Have you heard of SARMS a.k.a. Selective Androgen Receptor Modulators? It’s dubbed as a steroid alternative that’s said to be the most efficient for cycling steroids and PCT (post cycle therapy).
Today, I’ll talk about SARMS and give you the 401 to help give you a glimpse on everything there is to know about it.
What are SARMs?
The topic of SARMs (or selective androgen receptor modulators) have been a controversial one since the early 90s when they were first introduced in mainstream science. Now this isn’t to say that SARMs haven’t been around long before this period. In the 1940s, steroidal SARMs have been used for medical use in multiple diseases including cancer, hypogonadism, osteoporosis, and a number of other diseases that affect muscle and bone wasting. These SARMs had a very strong effect on muscle building due to its “high affinity”, which in non-scientific terms means it’s attraction to a receptor is high and that is what makes a chemical reaction in the body more powerful.
Unfortunately, steroidal SARMs came with side effects such as estrogen conversion causing gynecomastia (puffy sensitive nipples in men), decreased libido, and damage to the liver and kidneys (related to its methylation). Another side effect was that steroids can change the DNA of multiple cells such as the prostate and heart cause them to enlarge.
Steroidal VS Non Steroidal SARMs
In the early 1990s, scientist created a non-steroidal version of these SARMs by making them protein based. The difference between these two types of SARMs is most easily described as a lock and key system. The cells in the body act as locks and the binding sites of the cells are like key holes. Steroidal SARMs have the ability to act like a master key unlocking every cell to promote protein synthesis and growth, even in cells you don’t want to “unlock”.
Nonsteroidal SARMs are designed specifically for one type of lock, therefore, it will only affect areas of the DNA that prevent muscle and bone wastage while also promoting growth in these areas.
Nonsteroidal SARMs have been used for bodybuilding, powerlifting and a multitude of other sports since the start of it popularity. Their benefit to side effect ratio have been tested since the 1990s with no evidence suggesting harm. This breakthrough in scientific technology continues to suggest SARMs is the future of anabolics and will eventually replace steroid therapy.
Now this is not to say that nonsteroidal SARMs are the answers to all our problems. Although a protein based SARMs have very limited side effects with large benefits for strength and muscle gains, they also require a much longer period of use and cannot yet compare to the effectiveness of a steroid. The comparison of benefits and unwanted side effects have been researched for decades.
Unlike testosterone cypionate, SARMS are more than 200 times more powerful in muscle stimulation and 80 times more selective for muscle.
SARMS vs. Prohormones
Prohormones were the first ones introduced to the market. However, steroids or testosterone supplements don’t have the muscle growth effects of authentic steroids and they carry the same adverse side effects making them unsafe for human use.
Meanwhile, SARMS are an upgrade of anabolic steroids. It can be administered orally, minimizing the effects in testosterone blood levels. SARMS are also believed to cure various diseases which steroids and other medicines treated earlier. It also shows promise to replace androgen which can yield similar desirable results on muscle tissue as steroids.
According to a study conducted by the World Anti-doping Agency (WADA), approximately tenth of the worlds athletic population uses SARMS (particularly Ostarine) to enhance their body and performance (which is considered a safe performance boost).
Studies have shown the ability of SARMs to increase muscle and bone mass dramatically in animals while having no adverse impact on the prostate. Phase I trials of SARMs in humans have also reported significant increases in lean muscle mass. The two most talked about SARMs among bodybuilders are SARM S-4 a.k.a. Acetamidoxolutamide and SARM S-1: a.k.a. Ostarine or MK 2866.
How Do SARMS Work?
As we age, our endurance, power and skeletal muscle mass deteriorates due to the loss of type 2 muscle fibers. This hinders individuals to function normally. With SARMS, skeletal muscle mass and strength in androgen-deficient people can be enhanced.
There are 2 types of administering SARMS – orally or in injectable dosages. The anabolic effect is expected to be the same as testosterone. Moreover, it’s also said to produce dose-dependent improvements in bone mineral density and motorized strength apart from the ability to decrease body fat and increase lean body mass.
SARMS link to the same receptors that old steroids such as Dianabol and testosterone would connect to, but minus the drawbacks and side effects of traditional steroids and prohormones. This is a fresh start in the advancement of muscle pharmacology as SARMS can help enhance muscle mass, while helping you reduce body fat and boost athletic performance beyond your imagination.
