What Are SARMs? Are SARMs Safe To Use?


Selective Androgen Receptor Modulators, also known as SARMs, are a group of investigational drugs. These drugs are similar to anabolic steroids because of their anabolic properties. However, unlike steroids, they have a more selective mode of action. These drugs are currently illegal for human use. However, you can easily buy them as dietary supplements. Adverse effects linked with these drugs include the risk of strokes and heart failure. 

SARMs are the latest miracle drugs causing a buzz in the fitness world. More people have been looking into the drug and finding ways to get it. Generally, SARMs are supposed to be like steroids but better. Most folks looking into these drugs intend to use them as performance enhancement drugs.

However, these drugs are still under investigation for their medicinal uses. With clinical trials still underway, they are not legal for consumption. Of course, that hasn’t stopped brands from using them as dietary supplements that you can buy off the internet.

Like any other drug, thorough research is important before trying out potentially dangerous new drugs. In this article, you will learn about SARMs, their composition, how they work, their effectiveness, and whether or not you should use them.

What Are SARMs?

Selective Androgen Receptor Modulators are investigational drugs more commonly known as SARMs. As the name suggests, a Selective Androgen Receptor Modulator works by attaching itself to androgen receptors.

Some folks are hailing SARMs as the better version of anabolic androgenic steroids. Anabolic steroids increase lean muscle mass, but they have androgenic side effects. SARMs are different as they don’t attach themselves to androgen receptors all over the body. Instead, they target specific areas like muscle or liver tissue to work their magic.

How Do SARMs Work?

Selective androgen receptor modulators are similar to anabolic steroids in terms of their ability to build lean muscle. Still, SARMs are more selective in their effects. Research on SARMs is still ongoing, but they may offer some benefits over regular steroids. Lower risk of side effects is perhaps the biggest advantage. 

Since we don’t fully understand SARMs, their mode of action isn’t obvious. However, SARMs may work by binding to androgen receptors, which are present in various tissues in the body. This action causes the receptors to send a signal to the cells to grow and mature. As a result, SARMs can help build muscles and improve bone structure.

We know that most SARMs are not steroids. Moreover, we also know that SARMs can target specific tissues in the body. As a result, it allows them for more selective use.

Bodybuilders and other fitness enthusiasts want to use SARMs as drugs to enhance sports performance. The plan is to target the muscle tissue to promote muscle growth. Thus, it will help increase the overall muscle mass in the body. However, since the drugs are still in the clinical stage, no authority allows their use.

Experts are still studying SARMs, and they need more time and proof to determine their safety and efficacy. However, medical experts also offer SARMs as a potential treatment for a variety of conditions, such as osteoporosis.

SARMs VS Anabolic Steroids: Comparison

Since SARMs and anabolic steroids act almost the same way, let’s compare the two.

  • Purpose

Both SARMs and steroids are drugs that enhance performance. They are both meant to help athletes build muscle and strength while also promoting weight loss.

Steroids may cause testosterone suppression, and on the other hand, SARMs are nonsteroidal. Moreover, some people use this very difference between the two to promote SARMs as a less harmful alternative.

  • Mode of Action

Both anabolic agents work by binding themselves to androgen receptors. A major difference between the two is SARMs’ selective nature. Where steroids will attach to any androgen receptor in the body, SARMs target specific cells.

This means SARMs only act on desirable muscles allowing users to bypass the usual problems they have with steroids. SARMs should theoretically leave unwanted parts like the kidney and liver alone.

  • Legality

Anabolic labeled steroids are completely illegal as the US classifies them as a Class III substance. The same goes for most other countries on the globe. The only way you can legally possess them is if a health care professional prescribes you. Doctors only prescribe you steroids if you have a medical condition.

SARMs aren’t completely illegal. They are just illegal to sell for human consumption. You could still get them for some other purpose. This loophole allows folks to get SARMs freely, without repercussions. All they have to say is that they’re getting SARMs to use for research or something.

  • Effectiveness

Both these anabolic agents work to give the same results. However, there is a difference in the extent of their effectiveness. So far, evidence is on the side of steroids, and folks on steroids can put on way more muscle than someone on SARMs.

Over a six to eight-week period, people on SARM experienced a one to one-and-a-half-kilogram increase in their muscle weight. On the other hand, people use steroids for muscle growth, and the total number ranges from five to seven kilograms.

  • Safety

The amount of research available to us regarding SARMs, how they work, and more is almost depressingly low. We barely know stuff about the short-term effects of these compounds while not indicating how long-term use will affect people.

On the other hand, researchers have vigorously studied steroids and their effect on the human body. Any objective debate about compound safety will be of no use since we do not have enough data.

