SARMS – What Are They And Are They Safe?
Any keen bodybuilder wants to get the best results that he/she can, and taking a supplement or other substance to help boost results can be very appealing.
We all known that to get the best results, we need to work hard and eat sensibly, but its human nature to never be satisfied –
“We always want more…..”
That is where some guys turn to anabolic steroids, and for good reason – they really can deliver some awesome results, trouble is these results can also be accompanied by some really nasty side effects too.
Quite recently there has been another group of chemical products that have been providing some steroid type gains but without the worrying health problems.
These chemicals are called SARMS – this article lifts the lid on them, explains just how they work and also checks on their safety
Table Of Contents
- 1 SARMS – What Are They And Are They Safe?
- 1.1 What Are SARMS
- 1.2 Are SARMS Legal?
- 1.3 The Benefits Of Taking SARMS
- 1.4 The Darker Sides To SARMS
- 1.5 Types Of SARMS That Are Available Online ( For Testing Purposes Only)
- 1.6 Are SARMS Steroids?
- 1.7 Are SARMS Safe?
- 1.8 Can You Buy SARMS?
- 1.9 My Conclusion On SARMS
What Are SARMS
SARMS ( Selective Androgen Receptor Modulators) are a group of molecules also known as ligands, they are currently being researched an developed with the aim of reproducing the effects of anabolic steroids without the risks.
Their aim is to reproduce the androgenic affects of steroids but with a huge difference.. Seroids have a wide spread, some would say scatter-gun effect, where as SARMS are more focused or targeted, something that experts believe will make them more effective and safer.
When you take steroids, you are basically overloading your body with testosterone. This then binds with androgen receptors boosting their anabolic properties.
Now using this method, the testosterone does not just bind to the essential receptors the are responsible for building our muscles, it also binds to other non essential receptors and this is were the problems start, and can lead to heart, and liver problems along with shrunken balls, gyencomastia etc.
SARMS are being developed to specifically target the key receptors responsible for muscle building, bone strength and our sex drive.
Their development is in its early stages, so much so that these compounds do not have names yet, into being referred to with alpha numerical numbers.
Are SARMS Legal?
Its a good question, one that I have been asked a number of times. And the answer really depends on how you view them.
if you are thinking of using SARMS in competitions, then forget it, they are currently outlawed by WADA (word anti doping agency).
The FDA do not recognise SARMS as dietary supplements, that kind of stops them from being included in supplements – In fact some manufacturers have been warned against using them in their formulas.
Bottom Line – As it stands at the moment SARMS are not legal, they are currently only technically allowed to be used for research purposes. There is also a congressional bill being heard that if successful will class SARMS in the same illegal group of drugs as cocaine, and certain amphetamines.
The Benefits Of Taking SARMS
SARMS are thought to be more beneficial than steroids in that they can provide similar results without the risk of any potentially dangerous side effects.
Research has shown so far that they can provide enhanced muscle mass, improved bone density as well as a reduction in stored body fat.
- They can do this without causing harm to the liver
- Increasing estrogen production
- Reducing natural testosterone production
- Causing water retention
- Failing drug tests
This is why bodybuilders are stepping over each other to try and get hold of them.
The Darker Sides To SARMS
As ‘research only’ chemicals, the full range of effects, both good and bad, are not yet fully understood.
They have not been subjected to the intense levels of testing required before being released for general use.
They are not yet being tested for purity – research has shown that SARMS have shown irregular doses, and some have contained different ingredients to those listed on the labels
There have been claims that SARMS can also reduce natural testosterone production – despite claims to the opposite.
They are not as devastating to testosterone levels as anabolic steroids, but still it has been shown that just 1mg of SARMS can drastically reduce natural testosterone production, whats more it can take up to 60 days to return to normal after you stop using SARMS.
SARMS have actually been touted as an effective male contraceptive method, so effective is it at killing testosterone.
Some SARMS have in tests and trials involving rodents, have shown a rapid increase in cancer tumours in the gut.
