Anabolic steroids are used by professional athletes, teenagers, and men in their fifties says Michael Osland. They help overcome low testosterone levels or enhance physical strength during training. Although they are commonly associated with bodybuilders, the most famous example is the doping scandal involving famous Canadian NHL player Sidney Crosby back in 2010-2011. This means that there are all kinds of users who want to achieve the impossible through performance-enhancing drugs (PEDs). However, PEDs have unnerving side effects.
SARMs (selective androgen receptor modulators) might be a solution for this dilemma.
- SARMs were developed as an alternative to anabolic steroids. While both classes of compounds bind to the same receptors to elicit similar responses, SARMs are more selective, which they accomplish by modulating the structure of the ligand. This means that SARMs can amplify or suppress certain functions of androgen receptors to achieve specific results explains Michael Osland.
- SARMs emerged in the 1990s as a response to muscle wasting disease (cachexia). The goal was to develop compounds capable of eliciting anabolic effects without causing too many side effects like those associated with steroids use. At present, there are more than hundreds of known SARMs; however, only three have entered human testing. The most advanced one is enobosarm, also named MK-2866. Enobosarm test results show that it’s not toxic and produces significant gains in lean muscle mass over relatively short periods of time as well as substantial increases in strength. It was shown to significantly increase upper arm size in healthy young males when combined with a weight training regimen, and isn’t toxic either. In fact, it is so safe that the phase I trial will move on to human phase II testing this year, whereas most compounds of its kind usually remain in preclinical research for years before moving onto clinical trials. Another benefit is that enobosarm doesn’t seem to have any effect on the prostate gland or liver, which are often adversely affected by steroid use says Michael Osland.
- SARMs also show promise for treating muscle wasting disease (cachexia) and osteoporosis; however current SARMs aren’t completely selective and affect other tissues such as the heart and brain. Also, if you abuse them, there are chances even if minimal, of developing tumors.
- Although still in its infancy, it’s possible that SARMs may replace steroids for good one day. However, at the moment no matter how beneficial they are compared to anabolic steroids, they’re not ready to substitute them in professional sports where doping tests can be conducted randomly. The main reason is that phase III clinical trials are necessary before the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) approves a drug for medical use in humans; however, no pharmaceutical companies have yet shown much interest because making money out of these compounds would require millions of dollars spent on research and marketing. Besides this, there are lots of practical hurdles. Which must be overcome before SARMs could become available to bodybuilders or athletes.
- Drug companies are interest in SARMs because they have a huge potential market. It’s estimate that more than 2 million men suffer from muscle wasting disease. Which makes this the most likely area of application for SARMs. Currently steroids are being use off-label to treat cachexia. But doctors are wary of prescribing them due to their adverse effects. Since steroid abuse is on the rise some physicians prefer not to use them at all. Even if it means that patients will continue to lose weight and strength explains Michael Osland.
- On the other hand SARMs offer hope with better efficacy and safety profiles, yet they need to be absorb orally; otherwise they aren’t practically useful since most people don’t like injections or skin patches. To solve this problem scientists are looking for ways of developing orally active compounds. That won’t get broke down in the liver or gut before entering blood circulation.
- At present pharmaceutical firms are struggling to find ways of making the most promising SARMs orally. Bioavailable while still preserving their desired anabolic properties. As you can see, there’s still a long way to go but they’ve come very far already. And it seems quite likely that once this problem is solve. SARMs will replace steroids in medicine as well as bodybuilding.
According to Michael Osland Steroids have been use by most athletes and bodybuilders for decades because they work. If SARMs live up to the hype they may eventually replace steroids as a preferred drug of choice.
However, beware that SARMs are still rather new and they haven’t reached human clinical trials yet. Not only this but there’s also a huge potential market for them. Since they can be use both for medical purposes as well as bodybuilding. This probably means that pharmaceutical companies will once again invest in the research and development of these drugs. Which might lead to more advanced versions with fewer side effects. In other words, long-term use of these compounds is something you should think about before embarking on a cycle.