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How do SARMs Work – The Definitive Guide

Table of Contents
how do sarms work

Introduction: Do SARMs Work?

Have you wondered how Selective Androgen Receptor Modulators, SARMs like MK 2866 or andarine S4 function and how researchers begin studying their effects? 

To get started with SARMs research, it helps to understand their basic effects on androgen receptors. According to recent studies, SARMs may hold the key to future treatments for cancer, muscle wasting, and much more. 

Often confused as anabolic steroids, SARMs have become tainted through unregulated studies and counterfeit sales online. This does not negate the need for high-quality research. If you have an interest in how SARMs function and how SARMs function, we have a complete guide for you. 

In our article, we will talk about what SARMs are, how they work, and what current studies are indicating. Keep reading on for more information!

What Are SARMs?

What does SARMs stand for? The acronym stands for Selective Androgen Receptor Modulators. They are not the same compounds as androgenic steroids. 

Instead, SARMs bind to androgen receptors selectively and trigger anabolic activity. Unlike anabolic steroids, the current research shows fewer androgenic side effects, improved selectivity, and reduced estrogen conversion. Read more about the science behind SARMs and 7 myths busted.

Types of SARMs

There are several types of SARMs, characterized by their name and a string of letters and numbers. Some of the more common SARMs you may read about include:

SARM Example: Ostarine

One of the most prevalent selective androgen receptor modulators is ostarine or mk2866. Some of the properties that differentiate SARMs are their specific agonistic and antagonistic effects on androgen receptors. 

For example, current studies show that ostarine has similar anabolic effects as testosterone. This does not include those that are androgenic or estrogenic in nature. Some of ostarine’s effects on muscle tissue based on controlled research groups include:

  • Prostate growth

  • Lean body mass

  • Maintaining libido

SARMs Legality

Unlike anabolic steroids, SARMs do not have clearance for human consumption (HC) and are not dietary supplements. Research is in its infancy, and dosages, side effects, and applications are still going through animal and early clinical trials. The World anti-doping agency has banned the utilization of SARMs in sports.

How Do SARMs Function?

SARMs function as agonists and antagonists on androgen receptors located in the body. SARMs are not naturally occurring chemicals. Rather, they are chemically engineered products with tissue-specific functions resulting in a myriad of actions.

 These are novel compounds that demonstrate some promise for improved androgen treatments in the future, but their possible health risks remain unknown. 

You can find androgen receptors in many types of tissue outside reproductive organs. These receptors are primarily responsible for male sexual development but are also found in females. 

There are several limitations with testosterone hormone replacement that spurred SARMs research. For example, virilization side effects of testosterone and most androgen therapies lack an oral format and are primarily distributed via injection. SARMs rsearch indicates they can be a nonsteroidal oral bioavailable alternative. SARMs have several risks and are not for HC due to:

  • Testicular atrophy

  • Dyslipidemia

  • Gynecomastia

  • Liver Toxicity and liver damage

As SARMs bind to receptors and activate specific cellular functions, they are not metabolized to dihydrotestosterone (DHT) or estrogen. This limits androgenic and estrogenic side effects. How SARMs effect blood pressure and bone density can be seen viewed in other articles. 

Current SARMs Findings and Current Diseases Under Study

Most researchers understand how SARMs can alter receptors targeting bone and muscle growth. However, there are several other potential benefits revolving around their tissue-selective manner and specificity function. 

Recent Phase 1 clinical trials found RAD-140 had an acceptable safety profile for antitumor activity in patients with metastatic breast cancer. Additionally, prostate cancer groups also showed preliminary data suggesting a safe, alternative treatment. SARMs are also undergoing or have completed early trials for:

  • Stress urinary incontinence

  • Sarcopenia

  • Lung cancer

  • Alzheimer’s disease

  • Metabolism

Long-term effects are largely unknown. Many trials have not surpassed Phase II clinical trials, limiting information regarding efficacy. More clinical studies on diseases such as breast cancer must be conducted to validate these findings. Some common adverse effects seen in trials are headache, nausea, and muscle pain.

