There has been an absolute frenzy recently about the apparent steroid substitute called selective androgen receptor modulators, better known as SARMs. But are SARMs dangerous?
People, mainly young men, are taking SARMs and the trend has spread across various social media platforms like tik tok. The drug is apparently supposed to provide the benefits of steroids like muscle growth, fat loss and vascularity, without the unattractive side effects.
Throughout this article, I will be explaining what SARMs are, why people are taking them and hopefully help you decide if they are right for you.
What Are SARMs?
According to USDA.org, SARMs or selective androgen receptor modulators, are drugs classified as therapeutic compounds that have similar anabolic characteristics to steroids but with less androgenic properties. Androgenic properties include male characteristics like high testosterone and body hair, which means SARMs can supposedly provide the same muscle gain and fat loss potential as anabolic steroids but without the heavy male side effects.
The main difference between SARMs and anabolic steroids is the body tissues they effect. SARMs only bind to certain androgen receptors in certain areas of the body, while anabolic steroids bind to androgen receptors all over the body.
Hence why they are called SELECTIVE androgen receptor modulators.
SARMs were originally created to help combat muscle wasting from various diseases like cancer, HIV and heart disease. Their selective properties would allow doctors to target certain parts of the body without effecting non-related parts.
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Why Would People Take Them?
SARMs have not been approved by the FDA to treat any diseases or improve any conditions. They currently are for investigation purposes only and are still relatively early in the research process. In fact, doctors are not even allowed to legally prescribe SARMs.
This does not stop people from attaining them, however. Some companies sell them without FDA approval and market them as “research chemicals”. Selling them under this category is the only legal way to sell them as it is illegal to list them as anything else like dietary supplements.
So why would someone take them then? Simple. They have the potential to provide amazing physical benefits like:
- Increased muscle size and strength
- Improved fat loss potential
- Increased lean mass
- Lower estrogen levels
- Increased insulin sensitivity in the muscles
- Improved recovery time
Another reason why so many people, especially young people, take them is because of how they are marketed.
Many social media platforms and news outlets market SARMs as “steroids without the side effects” and portray them as possessing all the benefits of steroids without the unwanted side effects like high blood pressure, hair loss and acne.
This is simply not the case.
What Are The Side Effects?
Naturally, since SARMs aren’t approved by the FDA there are going to be some controversial side effects. Like I said earlier, they are marketed as “steroids without the side effects” but is this statement true?
Well, according to the FDA, not only are the long-term health effects of selective androgen receptor modulators unknown, but they have already shown the potential to:
- Increase the risk of a heart attack or stroke
- Negatively effect the liver and other organs
- Raise blood pressure
- Increase anxiety
- Cause impotence
- Shrink testicles in males
- Cause hair loss
Here is a direct quote from Donald Ashley, director of the Office of Compliance in the FDA’s center for Drug Evaluation and Research:
“We are extremely concerned about unscrupulous companies marketing body-building products with potentially dangerous ingredients. Body-building products that contain selective androgen receptor modulators, or SARMs, have not been approved by the FDA and are associated with serious safety concerns, including potential to increase the risk of heart attack or stroke and life threatening reactions like liver damage”
He even stated that the FDA is vowing to take legal action against any company wrongfully marketing SARMs. Yikes.
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Are SARMs Really All That Different From Steroids?
I’ll answer this very quickly for you guys, no, SARMs are not much different from steroids. They provide potentially the same benefits, maybe even less, than steroids and cause the same negative side effects.
For those of you who are unaware, anabolic steroids are a grouping of synthetic hormones derived from testosterone to medically promote tissue growth in those fighting various diseases and it just so happens many people also use them to promote muscle growth and strength gains (wow sounds a lot like another drug I know).
In fact, one of the main differences between SARMs and actual steroids is that actual steroids can be prescribed by a pharmacist or doctor while SARMs cannot.
The side effects of anabolic steroids are very similar to SARMs as well including:
- Liver damage
- Increased risk for heart attack or stroke
- Eye damage
- Hair loss
- Increased risk of diabetes and high blood sugar
All in all, in a couple of years from now, with some more studies conducted, I’m sure more people will realize how similar the two drugs really are.
So… Should You Use Them?
I hope that if you made it this far into the article, you already know the answer to this question.
If you care about your long term health and want to make sure you don’t mess up your body for the future…DO NOT TAKE SARMs. At least until more studies are done or healthier alternatives are found.
SARMs or selective androgen receptor modulators were created to help prevent muscle wasting in those suffering from various health diseases and were not meant for recreational use.
Although they boast some pretty impressive benefits like increased lean muscle mass and strength, lower body fat percentage, and lowered estrogen levels they also come with some unpleasant side effects similar to steroids like hair loss, increase chance of a heart attack, and organ failure.
All in all, SARMs are not much different from actual anabolic steroids. They may be marketed differently but they are virtually the same thing. Obviously, it is your choice if you want to take them but this choice comes with a lot of unknown risk.
Personally, I would listen to the FDA and stay away from them for now, at least until more research is done and more is known about the drugs.
If you enjoyed this article, please feel free to leave a comment below and share your opinion on the recreational use of SARMs!