Exploring the Molecular Structure of Cardarine


Long-term and unsupervised anabolic androgenic steroid use has shown long-term issues with cardiac health, hypogonadism, and hepatoxicity. Researchers have turned to a new performance enhancement solution: SARMs. Cardarine – a common SARM – is popular amongst researchers but is not regulated or approved by the FDA for human consumption. 

It is an ideal research candidate because it could hold the key to a broader range of benefits beyond fat burning and muscle building for patients with debilitating conditions.

Luckily, we have put together a complete guide on what cardarine is, what the research shows, and how to get started with future research today. Keep reading for more information!

What Are SARMs?

SARMs are selective androgen receptor modulators. They are non-steroidal experimental drugs that have been in circulation for the last decade.

Currently, they are not FDA-approved for human use. There are several ongoing clinical trials and studies. 

Several common SARMs include:

  • Ostarine
  • Andarine
  • YK-11
  • S23
  • S4
  • Ligandrol
  • RAD-140

You may see their generic names or a series of letters and numbers (see the last bullet point as an example). Active SARMs research is targeting more than just muscle growth. Studies look at SARMs results in breast cancer, prostate cancer, stress urinary incontinence, and sarcopenia. 

Cardarine Molecular Makeup

Cardarine is categorized along with SARMs and is also known as GW501516. It is a synthetic compound and falls under a classification of drugs known as peroxisome proliferator-activated receptor (PPAR) agonists. 

Most of these PPARs are located in muscle cells. PPAR agonists are thought to improve energy expenditure and metabolism within these cells.

Its molecular formula is C21H18F3NO3S2, and it has a molecular weight of 453.2. Cardarine’s mechanism of action is it regulates fatty acid oxidation

Cardarine targets cells in skeletal muscle and adipose tissue while targeting metabolic adaptations. Main clinical investigations include obesity, lipid disorders, and cardiovascular disease. 

The Science Behind Cardarine

Much of the early research targeted cardarine dosage within animals, although some human studies have occurred. 

Cardarine research has shown the following effects in rodents:

  • Less fat storage
  • Decreased obesity incidence
  • Improved blood glucose (with gestational diabetes)
  • Less damage to islet cells
  • Improved diabetic wound healing 

Based on the research above, some experts speculate that cardarine’s role as a PPAR agonist can help simulate exercise and weight loss. Although, this is not widely accepted because of minimal human research involvement.

Since cardarine is a PPAR agonist, it could also play a critical role in cancer research. Studies have found that PPAR agonists are closely tied to:

  • Cancer prevention (e.g., breast, lung, pancreatic)
  • Lipid regulation
  • eNOS activation
  • Improved immunity
  • Inflammation control

However, the researchers found that these characteristics were dose-dependent. 

Cardarine Dosage

Studies focusing on cardarine dosages have primarily concerned weight loss and fat burning. In human studies, 13 men participated in controlled cardarine trials.

They all presented with poor cholesterol levels and increased visceral fat. Some of the participants received 2.5 mg of cardarine daily for six weeks. This group showed improvements with:

  • Triglycerides
  • Fatty acids
  • VLDL proteins

Most human research on cardarine dosages has ranged from 2.5 mg to 10 mg daily. The dangers of fluctuations in dosages are a heightened risk for cancer and poor fetal development.

Cardarine Side Effects

With ongoing trials and future research, side effects can be better mitigated and managed. A case study looked at a 43-year-old male who combined cardarine and ostarine.

The patient’s goal was to increase muscle mass. Upon examination in the emergency department, he showed:

  • Rhabdomyolysis 
  • Liver cytolysis

Although ostarine has shown potential for liver injury, the researchers suspect the combination still poses a risk. This warrants future research on dose-dependent organ injuries. It is worthwhile to note, this report only includes one test subject, a sample size too small to establish causation of effects.

Current Cardarine Studies and Trials

In the U.S. National Library of Medicine, there are four clinical trials found under GW501516 (cardarine). Three have been completed, and one was terminated. The conducted trials examined cardarine’s role in:

  • Low level of high-density lipoprotein cholesterol
  • Body fat and inflammation
  • Lipoprotein transport in metabolic syndromes

Cardarine’s function in lowering high-density lipoprotein cholesterol was completed in 2017, and no results were posted. This was a phase II clinical trial that looked at dosage, tolerability, and effects. Participants received 2.5 mg, 5mg, and 10 mg dosages daily. 

One of the more recent examinations on cardarine’s effects was released in 2017. The researchers broke up cardarine’s benefits into two main regions:

  • Peripheral
  • Neurological

The peripheral benefits showed endurance increased by 50% to 70%, and weight gain was reduced by approximately 50 percent. In mice studies, they also discovered that 3 mg/kg dosages reduced inflammatory markers. 

Neurologically, mice studies showed positive neurological outcomes regarding neuronal protection and reduced ischemia-induced brain damage. 

Where to Buy SARMs

More SARMs results are needed to see the benefit of cardarine, its physiological effects, and dosages. Quality research must rely on purchasing SARMs through reliable manufacturers. 

Fake SARMs and mislabeling abound the internet. Here are some tips for finding high-quality SARMs:

  • Check for third-party testing
  • Check for reliable and refundable payment methods
  • Check for diverse product lines
  • Check for a professional website
  • Avoid shopping for the lowest prices
  • Check FDA disclaimers

Manufacturers and companies cannot promote SARMs as FDA-approved and they can not suggest dosages. At this time, SARMs are only approved for research purposes. 

Your Ultimate SARMs Guide

Before diving into research, it helps to better understand cardarine’s molecular makeup as a PPAR agonist. 

Current research shows that it rides a fine line between cancer prevention and cancer-causing agents. Its versatility also makes it a worthwhile research project for muscle enhancement, fat burning, and improved metabolism.

If you have an interest in spearheading a cardarine research project, contact Sports Technology Labs today and we can help discuss your SARMs needs! 


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Exploring the Molecular Structure of Cardarine