However, if we were to judge by compounds that have, till now, passed a safety check, we would have to acknowledge steroids as the winner. That’s because FDA has approved several steroids for medical use. So they are safe in certain conditions. However, we haven’t received such indications with SARMs.

In 2017, FDA labeled SARMs as potentially dangerous and stopped the public from consuming dietary supplements containing them. Furthermore, it cracked down on brands labeling the products with these compounds as dietary supplements when they are research chemicals. We don’t recommend taking either steroids or SARMs, and that’s because they are both dangerous and can cause life-threatening reactions. Additionally, both compounds are illegal to consume.

  • Mode of Consumption

You can take steroids as pills or injectable fluids. On the other hand, actual SARMS are mostly only available as injectable liquids. It is because SARMs are research chemicals that haven’t been approved for human consumption.

People usually take SARMs by putting the liquid in their mouth and swallowing it. They might choose to take SARMs sublingually by placing the liquid under their tongue and letting it sit for a while before swallowing.

Taking SARMs through the mouth can prove dangerous as they can damage your liver when they pass through your gut. Plus, they have terrible taste. You can reduce the chances of damage by taking SARMs by injecting them directly into your bloodstream.

Of course, you can find SARMs in pill form. However, you would have to trust brands on the internet. You can buy products marketed as SARMs and hope for the best. Simply put, it is much easier to take steroids because they’re available as pills.

  • Ease of Access

Generally speaking, you can buy SARMs online through several brands. However, the problem is that you have no way of knowing if they are actually SARMs. On the other hand, steroids are harder to possess unless you have a prescription.

Folks have been getting steroids through the black market for ages. The chances of you getting real steroids are higher because people just drop the pharmacological grade steroids into the market. The same can’t be said about SARMs there’s no grade of the product approved for human use.

What Are the Prospective Medical Applications of SARMs?

Currently, scientists are investigating how SARMs can help with various medical conditions. SARMs have the potential to be able to treat conditions like osteoporosis, several cancer types, hypogonadism, Alzheimer’s disease, and more.

  • Osteoporosis

The current treatment for osteoporosis is testosterone therapy. Unfortunately, that treatment has some side effects. SARMs can help improve bone strength and prevent further bone loss because they can increase bone density in patients. These advantages are the reason why scientists are hopeful that we can use SARMs to treat osteoporosis.

  • Cancer

Selective Androgen Receptor Modulators have the potential to treat prostate cancer patients. Moreover, SARMs can activate androgen receptors in a way that is toxic to cancer cells. Apart from this, SARMs can help with the diagnosis of prostate cancer, and we can use radioactive SARMS to image prostatic cancer. Researchers are also investigating SARMs as a possible treatment for breast cancer.

  • Muscular Dystrophy

Muscular Dystrophy is a progressive disease that causes the muscles to weaken, and it is a degenerative disease that leads to increased disability over time. Theoretically, SARMs could promote protein synthesis and increase muscle mass in such patients. Previously, researchers had seen similar effects with oxandrolone during human clinical trials. However, there were some major side effects.

  • Other Diseases

Scientists are also investigating SARMs as treatment options for other conditions like Benign Prostatic Hyperplasia, Alzheimer’s disease, and Cachexia. Additionally, researchers are looking into how one can use SARMs can act as contraceptives in men.

Clinical trials involving rat models showed that SARMs were 66.67% effective in preventing pregnancies. The effects were temporary, and the rats became completely fertile as soon as they discontinued SARMs.

Types of Selective Androgen Receptor Modulators, SARMs

There are tons of different types of SARMs. However, you only a few of those types in dietary supplements. Those are:

  • Ostarine

Out of all the SARM types, Ostarine is the one that researchers have studied the most. Ostarine has the potential to treat muscle wasting diseases because of its muscle-building capabilities. Taking Ostarine can help you increase your lean muscles. That’s also the reason why people are so interested in trying it for recreational use.

Using Ostarine can make you experience nausea, fatigue, headaches, and back in terms of mild side effects. When people take this anabolic agent recreationally, they use much higher doses. In such high doses, Ostarine can suppress your body’s testosterone production. If you don’t get enough testosterone, you will get erectile dysfunction, lesser libido, weakness, weight gain, and more.

  • Ligandrol

Ligandrol can supposedly help you bulk up by increasing muscle mass and strength. However, there was only one clinical trial involving the drug. People take this anabolic agent at 5-10 mg doses to bulk up; however, the trial only studied dosages up to 1 mg.

