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A List of SARMs and What Researchers Are Finding Out About Them

Table of Contents
SARMs bind to androgen receptors in the body

Selective androgen receptor modulators (SARMs) are considered research chemicals. compounds that scientists are claiming stimulate muscle growth, increase lean body mass, and improve bone density, without suppressing natural testosterone levels. 

SARMs bind to androgen receptors in the body’s muscle and bone tissue, promoting muscle growth which also aids in preventing muscle wasting. SARMs are considered a man-made alternative to anabolic steroids and are being studied in cancer-related cachexia, muscular dystrophy, and osteoporosis. 

SARMs Available and Research

Several types of SARMs are available for purchase, including Ostarine (MK 2866), Ligandrol (LGD 4033), and Testolone (RAD 140).

Clinical research has shown that SARMs have impressive anabolic properties and can enhance muscle growth and physical function, while reducing joint pain and increasing endurance as seen in a mice study below. However, more research is needed to determine the long-term health risks and benefits of SARMs, and they should only be used in qualified research and clinical trials.

SARMs have a different androgenic ratio than traditional steroids, meaning they have less androgenic activity and are less likely to cause unwanted side effects like mood swings and liver failure, those these side effects have been noted in recent studies. They are orally active and have a longer half life than other compounds.

Here are a few basic facts to keep in mind about the list SARMs include:

  • SARMs are nonsteroidal anabolic compounds that are selective modulators of the androgen receptor (AR). 
  • They have close similarities to the natural ligands for the ARs, which are testosterone and dihydrotestosterone (male hormones). 
  • SARMs have “selective” activity at the AR, which means they can offer anabolic benefits without causing many of the unwanted (androgenic) side effects that are associated with conventional anabolic steroids.
  • SARMS are approved as investigational drugs intended for research purposes only and are not intended for human consumption. 
  • They are prohibited by the World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) and fall under “Other Anabolic Agents” on WADA’s Prohibited List, so athletes taking part in competitive sports should not participate in clinical research with SARMs.
  • SARMs can cause you to fail a sports-related drug test. Employment tests generally do not test for SARMs if thinking about participating in a clinical trial.

The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has not yet approved the use of SARMs outside of the scope of research. A 2019 review published in Sexual Medicine Reviews demonstrated the usefulness of SARMs currently under study related to: cancer-related cachexia, benign prostatic hyperplasia, hypogonadism, and breast cancer. Researchers are also looking into the muscle-building properties of some SARMs to treat muscle related disorders.

This list of SARMs guide explains everything you need to know about some promising SARMs in the eyes of researchers. It expounds on their side effects and other extra features. 

Person doing research on a list of SARMs

A List of SARMs, Plus Potential Benefits and Side Effects Under Study

Research into SARMs like YK 11 and GW 501516 are still in its infancy, and there’s a lot to be learned about these compounds.

The list below includes some of the best SARM (s) that are of particular interest to researchers because of their important role in new and innovative research discoveries. It includes one or two compounds that are not “typical SARMs” because they exert their actions by binding to different receptors other than the androgen receptor. These compounds have striking similarities with SARMs, however, and are thus categorized or sold alongside them. 

1. MK-677 (Ibutamoren)

What is MK-677?

MK 677 Ibutamoren liquid is an orally active Ghrelin agonist that increases growth hormone levels by mimicking the action of growth hormone-releasing peptides. A 1998 study published showed that MK-677 reverses diet-induced protein catabolism and is being studied for:

Benefits of MK-677 Under Study

Studies suggest MK-677 has the potential to treat catabolic conditions. The SARM was offered to healthy subjects in a two year, double blind, randomized, placebo-controlled clinical trial. The study demonstrated that it increased GH levels without causing severe adverse effects, plus increased bone density and fat-free mass.

Ibutamoren Side Effects

Studies have found increased appetite, frequent hunger pangs, fatigue, water retention, and mild swelling and muscle pain in the lower extremities associated with the use of MK-677.

2. GW 501516 (Cardarine)

What is Cardarine?

Cardarine is an agonist of the PPAR (peroxisome proliferator-activated receptor), making it an “atypical SARM.” It has a high affinity for PPARs, a group of steroid and thyroid proteins that regulate and boost metabolism. Cardarine binds these receptors, which are in muscle cells, and are known for their fat burning properties as they produce cellular energy at the mitochondrial level.  Weight gain and loss have been key components of study in obesity.

