SARMS: What Are They, How They Work, and What Are Their Effects?
As SARMs are selective in their action, many users believe they cause fewer side effects, making them a safer alternative to other performance-enhancing drugs such as steroids. However, they may not always be as safe as many think.
In this article, we will talk about Selective Androgen Receptor Modulators (SARMs), by whom and why they were developed, how they work in particular, and what potential risks they entail. However, in order to bring our readers to a common level of knowledge beforehand, we must first clarify what SARMs are.
What Are SARM’S?
From a traditional point of view, SARMs, as the full name suggests, are substances that selectively, i.e. explicitly, dock onto the androgen receptors in the body and develop their effect. Androgens are a class of hormones that belong to steroids. The most prominent example of androgen is testosterone, the male sex hormone in the body. “Androgen” means that these substances have a masculinizing effect, which is expressed in the primary and secondary masculine gender characteristics (beard growth, deeper voice). Nevertheless, women also have a certain level of androgens, which mainly controls their sex drive.
Despite many scientific studies proving SARMs are relatively well-tolerated, more research is required to determine the long-term health effects of taking SARMs, particularly in high doses.
Why They Were Developed
SARMs were actually developed specifically for medical use in the 1990s, but are increasingly being used in bodybuilding and for other athletes. The first tests showed great results in terms of muscle growth, fat loss, and counteracting prostate overgrowth, which is common when taking other substances. Selective androgen receptor modulators have been identified as promising drugs that may have specific uses in various diseases (e.g. muscle wasting and other muscle diseases, osteoporosis, obesity, etc.). These are potential drugs that are currently still partially researched or are already in clinical test phases. The best-known and currently best-researched SARMs are Ostarine and Andarine.
How SARMS Work
SARMs work similarly to anabolic and androgenic steroids, and they do so pretty quickly. Users record great gains in strength and lean muscle mass – without fat and water retention. Regeneration is also accelerated. Since androgens are also involved in bone metabolism and prevent the breakdown of bone substances, SARMs can also do a good job here.
To understand exactly how it works, you have to take a look at your own body. Because the body actually has everything we humans need, including hormones. The hormone testosterone in particular is not only known but has a number of tasks to perform. More precisely, it is a sex hormone that is also known as androgen.
These androgens are responsible for a deeper voice, as well as for beard growth or muscle building. Androgens can only develop their full effect in the body, and this happens in three ways. The androgen receptors bind to the cells. Another way is the conversion into the hormone dihydrotestosterone in short (DHT), which then binds to the androgen receptors. In addition, the hormone, estradiol or even estrogen can convert. It’s just a different type that attaches to cell receptors. This is also known as the estrogen receptor.
So far it is indirectly about SARMS or selective androgen receptor modulators, but to understand how SARMS works, this explanation is necessary. Because normally the body regulates androgen production, whereby the body takes the greatest care here. In doing so, the body practically sends signals, which can then stimulate or stop production.
This never creates an imbalance, which is completely different from anabolic steroids. Anyone who takes anabolic steroids now practically floods the cells with androgens until the receptors are completely saturated. That sounds very good, but it is not entirely safe. While muscles grow, it can be seriously damaging to your health. Some damage is even irreversible, which then lasts for a lifetime.
SARMs Vs. Steroids
The biggest advantage of SARMs over anabolic steroids, prohormones, etc is that they have significantly fewer or no side effects. They work selectively and therefore do not affect the prostate, hormone levels, and so on. Most users are also in favor of SARMs being available orally. You can take the active ingredient in capsule or tablet form and do not have to inject it regularly into the muscles or the subcutaneous fat tissue. While steroids also suppress the concentration of LH (luteinizing hormone) and FSH (follicle-stimulating hormone) – which can lead to infertility – SARMs generally do not.
SARMs are considered the safer alternative to steroids, prohormones, etc because they achieve similar results in terms of muscle building and fat reduction, but have close to no side effects. Comparing SARMs to steroids, the only disadvantage is that they tend to put greater stress on the liver than conventional injectable steroids.
Different Types Of SARMS
There are several types of SARMs. While each SARM has a slightly different effect on the body, in general, every SARM will help you build muscle and lose fat. Additionally, many compounds, such as YK-11 and MK-677, are grouped under the “SARM” category, despite not being SARMs.
Mentioned below are a few popular SARMs on the market:
- Ostarine (MK-2866)
- Andarine (S4)
- Testolone (RAD-140)
- Ligandrol (LGD-4033)
Athletes are not permitted to use SARMs since they are on the WADA list of prohibited substances. Moreover, the United States Anti Doping Agency, otherwise known as USADA, has also banned athletes from using them.
Although SARMs are strictly prohibited in the Olympics, they are completely legal to sell online for research purposes. At present, SARMs are Not sold as dietary supplements, but rather as “research chemicals” that are not meant for human consumption.
Since the pharmaceutical industry seems to have little interest in SARMs for economic reasons, according to some experts, research on this is still in its infancy and long-term effects are therefore hardly predictable so far. Therefore everyone who consumes SARMs acts on their own responsibility and should undergo regular medical examinations.