs that are effective, healthier, safer and won’t affect your endocrine system long-term. Test boosters are a class of herbal supplements designed to increase your testosterone levels using natural ingredients. Many work by directly to boost the amount of testosterone your body produces.
Other testosterone boosters work by blocking inhibiting aromatase, the enzyme responsible for converting testosterone to estrogen. In men, testosterone builds up in brain, muscles and skin. Aromatase turns part of that into estrogen. While you need a gentle balance of estrogen and testosterone, estrogen has been associated with fat storage. By reducing estrogen and increasing testosterone, you can get more toned, defined muscle mass.
What makes these alternatives different from SARMs? For one, they have been clinically tested, studied and approved by various researchers to not only show their effectiveness, but also ensure that they are safe to use. They do not cause any dependencies. They present no negative side effects, and they don’t actually interrupt your body’s natural regulating processes.
We at MYOKEM™ are completely against SARMs. We cannot condone the selling or use of Cardarine (A.K.A. GW-501516) SARM or any related products. If you are looking for supplements to increase your testosterone naturally, we highly recommend Magnitropin™ and Alphadex™. Magnitropin™ is a natural test booster that help you build size, strength and stamina along with harder, leaner muscle definition. Alphadex™ is an advanced hardening agent that acts as an estrogen blocker to increase your size and strength for more defined muscles. The products use clinically researched and validated ingredients from naturally found herbs found in the wild. Our precise use of unique ingredients is what sets Myokem apart from the competition and helps you reach your goals faster, and safely!