Benefits of Cardarine Being Researched

One study conducted in 2015 showed that Cardarine could help with increasing endurance in mice. The trained mice increased their running distance by 31% after receiving Cardarine for three weeks which correlated to increased energy. The sedentary mice increased their distance by 68%

Cardarine Side Effects

Cardarine’s potential in metabolism, endurance, and blood lipids is a subject of interest for researchers. One study of many mice studies have linked Cardarine to carcinogenic effects, raising concerns about the safety of this compound. A 2007 clinical study, however, didn’t replicate the preclinical findings when Cardarine was administered to mammals in controlled quantities and for shorter durations.

3. LGD-4033 (Ligandrol)

What is Ligandrol?

Ligandrol, also known as LGD 4033, is a SARM that has been shown to have anabolic properties by binding to androgen receptors on skeletal muscle cells, leading to muscle growth and repair. As such, it is being researched for its potential benefits in building muscle and treating muscular dystrophy.

In a clinical trial completed in 2013, Ligandrol had the capacity to increase lean muscle mass without increasing fat mass. 76 healthy male participants completed the study. This trial was a daily administration of 1 mg of Ligandrol or a placebo over a duration of three weeks. 

Notably, those who received Ligandrol recorded an approximate three-pound increase in body weight during the trial, a portion of which was attributed to muscle gain with minimal fat accumulation. Importantly, the trial also established the well-tolerated nature of Ligandrol, as no significant adverse side effects or events were reported.

In a subsequent clinical trial, Ligandrol was found to help build muscle mass and increase the recovery rate of subjects over 65 recovering from hip fracture. Further research is being conducted to determine the impact of Ligandrol on muscle and bone.

Research findings indicate that Ligandrol may induce adverse effects such as headaches, dry mouth, and acne. Additionally, it possesses the capability to suppress endogenous testosterone levels, resulting in diminished libido, erectile dysfunction, infertility, and compromised bone density.

It is imperative to underscore that the utilization of Selective Androgen Receptor Modulators (SARMs), including Ligandrol, should be confined exclusively to investigative pursuits and discouraged for use by athletes or consumers.

4. RAD-140 (Testolone)

What is Testolone?

Testolone, also known as RAD-140, is a relatively new SARM that is highly selective for the androgen receptor.

Potential Benefits of RAD-140 (Testolone) Being Studied by Researchers 

Testolone exhibits promising attributes that include the capacity to improve muscle mass and enhance endurance owing to its anabolic characteristics. Furthermore, it demonstrates neuroprotective properties, suggesting potential utility in the treatment of conditions like Alzheimer’s Disease and various neurodegenerative disorders. 

With an impressive anabolic-to-androgenic ratio of 90:1, Testolone has potent anabolic effects. However, more clinical research is needed to support these claims.

Testolone Side Effects 

Subjects in studies have reported experiencing headaches, fatigue, back pain, and nausea after using Testolone. It may also suppress the natural levels of testosterone, which can lead to a decrease in sexual drive, erectile dysfunction, increased body fat, and reduced bone density.

It is important to note that the use of SARMs such as Testolone should be restricted to investigative purposes only and should not be used as dietary supplements.

Testolone is a relatively new, but powerful SARM that has a high selective affinity for the androgen receptor.

5. MK-2866 (Ostarine)

What is Ostarine?

MK 2866, also known as Ostarine, is among the most popular investigational nonsteroidal SARMs.

Potential Benefits of MK-2866

One study showed that Ostarine is currently under investigation for the management of muscle wasting in subjects with non-small-cell lung cancer. A previous study demonstrated its usefulness in improving lean body mass in cancer subjects without causing any of the toxic effects associated with androgens and progestational agents. 

The subjects were given either 1 mg, 3 mg, or placebo of Ostarine orally once a day for up to 113 days. Ostarine may also accelerate the recovery of muscle, bone, and connective tissue after an injury. 

Ostarine Side Effects

However, researchers are indicating Ostarine can also cause side effects such as stomach pain, constipation, and back pain. Therefore, the use of SARMs should be restricted to investigative purposes and should not be used as dietary supplements or recreationally.

Overall Census from Researchers

SARMs such as Ostarine, Testolone (RAD-140), and Ligandrol (LGD-4033) are being researched for their potential benefits in muscle growth and recovery as well as their effects on cancers such as breast cancer. For example, Ostarine has been shown to aid in connective tissue recovery in cancer patients. 

Testolone has an impressive anabolic to androgenic ratio, making it potentially useful in improving muscle mass and treating neurodegenerative diseases. 

