Selective androgen receptor modulators, also known as SARMs, are marketed as having similar positive effects on muscle and strength that pro-hormones and anabolic androgenic steroids (AAS) offer, but with fewer if not, no side effects. SARMs have been shown to increase muscle mass, bone density, and fat loss without significant increases in estrogen that would result in the shutdown of natural testosterone production and the Hypothalamic-pituitary-gonadal axis (As is the case with anabolic androgenic steroids). According to Negro-Vilar, an ideal anabolic SARM is “orally active agent with once daily dosing and anabolic effects on muscle and bone, but no or lesser activity in the prostate.”
How SARMs came to be
During the 1940’s, scientists were able to derive SARMs from the testosterone molecule by modifying its structure, so they were considered steroidal. However, Ligand Pharmaceuticals was the first company to develop cyclic quinolinones which later on became the first series of compounds considered as nonsteroidal SARMs.
Currently, researchers have made quite a significant change in the development of SARMs especially when it comes to increasing the bioavailability of SARMs and making it more liver-friendly. Ideally, SARMs should improve muscle and bone growth/development and have little to no effect on the prostate.
SARMs have a lot to offer, some of which includes increased muscle mass, decreased body fat, and increased bone density. SARMs aren’t also just used by athletes, they can also be used by people with muscle wasting disorders, sports and burn injuries, and/or muscle atrophy as a result of ageing. SARMs also have the unique benefit of being non-methylated and non-aromatized by the body, so they’re not toxic to the liver nor do they convert in to other active androgen or estrogen compounds. Liver toxicity and aromatization is frequent problem when it comes to use of pro-hormones and other steroids. As can be seen, SARMs benefit both chronically ill individuals as well healthy individuals looking to maximize quality of life.
Although pro-hormones, steroids, and testosterone cycles can produce fast and huge increases in muscle and strength, they’re extremely harsh on the body and often result in numerous side effects. These side effects include: expedited prostate cancer development, baldness, acne, excessive body hair growth, acne, male breast development (gynecomastia), high blood pressure, poor liver and cholesterol blood panels, heart growth, and shutdown of natural testosterone production.