What are SARMS?
The word SARM stands for “Selective Androgen Receptor Modulator,” and just like the other selective receptor modulators, SARMS can either block, or stimulate, the same nuclear hormone receptors under different conditions. Consequently, if it can block or stimulate a receptor in a tissue selective manner, it may be able to mimic the beneficial effects in one tissue, and, at the same time, minimize the unwanted effects of the synthetic steroidal hormones in other tissues. Since SARMS are a class of androgens (a specific class of hormones that serve as ligands), they can bind to cellular androgen receptors. As a result, the androgen receptors will trigger a complex signal transduction pathway that will lead to a greater expression of specific genes.
In fact, anabolic androgenic steroids (AAS) and prohormones also bind to the androgen receptors, resulting in muscle growth. However, SARMS possess full anabolic activity in muscle and bone, yet they have a minimal effect on the prostate as opposed to AAS, which can be very harmful to this gland. As an additional advantage, SARMS are orally available and require no injections. In spite of being oral compounds, SARMS are not methylated, so they are not liver toxic.
Due to the fact that SARMS are very specific to the androgen receptors, they can be extremely useful for safe muscle building. All in all, SARMS have an abundance of qualities; they are highly beneficial to bones, muscle tissues, and sexual function without the conversion of androgens into estrogens seen with steroids or prohormones.
Hence, SARMS offer the benefits of anabolic steroids, but they do not cause the side effects commonly associated with AAS. This quality makes them extremely desirable and intriguing to any class of users.
"SARMS – The Alternative"
What makes SARMS the best alternative? Steroid like results, without the side effects… SARMS are the future
— Dylan Isarms (@Dylan_Isarms) January 16, 2017
Where do SARMS come from and why were they developed?
Steroids are generally prescribed by medical practitioners for two common reasons. The first, to treat muscle wasting diseases, which usually take place with such conditions as cancer and osteoporosis. The other scenario takes place when steroids are prescribed for Hormonal or Testosterone Replacement Therapy (TRT). However, the main problem with steroids is that they often cause many unwanted effects, and they have pharmokinetic properties that are not desirable.
|Desirable effects||Builds muscle||✔||✔|
|Undesirable effects||Stimulation of prostate cancer||✔|
Meanwhile, SARMS’ ability to stimulate a receptor in a tissue selective manner allows them to mimic the beneficial effects of androgen activation in muscles, and at the same time the side effects of natural steroidal hormones can be minimized. In simple terms, SARMS are able to selectively induce muscle growth, avoiding the unwanted side effects.
SARMS are constantly being studied and developed. What’s more, there are many compounds associated with SARMS, but by definition they are not actual SARMS. For instance, some of the mainstream compounds wrongly associated with SARMS are Cardarine (GW-501516) and Nutrobal (MK-677). The more mainstream SARMS that most know of are Ostarine – also known as Ostabolic – (MK-2866), Andarine (S4), Anabolicum (LGD-4033), Stenabolic (SR9009) and Testolone (RAD-140).
As mentioned above, SARMS have steroid like results without the many unwanted side effects that AAS can cause. Here are the side effects of Anabolic Steroids (none of which are present with SARMS use).
- Potential stimulation of prostate cancer
- Male pattern baldness
- Body hair growth
- Gynecomastia (male breast development)
- High blood pressure
- Liver toxicity
- Cholesterol imbalance
- Left Ventricular Hypertrophy (Heart growth)
- Suppression of the natural testosterone production
- Water retention
Thus, SARMS are a much safer option to steroids because the selective stimulation of the androgen receptors only in bone and muscle tissue will prevent many, if not all, of the side effects listed above. Besides, they also have the advantages of oral dosing, which testosterone and some steroids do not have.
SARMS can be used by bodybuilders, gym users, fitness enthusiasts, or athletes either in conjunction with, or as a replacement for, traditional anabolic steroids for the following purposes:
- Lean muscle growth
- Prevention of muscle loss during cutting/weight loss
- Injury rehabilitation
- PCT use after AAS cycles
Benefits of SARMS:
- Oral route of administration (no injections needed)
- Similar effects to testosterone (libido, strength gains, fat loss, muscle growth, etc.)
- No conversion to DHT (dihydrotestosterone – no problems with body hair growth, and hair loss on the head)
- No conversion to estrogen
- No liver toxicity that is usually seen with methylated compounds, such as prohormones and oral steroids
- No inhibition of your HPTA to the large extent of steroids (minimal reduction in LH or FSH)
- Legal to buy and use for research
- Undetectable (certain SARMS)
There are several possible ways to implement SARMS in you cycle, as they have a place and benefit in any situation. For example, SARMS became popular as a “bridge” in-between anabolic steroid cycles. Using them in this manner allows the user to have a much easier time keeping and/or adding to gains made on previous cycles. This can be done without having to worry about the side effects and drastic suppression one would experience with AAS use.
Moreover, some SARMS have shown to be extremely effective in post cycle therapy (PCT) protocols, rendering a user with an enhanced recovery process. Finally, SARMS have shown to not only compliment other anabolic compounds, but serve as an “enhancement for the enhancers.” In simple terms, they optimize the effects of anabolic steroids.
SARMS can be cycled for any type of goal – cutting, recomposition or bulking. Over the years, SARMS have proven to be extremely versatile and have the capability to achieve any type of goal.
Generally, these compounds have an area where they truly shine, but when ran in a stack, the synergy between them allows maximum results. For instance, Testolone (RAD-140) and Anabolicum (LGD-4033) are best used in a bulking type of cycle, while Ostabolic (MK-2866) is best suited for a recomposition. On the other hand, for a cutting cycle one should opt for Andarine (S4) along with Cardarine (GW-501516) and Stenabolic (SR9009). At the same time, Nutrobal (MK677) will fit in any cycle, as it has the ability to cut fat and add great size at the same time. Hence, if chosen properly, SARMS can help you achieve any goal you desire.
Usually, SARMS cycles tend to range from 12 to 16 weeks, depending upon the choice of the chemical. After the cycle completion, a mini post cycle therapy (mini pct) is all that is needed, as recovery from SARMS is much easier than with anabolic steroids. A small protocol of clomid and Cardarine during 4 weeks is more than enough. Then, a small rest period of 2-3 weeks is necessary before beginning again. In fact, Cardarine (GW) and Stenabolic (SR) require no PCT at all if ran alone. This is another characteristic that makes SARMS an optimal choice over AAS and PH use.
Although SARMS are considered to be in an earlier phase of development, the potential for these compounds is very high, which is made evident by the number of pharmaceutical firms currently developing different SARM products.
As a summary, we can say that SARMS offer the following benefits:
- Even though a slight HPTA suppression may be present at higher doses that are run for longer time periods, a stringent PCT is not necessary.
- High oral bio-availabilty without any damage to your liver; compared to the nasty toxic effects of steroids and prohormones on the liver.
- Anabolic even at low doses
- Great for strength
- Great for lean mass gains
- Great for body recomposition
- Great for endurance (aerobic or anaerobic)
- Joint healing properties
Evolutionary.org: “Selective Androgen Receptor Modulators (SARMS)”
NCBI, Holland-Frei Cancer Medicine. 6th edition., Mark J. Ratain, MD and William K. Plunkett, Jr, PhD.: “Principles of Pharmacokinetics”.
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