Ligandrol has been shown to increase lean muscle mass without increasing fat mass and can aid in muscle growth and recovery in elderly patients. 

Even though scientists are exploring their benefits, all three SARMs can potentially cause adverse side effects, including: headaches, dry mouth, and acne. They may also suppress natural testosterone levels, leading to: reduced libido, erectile dysfunction, infertility, and loss of bone density. 

Therefore, SARMs should only be used for investigative purposes and for clinical trials such as those mentioned above as SARMs are not dietary supplements and should only be utilized by scientific researchers. Read other blogs to gain insight into YK 11 and other SARMs like RAD 150.

Your Go-To Source for Top-Quality SARMs

Sports Technology Labs provides research-quality SARMs bottled in the U.S. Our products are of the highest quality on the market, with a minimum of 98% purity verified by third-party testing in the U.S.

For the highest quality RAD 140Ligandrol, Ostarine, MK 677, and other SARMs, look no further than Sports Technology Labs. Visit our research blog for information about new products, updates in the industry, side effects, new scientific literature, and product comparisons.

Scientific References:

1. Nass, R., Pezzoli, S. S., Oliveri, M. C., Patrie, J. T., Harrell, F. E., Jr, Clasey, J. L., Heymsfield, S. B., Bach, M. A., Vance, M. L., & Thorner, M. O. (2008). Effects of an oral ghrelin mimetic on body composition and clinical outcomes in healthy older adults: a randomized trial. Annals of internal medicine149(9), 601–611.

2. Chen, W., Gao, R., Xie, X., Zheng, Z., Li, H., Li, S., Dong, F., & Wang, L. (2015). A metabolomic study of the PPARδ agonist GW501516 for enhancing running endurance in Kunming mice. Scientific reports, 5, 9884.

3. Hollingshead, H.E., Killins, R.L., Girroir, E.E., Billin, A.N., Willson,T.M., Sharma, A.K., Amin, S., Gonzalez, F.J., Peters, J.M., 2007a.Peroxisome proliferator-activated receptor(PPARδ) ligands do not potentiate growth of human cancer cell lines. Carcinogenesis (2007) 28 (12): 2641-2649

4. Hollingshead, H.E., Killins, R.L., Girroir, E.E., Billin, A.N., Willson,T.M., Sharma, A.K., Amin, S., Gonzalez, F.J., Peters, J.M., 2007a.Peroxisome proliferator-activated receptor(PPARδ) ligands do not potentiate growth of human cancer cell lines. Carcinogenesis (2007) 28 (12): 2641-2649

5. Viking Therapeutics Presents Results from Phase 2 Study of VK5211 in Patients Recovering from Hip Fracture in Plenary Oral Presentation at ASBMR 2018 Annual Meeting

6. Jayaraman, A., Christensen, A., Moser, V. A., Vest, R. S., Miller, C. P., Hattersley, G., & Pike, C. J. (2014). Selective androgen receptor modulator RAD140 is neuroprotective in cultured neurons and kainate-lesioned male rats. Endocrinology155(4), 1398–1406.

7. Dobs, A. S., Boccia, R. V., Croot, C. C., Gabrail, N. Y., Dalton, J. T., Hancock, M. L., Johnston, M. A., & Steiner, M. S. (2013). Effects of enobosarm on muscle wasting and physical function in patients with cancer: a double-blind, randomized controlled phase 2 trial. The Lancet. Oncology14(4), 335–345.

8. Burmeister, M. A., Fincher, T. K., & Graham, W. H. (2020). Recreational use of selective androgen receptor modulators. US Pharm45(60), 15-18.

9. Meyer L. FDA In Brief: FDA warns against using SARMs in body-building products. U.S. Food and Drug Administration. 2017 Oct.

10. Bhasin S, Jasuja R. Selective androgen receptor modulators as function promoting therapies. Curr Opin Clin Nutr Metab Care. 2009 May;12(3):232-40. doi: 10.1097/MCO.0b013e32832a3d79. PMID: 19357508; PMCID: PMC2907129.

11. C. Kirksey, Your Ultimate 2021 SARMs Research Review. Sports Technology Labs (2022) (available at

12. P. J. Roch et al., Ostarine and Ligandrol Improve Muscle Tissue in an Ovariectomized Rat Model. Frontiers (2020)


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15. H. Bedi, C. Hammond, D. Sanders, M.-H. Yang, E. Yoshida, Drug-Induced Liver Injury From Enobosarm (Ostarine), a Selective Androgen Receptor Modulator. ACG Case Reports Journal (2021)

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