Even at 1 mg, Ligandrol showed evidence of hormone suppression. It reduced the amounts of follicle-stimulating hormone and testosterone. However, there were no changes in luteinizing hormone levels.

  • Andarine

Andarine is another Selective Androgen Receptor Modulator. However, it is not as strong as other SARMs. That’s why fitness gurus recommend using it with some other SARM. Apparently, Andarine can help you lose weight while building and repairing muscle. The side effects from this SARM include tinged vision and reduced testosterone levels. However, you should know that there have been no clinical trials with Andarine. So we don’t know anything solid about possible health risks.

  • Testolone

Testolone is reportedly the strongest SARM. It’s still in the first stage of trials where health professionals are focusing on its effectiveness against muscle wasting and breast cancer. The anabolic agent has muscle growth promoting capabilities.

We do not know much about the compound. However, someone reported liver damage after taking the SARM. We don’t know the dosage, but the problem resolved itself when the person stopped taking the drug.

Products Being Marketed as SARMs

Some unscrupulous companies have been marketing other compounds as SARMs. These are:

  • Stenabolic

Stenabolic is also known as SR9009 and is a research drug. The compound was developed by Professor Thomas Burris of Scripps Research Institute. It is classed as a Rev-ErbA agonist, which means it has the ability to influence genes associated with fat and sugar metabolism.

It is thought that Stenabolic could help to burn fat, improve cholesterol levels and help to control diabetes. Stenabolic is not currently available for human use, but many people are interested in using it for its potential benefits.

There is still much research to be done on Stenabolic, but it is thought that it could be a very promising drug for helping people to lose weight and improve their health. However, if you are interested in using Stenabolic, you should speak to your doctor to see if it is right for you.

  • Ibutamoren

Ibutamoren (MK-677) is a drug that acts as a potent, long-acting, orally active growth hormone secretagogue, mimicking the GH-stimulating action of the endogenous hormone ghrelin. It has been demonstrated to increase both muscle mass and bone mineral density in animal models. 

  • Cardarine

Cardarine is often marketed as a SARM or selective androgen receptor modulator. They’re sometimes referred to as “tissue-selective anabolic agents. However, cardarine is not technically a SARM but is a PPARδ receptor agonist. Cardarine activates the PPARδ receptor. This receptor is found in many tissues, including fat and muscle tissue.

Cardarine was developed in the 1990s as a potential treatment for obesity and diabetes. However, animal studies showed that it had the potential to increase muscle mass and endurance. As a result, we should wait for confirmation instead of blindly believing animal results and implying them to humans. Experts are now studying cardarine as a potential treatment for a variety of conditions, including obesity, diabetes, and heart disease.

Cardarine is usually taken in pill form. The recommended dosage is 20-30 mg per day. The FDA does not currently approve Cardarine for any use. However, it is legal to purchase and use in the United States.

  • Ostarine

Ostarine (MK-2866) is a selective androgen receptor modulator (SARM) that GTx developed for the prevention and treatment of muscle wasting. It has the ability to promote muscle growth while also helping to prevent bone loss. 

Ostarine is currently studied as a potential treatment for a variety of conditions, including osteoporosis, cancer, and muscle wasting. Ostarine is usually taken in pill form. The recommended dosage is 25 mg per day. The FDA does not currently approve Ostarine for any use. However, it is legal to purchase and use in the United States.

  • Andarine

Andarine (S-4) is a SARM that GTx developed for the treatment of muscle wasting. It has the ability to promote muscle development while also helping to prevent bone loss. Andarine is currently being studied as a potential treatment for a variety of conditions, including osteoporosis, cancer, and muscle wasting. Andarine is usually taken in pill form. The recommended dosage is 50 mg per day. The FDA does not currently approve Andarine for any use. However, it is legal to purchase and use in the United States.

Are SARMs as good as Steroids?

SARMs may seem harmless and a much better alternative to anabolic steroids. However, they do not have FDA approval. SARMs are unapproved drugs meaning it is illegal to sell them. Nevertheless, you can get them through the internet, where people advertise them as dietary supplements.

In 2017, FDA issued warning letters to multiple brands for using one or more sarms in their products. The department also released a public statement saying that they had serious safety concerns about brands that use Selective Androgen Receptor Modulators, SARMs, in their body-building products. Additionally, they advised the public to stop using such body-building products immediately and contact their doctors for any adverse reactions.

Later, the Department of Defense also discouraged army personnel and other folks from using SARMS through their Operation Supplement Safety resources. They further clarified that these research chemicals could pose significant health risks like liver problems, increased cholesterol levels, and more.