The Most Popular SARMS
There are many SARMS, but here are the 4 main SARMS that are currently offered and most applicable to athletes, bodybuilders and fitness enthusiasts:
LGD-4033 – a potent, non-steroidal bodybuilding supplement for enhancing lean muscle mass and reducing body fat
Ostarine (MK-2866) – selective for anabolic activity at certain ARs, great for maintaining and increasing lean body mass and recomping
S4 (Andarine) – selective for bone tissue (mostly low virilization), aimed to cure osteoporosis and won’t produce the development of prostate and other secondary sexual organs
RAD140 – this is probably one of the most exciting SARMs, as well as the most current. In fact, aside from the muscle building effects seems to look like a possible cure for Alzheimer.
The Benefits of SARMS
SARMS is believed to have the capacity to employ the benefits of anabolic supplements while reducing the side effects of steroids.
Non-toxic (won’t cause liver damage)
Avoids bone loss (direct action of testosterone in bone thru the AR-mediated conduit is critical for its anabolic effects in bone)
Decreases the threat of prostate problems in men without muscle mass loss
Won’t impede your HPTA
Similar effects with testosterone
No estrogen and Dihydrotestosterone (a hydrogen hormone) conversion
For muscle builders, taking SARMS will give:
Muscle loss prevention (during cutting period)
Lean muscle development
Faster injury recovery
Joint healing abilities
PCT use following anabolics
Let’s a took at a few of these benefits in more detail…
Increased muscle strength
In the Asian Journal of Andrology, subjects increased muscle strength 20x more than those in the placebo group. Subjects continued to gain strength and size in muscle tissue for up to 5 months but with significant decreases in effectiveness after the 3rd month (Dalton et al, 2014).
Increased muscle size
Deductive evidence has proven a significant increase in muscle tissue hypertrophy (growth of muscle tissue). Inductive evidence suggests subjects will gain between 3 to 15 lbs of muscle tissue over the a 12 week period (Dubois et al, 2015). The amount of muscle hypertrophy is dependent on diet, training, and the characteristics of the SARM. Mild SARMs such as MK2866 will range much lower in hypertrophy than more potent SARMs such as RAD140 or LGD4033.
According to the Oxford Academic journal of Endocrinology, nonsteroidal SARMs have been designed to attach itself to area of the DNA responsible for skeletal muscle protein synthesis. Unlike other anabolic agents, non steroidal SARMs do not affect any other tissues in the body (Dubois et al, 2015).
Inhibits cancer cell division
In an unrelated study to muscle growth performed by the Public Library of Science’s (PLOS) Peer Reviewed Open Access Journal, nonsteroidal SARMs have been studied for its effects on breast cancer. Androgen receptors are known to play a pivotal role in the treatment of breast cancer and due to the inability for nonsteroidal SARMs to convert to estrogen, there is a very narrow probability for negative repercussions. The results have not only confirmed that tumor cells decrease in weight by 90%, but it may even inhibit the potential for breast cancer development (Dalton et al, 2014).
Regulation of libido
Recent studies have indicated healthy increases in sexual desire in both men and women with the use of nonsteroidal SARMs. The males with hypogonadism, testosterone therapy is a common practice. In testosterone therapy there are many side effects that result is severe consequences for the user, such as thickening of the blood (commonly causing strokes and heart attacks), enlargement or development of cancer on the prostate, and gynecomastia (characterized as the development of female breast on men) due to an overproduction of estrogen. A 2014 article published by the Asian Journal of Andrology stated “SARM’s beneficial pharmacology and desirable pharmacokinetics offer considerable promise in the treatment of late onset hypogonadism. The convenience of once daily oral therapy combined with defined safety margins surrounding a proven efficacious dosage form may one day challenge testosterone replacement therapy as the gold standard in treating late onset hypogonadism” (Dalton et al, 2014).
In the Journal of Pharmacology and Experimental Therapeutics, Researcher reported positive effects of nonsteroidal SARMs on females with low sexual motivation indicating noticeable increases in sexual desire (Jones et al, 2010).
Safety and tolerability
In the Oxford Journal of Gerontology Series A: Biological Sciences and Medical Sciences, the popular nonsteroidal SARM LGD 4033 (Ligandrol) has been recently studied for it’s effectiveness and safety in healthy young men. Results were favorable indicated by hormone and lipid levels returning to normal without the use of a post cycle therapy. No dangers were detected throughout the study. although there was noticeable suppression in testosterone and HDL cholesterol, it was not significant enough to cause adverse reactions. Because LGD 4033 is considered one of the strongest and most potent nonsteroidal SARMs available, it is not likely that less potent SARMs will produce any harmful effects (Bhasin, 2010).