Selective Androgen Receptor Modulators or SARMs are 'research chemicals' (drugs that haven't been approved for use by governmental bodies) able to improve strength and muscle-building capacities. These chemicals bind with androgen receptors like Anabolic steroids do, but are more selective, that means they mainly bind with androgen receptors in muscles and bones.
List of SARMs[edit | edit source]
The list is ordered by the most powerful according to recreational users:
- S23: an investigational male hormonal contraceptive which also has a great impact on muscle growth. It may (like anabolic steroids), cause typically reversible male infertility via inhibiting spermatogenesis, as it has been found to do so in male rats.
- YK11: a steroidal SARM, which is claimed to increase the follistatin level. This substance has not currently been tested in humans, or animals. Follistatin has been found in animal studies to have myostatin-inhibiting effects. This has potential implications for the effectiveness of YK-11 in inducing hypertrophy in humans, as myostatin acts to inhibit muscle growth. An extremely small number of people naturally have a genetic myostatin deficiency, which results in them gaining muscle mass extremely easily, even without strength training. Some breeds of cattle have also been selectively bred to develop this deficiency, to increase meat yields.
- Andarine: an investigational drug developed for the purpose of treating conditions like muscle wasting, osteoporosis and prostate hyperplasia. Recreational users have reported a great muscle growth, but also vision side effects.
- RAD140: a research chemical, it is currently undergoing clinical trials to examine its potential in treating muscle wasting and breast cancer. Recreational users have reported a significant strength improvement.
- Ligandrol (VK5211, LGD-4033): another research chemical, that is currently undergoing clinical trials to examine its potential for treating muscle wasting and osteoporosis. Recreational users have reported good muscle growth effects.
- Ostarine: the weakest SARM, recreational users typically use it to prevent muscle loss during a 'cutting' (weight loss) phase.
Side Effects[edit | edit source]
The FDA claims life threatening reactions, including liver toxicity, have occurred in people taking products containing SARMs. SARMs also have the potential to increase the risk of heart attack and stroke. Just like steroids, SARMs cause testosterone production suppression; this side effect can be countered by taking SERM drugs after the cycle (the so called PCT), but after multiple years of SARM usage, the testosterone suppression may be permanent.
SARMs vs Anabolic Steroids[edit | edit source]
Recreational users agree on the fact Steroids are significantly more effective in muscle building than SARMs, however SARMs have the advantage of being less harmful on human health according to clinical studies where SARMs and Steroids where compared to treat muscle wasting diseases.
Legal status[edit | edit source]
SARMs are currently legally saleable as "research samples". However, a bill was introduced to the US Congress which proposes the classification of SARMS as a controlled substance, similar to Anabolic Steroids.