Health Risks of Consuming SARMs 

SARMs are a class of drugs that act similarly to anabolic steroids but with fewer androgenic properties. This makes them attractive to bodybuilders and athletes looking to improve the existing systems of their bodies. There is a lot of debate surrounding the use of SARMs, with many people claiming that they are a safe and effective way to build muscle. However, there is also some evidence to suggest that SARMs may pose a threat to consumers. 

Some of the potential dangers of taking SARMs include increased risk of heart attack and stroke, liver and kidney damage, aggressive behavior, masculinization in women, etc. 

  • Heart Attack

SARMs can have serious side effects, including an increased risk of a heart attack. Men who take SARMs have a significantly higher risk of having a heart attack than men who did not take SARMs. Additionally, men who took SARMs for longer periods of time were more likely to experience heart attacks than those who took them for shorter periods of time. 

As a result, it is important to be aware of the possible risks of taking SARMs before starting any type of supplement regimen. Anyone with a history of heart disease should speak with a doctor before taking SARMs or any other type of performance-enhancing drug. 

  • Liver Damage 

SARMs provide the benefits of traditional steroids by improving bone density and the mass of muscles. The benefits make them appealing to athletes and bodybuilders looking to improve their performance without the risks associated with steroids. However, recent studies have suggested that SARMs may be associated with liver failure. While more research is needed to confirm these findings, medical experts suggest that SARMS may not be as safe as previously thought. As a result, athletes and bodybuilders should be aware of the potential risks before using these substances.

  • Kidney Failure 

People consume SARMs to increase the quality and lifespan of their time on earth. However, it is possible that SARMs may cause kidney failure. As more research is required, it will be important to monitor the potential risks of taking SARMs, especially if one takes them in large doses or for extended periods of time. 

How Can Consumers Protect Themselves From Fraudulent or Dangerous SARM Products?

As the popularity of SARMs continues to grow, so does the number of companies selling fraudulent or dangerous products. Consumers must be aware of the potential risks associated with taking SARMs and take steps to protect themselves. One way to do this is to only purchase SARMS from reputable companies that have a history of providing safe and effective products. It’s also important to read the ingredients list carefully and research any unfamiliar ingredients. Finally, consumers should be aware of the signs of SARM-related side effects and contact a healthcare provider if they experience any adverse effects. By taking these precautions, consumers can help protect themselves from fraudulent or dangerous SARM products.

Dietary Supplements Containing SARMs

The Council for Responsible Nutrition released guidelines that discourage brands from using Selective Androgen Receptor Modulators, SARMS, in dietary supplements. They reiterated that SARMS could have potentially life-threatening consequences.

However, the dietary supplement industry isn’t as strictly regulated. So, you have to be extra careful with the products that you use. Be sure to read all the ingredient lists thoroughly to ensure that there are no potentially dangerous ingredients.

Dietary Supplement Product Labels

You can scan the dietary supplement product labels for the more popularly used SARMs. These SARMs include Andarine, Ligandrol, Enobosarm, Sustalone, and experimental drugs like Cardarine.


Be extra cautious when taking any dietary supplement. If a product contains a SARM, the FDA considers it an unapproved drug, and this means that the product is likely to be illegal. In addition, SARMs could have potentially life-threatening consequences. So, only take supplements that you trust and always consult with your healthcare provider before taking any supplement, especially if you have a medical condition.

World Anti-Doping Agency About SARMs?

The World Anti-Doping Agency has banned all athletes from taking Selective Androgenic Receptor Modulators. It doesn’t matter if the athlete is competing or not; they can not take SARMs at any time.

Your level doesn’t matter either. You could be an olympian or a college league player; no one will allow you to take SARM supplements. WADA classifies SARMs as Other Anabolic Agents on its prohibited list.

The reason for banning these compounds is simple. Their anabolic properties mean they can provide enhanced functionality to an athlete, which gives them an unfair advantage over their opponents. Additionally, these research chemicals stimulate muscle and bone growth, and this extra ‘unnatural’ growth would again be unfair toward other players.

What Does SARMs do to Your Body? – Key Takeaways

SARMs are a relatively new class of performance-enhancing drugs that have been growing in popularity. They offer many benefits, including improved muscle mass and definition, increased strength, and faster recovery times. However, they also come with some risks, so it is essential to do your research before using them. There are many different types of selective androgen receptor modulators available on the market. 

As a result, it is important to remember that not all of these products are technically SARMs. Some of them, like cardarine and ostarine, are actually PPARδ receptor agonists. If you want to use any of these products for whatever reason, it is important to speak to your doctor first. The FDA does not currently approve these products for any use, and they may have potential side effects. Therefore, it is important to be safe and use these products under the supervision of a medical professional.

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