Selective Androgen Receptor Modulator (SARMs): Introduction
Selective androgen receptor modulators or SARMs are a class of androgen receptor ligands used to prevent osteoporosis and muscle loss. SARMs can also help in reducing the risk of developing prostate cancer. However, SARMs are mainly used these days in various dietary supplements for fitness enthusiasts.
Why do Bodybuilders Use SARMs?
Bodybuilders and people with physically challenging jobs use SARMs for intensive physical hard work and gaining lean muscle mass.
However, The World Anti-Doping Agency has banned using SARMs in sports in 2008.
Athletes consider SARMs safer than other performance-enhancing drugs, such as steroids, because they have fewer side effects and are selective in their actions.
SARMs can also be very useful for medical purposes as they can treat muscle wasting caused by diseases such as:
- Heart failure
- Liver disease
Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease
However, it is essential to note that SARMs are not currently approved for humans anywhere in the world.
Moreover, a public health advisory released by Health Canada in March 2020 advocated against using SARMs, stating that bodybuilding products that contain SARMs can cause serious health issues, including heart attack, strokes and liver damage.
Are SARMs Steroids?
No, selective androgen receptor modulators (SARMs) are not steroids.
SARMs are a class of drugs with synthetic ligands that bind to androgen receptors. These act in a similar way and help to obtain a perfect masculine body. They have fewer side effects than anabolic steroids and provide the same results.
Although both SARMs and steroids can provide almost the same benefits in promoting lean muscle mass, SARMs can help you reduce the risks and other undesirable side effects caused by steroids.
Furthermore, steroids can give you results faster than SARMs but also risk your health. SARMs will provide slower results than steroids but protect your body from unwanted harm and risks.
Are Androgen Receptor Modulators SARMs Better than Performance Enhancing Drugs?
Selective androgen receptor modulators, often abbreviated as SARMs, are a class of therapeutic compounds providing similar properties to anabolic steroids but with reduced androgenic properties.
The most important factor which gives SARMs an edge over other performance-enhancing drugs is that they stimulate anabolism without the side effects caused by steroids.
Although it would be wrong to say that SARMs have no side effects, they are inevitably less than the side effects of other performance-enhancing drugs like steroids. Its side effects include:
- Mood swings
- Decreased testicular size
How Do SARMs Steroids Work for Muscle Building & Lean Muscle Mass?
Mechanism of Action
As their name implies, the selective androgen receptor modulator or SARMs can bind with specific receptors where steroids and other performance-enhancing drugs bind to random androgen receptors in the body.
Specific SARMs target different receptors and help keep the other receptors unaffected.
Once SARMs are linked with the androgen receptors in the body, they improve protein synthesis and overall strength.
SARMs vs Steroids
SARMs and steroids are two different things.
Both SARMs and steroids provide similar benefits, but both of these follow entirely different mechanisms.
Although it would be wrong to say that there are no side effects of using SARMs dietary supplements, the intensity of these side effects is inevitably less severe than steroids. For example, nausea caused by taking SARMs will be less severe as compared to nausea caused by taking steroids. It means that SARMs can provide you with all the benefits steroids can with a lower side effects risk.
Another difference is that our bodies convert most steroids into estrogen. High levels of estrogen cause bloating, breast swelling and indigestion.
On the other hand, since SARMs don’t aromatize into estrogen, these side effects are not likely to happen.
Also, the results of SARMs can be a little slow compared to the results of steroids, but they are much safer. You will start to see the results in approximately four to eight weeks.
Are SARMs a Safe Alternative to Steroids for Gaining Lean Muscle Mass?
There is a lack of research because SARMs are a safe alternative to steroids for promoting muscle growth, yet researchers are studying other possible uses of SARMs.
What are the Benefits of SARMs for Muscle Growth?
Selective androgen receptor modulators are performance-enhancing drugs that can offer you a wide range of benefits ranging from the treatment of muscle wasting caused by different diseases, help in bodybuilding without the side effects caused by anabolic-androgenic steroids to improving cholesterol levels.
However, it is of utmost importance to note that you should use them in your daily life only after consulting with your doctor.
Some of the most common and popular SARMs include:
It is beneficial in burning fat and promoting muscle strength. It can also reduce stress and some mental health conditions. It promotes feelings of well-being.
Ostarine is used to improve athletic performance and endurance. It helps speed up the body’s metabolism resulting in increased energy levels.
It resembles testosterone, so it can help improve muscle mass. It is one of the recently developed SARMs.
It is known to improve bone density and muscle growth. It also helps to reduce recovery time, providing more training time. It can also help in increasing physical strength.
It promotes fat loss while reducing water retention and bloating. Reducing water retention in the body can aid in weight loss.
It helps increase hormone levels and improve muscle gain, bone density, appetite and energy levels.
In Conclusion SARMS
There is no doubt that selective androgen receptor modulators are better than steroids as they provide all the same benefits but without side effects because they target specific androgen receptors in contrast with steroids which target all available receptors in the body.
SARMs can help promote fat loss while increasing strength, endurance, athletic performance, and muscle mass.
Also, SARMs help treats several diseases, including osteoporosis, wasting syndrome, cancer and Alzheimer’s. It is also highly significant that although it is legal to sell SARMs as research chemicals yet their sale as capsules for human consumption or as dietary supplements is illegal.
Given the above details, we can conclude that SARMs can provide several benefits, but these can be risky too. You should consult your doctor before using these and never use them without the permission of certified health care professional.
- Christiansen, A.R., Lipshultz, L.I., Hotaling, J.M., Pastuszak, A.W. (2020). Selective androgen receptor modulators: the future of androgen therapy? Transl Androl Urol, 9(Suppl 2), S135-S148. doi: 10.21037/tau.2019.11.02. PMID: 32257854; PMCID: PMC7108998.
- Louis, D. Seven Different Types of SARMs and What They Can Do for You. https://www.liveson.org/seven-different-types-of-sarms-and-what-they-can-do-for-you/