Many people have become aware of SARMs, which have been dubbed a “steroid alternative” in recent years. SARM stands for selective androgen receptor modulator, and they are a class of nonsteroidal investigational drugs originally developed for age and disease-related muscle wasting.
Research continues using SARMs as potential treatments for osteoporosis, Alzheimer’s disease, cancer, sexual dysfunction, multiple sclerosis, and muscle wasting. It should be noted, however, that research regarding the use of SARMs in humans is limited. The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has not approved SARMs for human consumption, just laboratory research.
Their purported ability to build lean muscle mass has nonetheless caused bodybuilders and the athletic community to take note of them, leading to SARMs being banned in some athletic communities and by anti-doping agencies. Athletes should not particpate in clinical research with SARMs. This guide will discuss everything you should know about two of the most common, RAD 140 (also known as Testolone) vs. Ligandrol (LGD 4033), spell out the similarities and differences between them, and cover some of their prospective benefits.
The Major Differences Between RAD 140 vs. Ligandrol
RAD 140 and ligandrol are SARMs that are similar in many ways, but they also have some significant differences. Both are still experimental drugs per the FDA; one has been studied for use in humans more than the other and is currently further along in clinical trials. Here are some of the major differences between the two:
- LGD 4033 has been studied more than RAD 140 and is currently in phase II clinical trials.
- There has only been one phase I study on the use of RAD 140 in humans.
- Ligandrol is stronger on a per milligram basis.
- Both have been banned in competitive sports leagues, but it is far more common for athletes to test positive for LGD 4033.
- While RAD 140 and Ligandrol both produce significant anabolic activity, RAD 140 has some mild potential androgenic benefits as well.
- RAD 140 has a longer half-life, which means it does not have to be dosed as frequently and produces more stable blood levels.
- RAD 140 may have potential cognitive benefits and neuroprotective effects, which is why it has been studied in Alzheimer’s disease.
- There are price differences between the two; LGD 4033 is generally lower in price than RAD 140.
Some of the similarities that both RAD 140 and Ligandrol share are related to their potential side effects. The next section will explore that issue for both.
Potential Side Effects of Using RAD 140 or Ligandrol
There is limited information about the side effects of RAD 140 or Ligandrol due to the lack of clinical research available on them, but researchers have documented some of the more common and serious potential side effects. Here are some to be aware of:
RAD 140 and Ligandrol May Suppress Natural Testosterone Levels
SARMS are not steroids but still exert their effects through the androgen receptor, so these products may suppress natural testosterone levels. The side effects of decreased testosterone may include erectile dysfunction, infertility, reduced libido, loss of bone density, muscle weakness, insomnia, depression, and weight gain accompanied by increased body fat.
Some Potentially Serious Side Effects
The FDA issued a public health advisory letter in October 2017 stating that “life-threatening reactions,” including liver toxicity, have occurred in people taking SARMs. They also advised that SARMs may potentially increase the risk of cardiovascular events such as strokes or heart attacks. Researchers have also noted effects on cholesterol, including reducing HDL or “good” cholesterol. They have also found SARMs to cause GI issues, which is one of the most common complaints.
Long-Term Effects Unknown
It’s important to remember that SARMs still don’t have FDA approval, and both RAD 140 and LGD 4033 are still being studied in clinical trials. The long-term consequences of their use are thus unknown. The lack of research also limits knowledge about potential drug interactions.
Please note: Both of these products are banned in numerous athletic leagues. They are not dietary or sports supplements.
Researchers find these products enticing because, despite the possible side effects, they also offer potential benefits.
RAD 140’s Potential Benefits
There are many known side effects to SARMs, but their original purpose of treating age and disease-related muscle loss continues to be explored. RAD 140 has also been studied for use against Alzheimer’s disease and breast cancer. Here are some of the benefits seen in test subjects given RAD 140:
- RAD 140 protected the prostate from androgens.
- LDL and triglycerides were lower after use of RAD 140 in some patients.
- RAD 140 has shown neuroprotective and cognitive benefits.
- RAD 140 may increase lean body mass in some patients.
RAD 140 has unfortunately not yet entered phase II clinical studies in humans, so there is much for researchers to discover about this SARM’s potential.
Ligandrol’s Potential Benefits
LGD 4033 is the second most popular SARM on the market (after Ostarine). Below are some of the benefits that researchers have associated with the use of Ligandrol:
- Phase 1 clinical trials in human males showed an increase in lean muscle mass and that the dose was well-tolerated.
- Lean muscle mass was generally well-maintained after cessation in studies with primates, meaning muscle gain from LGD 4033 are likely sustainable for the long term.
- LGD 4033 is thus far shown to be the most potent SARM for increasing muscle tissue.
- It produced accelerated healing of muscle, bone, and connective tissue post-injury and post-surgery.
SARMs such as RAD 140 and Ligandrol may have potential benefits, but some risks must be assessed as well. The FDA’s lack of approval of SARMs, and the fact that they’re banned in so many athletic leagues, means they should only be considered for laboratory research until more is known. It is also important to note that SARMs packaged for human consumption are illegal, as is labeling them as dietary supplements. They can be purchased in their chemical form for research use only.
Those intending to research their use should be sure to buy from a trusted supplier that does third-party testing on their products and meets the standard of 98% purity set by researchers. Some products marketed as SARMs don’t actually contain SARMS, and some contain other unapproved drugs.
Visit the Sports Technology Labs Blog for news and information about SARMs
For the highest quality RAD 140, Ligandrol, Ostarine, MK 677, and other SARMs, look no further than Sports Technology Labs. Visit the Sports Technology Labs research blog for information about new products, updates in the industry, side effects, new scientific literature, and product comparisons.