The use of some SARMS has also been reported as causing eyesight issues, with some test subjects experiencing a yellow hue to their vision.
Experts believe that this is because SARMS can attach to the eye receptors.
While their use does not generally cause the same effects on the liver and heart that steroids can cause, there have been claims by test subjects that they can cause acne, gynecomstia (man boobs) headaches and increased amounts of body hair.
Types Of SARMS That Are Available Online ( For Testing Purposes Only)
Its not an exhaustive list, but these are some of the most common SARMS available online:
Also called Enobosarm, it was developed by GTx as treatment for muscle wasting disease and osteoporosis. Bodybuilders do think it as the ultimate SARM for muscle building AND Cutting fat. It does not however provide the same results as say Dianabol
Popular with bodybuilders used in tests and trials, thought to be very effective at boosting muscle mass. It is considered to be very effective at bulking. It does however have a high estrogenic factor.
Developed by Glaxo Smith Kline way back in the 1990’s for the treatment of heart problems. It was however, also linked to the occurrence of many forms of cancer.
It works by increasing the hearts output, helping to boost performance and endurance
Being tested for its effects in the treatment of muscle sting diseases and breast cancer.
There have been some studies that demonstrate its effectiveness at boosting muscle mass – especially when compared to the results gained by testosterone injections, but with far less side effects.
It still lacks mainstream testing and as such its effects both good and bad are still not full understood.
Developed to help treat muscle wasting diseases – with some good results in trials. It has show promise as a performance enhancer as well as an effective fat loss boosting compound.
Compared to the steroid Winstrol, it is thought to help return muscle mass the on a cutting cycle.
Originally developed as a treatment for BPH (Benign Prostatic Hypertrophy) it seems to work by blocking the receptors that bind to DHT (dihydrotestosterone) helping to reduce prostate enlargement.
Has been linked to the cause of yellow vision.
Currently being tested as a male contraceptive – thought to reduce natural testosterone production and release.
This has caused reports of reduced sex drive and sexual performance
There is some evidence that it could help with weight loss but studies are lacking.
A recognised bone density boosting SARM that can also help improve female libido.
Most test subjects find that its lacking as an anabolic enhancer in its own right, being better served when stacked with other products.
A powdered form of SARMs – thought to help strengthen the bones, boost muscle mass and increase libido.
Tests and trials haven’t produced too many side effects and does not appear to affect the prostate
One more suited to the older user, as it has been thought to help reduce the effects of low testosterone (Hypogonadism or the Andropause)
Thought to help reduce symptoms of ageing inlacing depression, reduced muscle mass and strength along with increased risk of osteoporosis and libido problems
Are SARMS Steroids?
Technically not, although they can provide similar results.
Are SARMS Safe?
The initial thoughts are that they are safe, but remember that they are still largely untested, and have been linked to some side effects.
They are not recognised or approved by the FDA as of yet and there are steps afoot in congress to make them illegal.
Can You Buy SARMS?
They can be bought legally – just as long as they are for ‘research purposes only’. Be aware however of any manufacturer claiming that they are FDA approved – they are NOT.
They can vary in cost quite considerably, with a months supply of SARS costing between $80 and $250
My Conclusion On SARMS
We all want to get the best results possible from our efforts in the gym.
But not any any risk! – sure some guys want to use anabolic steroids to boost results, but they are putting themselves at potential risk in doing so.
SARMS are considered to be safer than steroids, thats for sure, but they too still have some potential for causing health problems -they can reduce our natural hormone production, can cause vision problems and have been linked to some cancers.
They have not been tested (yet) to the extent of many other products and are still largely unregulated by official bodies.
“The chances of good results are there, thats for sure, but do you fancy taking the risk?”
I certainly don’t..and wouldn’t recommend that you do either –
If you really want to enhance your results in the gym, there are a wealth of all natural testosterone supplements that can help – whats more many of them are proven to work and are known to be free from harmful side effects.