Most of us know that performance-enhancing drugs are a terrible idea, especially for athletes. Although they increase your muscle mass and make you recover faster after intense physical activities, they still have various health risks to the person using them. However, this may all change after SARMS or Selective Androgen Receptor Modulators. Essentially, SARMs work like steroids but without the health risks, at least for now.
Researchers are still testing SARMs as to whether or not they have harmful side effects. That may be the case, however, but there are already several fitness companies that incorporate SARMs into their dietary supplements even though they are not approved yet by the FDA. Unfortunately, this means that buying (except for research purposes )and selling are still entirely illegal.
The FDA already cracked down on several companies which used SARMs as the main ingredient in their food supplements. That said, although the side effects of SARMs are debatable, its legality isn’t. The FDA already produced statements regarding this matter, and the government itself already made laws regarding the drug. With all that in mind, should we avoid SARMs entirely?
What is SARM?
SARMs, like steroids, bind to our androgen receptors. However, unlike steroids who bind themselves to androgen receptors throughout the body, SARMs only bind to key receptors like our muscle tissues and liver. This leads users to believe that if they use SARMs to target specific muscle groups, they can have an improved muscle mass in their desired part of the body.
Not only that, but they can also enjoy reduced fat and improved endurance and recovery in their particular muscle group while limiting the side effects at the same time. Yes, side effects. Although this part of the research is still unclear, people are already using SARMs without thinking about the repercussions of using them long-term, which is highly dangerous.
Are SARMs Much Better than Steroids?
As mentioned earlier, SARMs are considered better than steroids because of the more limited side effects SARMs have. This is mainly because SARMs only target specific parts of the body, which limits its harmful effects. However, even if the side effects are limited, these side effects can still be life-threatening, which is why the FDA hasn’t approved the drug yet.
On the other hand, anabolic steroids activate androgen receptors throughout the body, increasing your overall testosterone levels. So, in general, SARMs’ side effects are much more limited and fewer than the steroid’s. However, this doesn’t mean that SARMs are entirely safe to use. In lab tests where animals are used, SARM usage showed some possible carcinogenic side effects on mice. However, human trials showed nothing, at least not yet.
Crackdown on SARMs
As mentioned earlier, SARMs are not entirely legal yet, because the testing for the drug is incomplete. However, many companies are already incorporating SARMs in their supplement ingredients, with bodybuilders as their main consumers. Not only that, but you can also see sponsorships of different influencers for these supplements.
However, due to the legislation from 1994 known as the Dietary Supplement Health and Education Act, products categorized as dietary supplements are exempted from market studies that happen before the products are sold in the market. Companies use this to go around the legality of the drug.
Thankfully, the FDA produced a statement where they stated that the use of SARMs in products sold as dietary supplements that have not yet received the FDA’s approval is deemed as illegal. This means that these products are only dietary supplements by name, which, in this sense, are illegal. However, the government is also working on a new legislation to further regulate sarms in the future.
So, are SARMs Safe to Use?
Although SARMs have proven to be effective in terms of muscle building without the harmful side effects of anabolic steroids, they are still not yet approved by the FDA. Not only that, only a few types of SARMs have passed through phases of clinical trials yet, so the research is not yet complete, which is why the FDA has not yet approved of the drug.
Also, according to a recent study made by JAMA, dietary supplements found on the internet are getting more and more popular; however, only at least 52% of them contain SARMs. Back in 2008, WADA banned SARMs both in and out of competition for athletes. They also categorized SARMs as Other Anabolic Agents under section S1.2 of the WADA prohibited list. Some of these SARMs include andarine, ostarine, and ligandrol.
Not only that, but in response to the FDA’s statements and their crackdown on SARMs, the Council for Responsible Nutrition issued a safety alert against SARMs, which states that they are unapproved and thus pose potentially life-threatening diseases.
Something to Remember
Although SARMs can be bought online, we should remember that even though they have a much more limited health risk than anabolic steroids, this doesn’t mean that they are safe to use. Not only are they dangerous to your health, but you can also get jail time if you buy them as dietary supplements for recreational use. So, for now, get away from them.