What is the Bioavailability of SARMs?

SARMs are not indicated for HC. For clinical research, powder and liquids are more appropriate than capsules. 

Liquids and powders have more consistent and reliable purity ratings if manufactured in reliable facilities. Third-party testing facilities can measure SARMs purity against reference standards.

These procedures help to ensure you receive quality batches. How researchers administer SARMs may vary. A recently completed Phase II clinical trial focused on GSK2881078. 

This SARM was used for COPD and administered in an oral form. One of the primary reasons SARMs are being studied is their oral administration. This study stated that if there is an easy way to promote SARMs’ benefits through oral administration, it could broaden androgen therapy compliance. 

Do SARMs Work; What Are Researchers Saying?

Some questions also center around “how fast do SARMs work?” Unfortunately, many of the results researchers turn toward are unreliable internet sources as SARMs are not FDA-approved for human use and are not dietary supplements. More knowledge must be gained by researchers and scientists to test their effects, including their adverse effects.

This has altered the reliability of anecdotal results and increased the risk for toxicity including liver damage. This was evident in a recent case study. A 32-year-old male consumed ligandrol without medical monitoring for two weeks. 

Some work well for one purpose more than another, for example, Cardarine vs SR9009. There is not enough comprehensive and reliable research to conclude how fast and well SARMs function for test subjects.

Your Next SARMs Research

SARMs are similar to testosterone and other androgen modalities, but they are not anabolic steroids. Yet, according to the research above, they could hold the key to fewer side effects and assist in diseases such as assisting muscle growth in those with sarcopenia. Some side effects still under testing are how they potentially affect insulin sensitivity and how SARMs affect liver function.

Since answering the questions surrounding SARMs and how they work is still in its infancy, now is the time to start your research. For the highest quality results, you need a reliable SARMs supplier. Ensure you are not buying from a dietary supplement industry, as these are not dietary supplements and are not for HC. SARMs are research chemicals.

At Sports Technology Labs, we sell SARMs liquids and powders for various research institutes. Our batches are consistently tested against minimal standard qualities. Contact Sports Technology Labs today and find out more about SARM’s research potential!

Scientific References:

1. Christiansen AR, Lipshultz LI, Hotaling JM, Pastuszak AW. Selective androgen receptor modulators: the future of androgen therapy? Transl Androl Urol. 2020 Mar;9(Suppl 2):S135-S148. doi: 10.21037/tau.2019.11.02. PMID: 32257854; PMCID: PMC7108998.

2. Sports Technology Labs. (2022, May 14). Effects of Ostarine on Muscle Tissue. Sports Technology Labs. 

3. Machek, S. B., Cardaci, T. D., Wilburn, D. T., & Willoughby, D. S. (2020). Considerations, possible contraindications, and potential mechanisms for deleterious effect in recreational and athletic use of selective androgen receptor modulators (SARMs) in lieu of anabolic androgenic steroids: A narrative review. Steroids, 164, 108753.

4. Chang, C., Lee, S. O., Wang, R. S., Yeh, S., & Chang, T. M. (2013). Androgen receptor (AR) physiological roles in male and female reproductive systems: lessons learned from AR-knockout mice lacking AR in selective cells. Biology of reproduction, 89(1), 21-1.

5. Barbara, M., Dhingra, S., & Mindikoglu, A. L. (2020, June 11). Ligandrol (LGD-4033)-Induced Liver Injury. ACG case reports journal.

6. Kirksey, C. (2022, January 25). Your Ultimate 2021 SARMs Research Review. Sports Technology Labs. 

7. Study to evaluate the safety and efficacy of 13 weeks of the selective androgen receptor modulator (SARM) GSK2881078 in chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) – full text view. Full Text View – (n.d.). 

8. U.S. National Library of Medicine. (n.d.). Enobosarm. National Center for Biotechnology Information. PubChem Compound Database. 

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