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Are you thinking about experimenting with SARMs but wondering are SARMs safe? SARMs are powerful drugs, not supplements. All drugs have benefits and side effects. We’ll take a look at the side effects of SARMs and determine if they are safe or not.
What are SARMs?
SARMs are quickly becoming one of the most popular underground drugs for bodybuilding and athletic performance enhancement but what are SARMs? SARMs are selective androgen receptor modulators. They are a type of drug that binds to androgen receptors in the body and produces muscle growth, similar to anabolic steroids. However, SARMs are selective in nature. Steroids tend to target all receptors where SARMs only target specific androgen receptors. This gives SARMs a different side effect profile than anabolic steroids.
These drugs were originally created to treat conditions like muscle wasting disease and osteoporosis. These are very powerful compounds that have shown extreme results in muscle growth.
What are the Positives Benefits of SARMs?
SARMs are known mainly for their muscle-building properties but they have a lot of benefits to the human body. Users have reported several benefits including:
- Increases the amount of lean muscle on the body.
- Makes the body recover from workouts much faster.
- Protective properties for joints and tendons.
- Can cause increases in bone density and overall bone health.
- Has shown potential to help those with heart disease.
- Improves insulin resistance and blood glucose levels.
- Helps to speed up the metabolism and increase the rate at which fat is burned.
What are the Potential Side Effects of SARMs?
SARMs are very strong and powerful with many benefits. However, there are some side effects of SARMs. Since there are not many human trials of some of these drugs, most of the side effects are reported by users. These potential side effects include the potential for erectile dysfunction, gynecomastia, hair loss, liver damage, visual disturbances, high blood pressure, skin rashes, and suppression of natural hormone levels.
Most of these side effects are reported to go away after stopping the usage of SARMs. For example, one of the more concerning side effects is the potential for liver damage since these are an oral compound. There was a study that shows a man who used SARMs for 4 weeks had elevated liver enzyme levels. These liver enzymes are typical indicators of liver damage. However, 12 months after this user stopped using SARMs his blood work went back to normal. This suggests that the liver stress was not permanent.
The other side effect that should be of concern is hormonal shutdown. This is common with steroids and pro-hormones. The natural production of testosterone in men is decreased because of the use of these drugs. This also seems to happen with some SARMs. Often the hormone production can be restarted with an over the counter PCT supplement. However, in more severe cases a full SARM Post Cycle Therapy (PCT) is needed to restore natural hormone levels.
Are SARMs Safe?
SARMs have been used successfully by thousands of bodybuilders and athletes to improve their performance and physique. However, it should be noted that many governmental organizations have put out warnings about the drugs. The United States Department of Defense’s Operation Supplement Safety put out a report that. among other things, warns SARM users may experience lower endogenous testosterone production, detrimental effects on the liver, and negative changes in cholesterol levels.
Other government agencies like the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) have put out warnings that SARMs may cause an increased risk of heart attack, stroke, and other life-threatening reactions.
The biggest issue with SARMs is that they are relatively new and still in the development phases. There have been very few human trials. Some of the trials have said that SARMs are safe for treating cancer patients for example. There have been rat trials where the rats developed an increased risk of cancer but those rats were also given extremely large doses of the compound (much more than a human would reasonably take).
Since there are very few human trials there is a lack of both positive and negative feedback. Most of the evidence we have to go by is anecdotal from people who experiment with SARMs. I would wager to bet the users of these compounds are more likely to not report negative side effects due to bias.
Based on the mostly anecdotal evidence we have, SARMs are relatively safe. They are considered to be safer than anabolic steroids by many users. However, there are several side effects associate with SARM use. These side effects appear to be mostly reversible including potential liver damage and hormone shutdown. The biggest concern is the development of tumors, but these drugs have been successfully trialed as a treatment against cancer. It seems unlikely they both treat and cause cancer.
Where Can You Buy SARMs?
SARMs technically exist in a grey area of the law. They seem to be legal to purchase for research purposes but may not be legal to use. These laws can vary by country. See our article about the legality of SARMs for more information. There are SARMs for sale available online. Here is a list of the most popular SARMs. Click on the link for more information about each SARM and information on where you can buy these SARMs for your research.
- GW-501516 (Cardarine)
- LGD-4033 (Ligandrol)
- MK-2866 (Enobosarm/Ostarine)
- MK-677 (Nutrobal)
- RAD-140 (Testolone)
- S4 (Andarine)
- SR9009 (Stenabolic)
Alternatives to SARMs
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If you are questioning the safety of SARMs you should be aware that SARMs are considered to be safer than anabolic but do have their own side effects. If you decide to experiment with SARMs you should be aware and alert of all the potential side effects. It’s also important to keep updated on the legal regulations that could be affecting your ability to obtains SARMs.
For the most part, SARMs appear to be relatively safe. Most of the side effects seem to go away after use on their own or with the help of supplements. Keep in mind that many government organizations do consider SARMs to be dangerous but their accusations do not appear to be base don evidence from any human trials.