An FDA warning letter and a raid of a California company’s offices highlight issues concerning the supplements some feel are a healthy substitute for steroids

https://www.healthline.com/health-news/debate-heats-up-over-sarms-fitness-supplements

Move over steroids.

The popularity of gray-market research chemicals known as selective androgen receptor modulators (SARMs) among bodybuilding and fitness buffs is growing.

Healthcare professionals and national regulatory bodies, including the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) and the U.S. Anti-Doping Agency (USADA), are watching closely.

SARMs are a novel class of drugs similar to androgenic steroids, including testosterone. They aren’t currently approved for use in humans in the United States or any other country.

Nonetheless, they remain available through various outlets on the internet as well as some supplement companies in the United States.

The drugs are touted as an aid for muscle building without many of the side effects of traditional steroids.

Researchers and bodybuilders both appear to be interested in them for this reason.

“SARMs have been shown in early clinical studies to build lean mass and muscle strength,” James Dalton, PhD, dean of pharmaceutical sciences at the University of Michigan, told Healthline.

“They differ from commonly used androgenic steroids by their ability to stimulate muscle and bone growth with lesser prostatic effects in males and virilizing effects in females,” he added.

Androgenic steroids are known to increase muscle development but are accompanied by a host of undesirable effects.

For men, this often means things like acne, breast development (gynecomastia), enlarged prostate, and shrinking of the testicles.

Women may experience increased body hair growth, acne, and increased clitoral size.

More serious health concerns include liver damage and numerous cardiovascular complications, including increased risk of heart attack and blood clots.

SARMs potentially represent a step toward a safer class of androgenic drugs. They have “revived an almost dormant search for improved androgens,” wrote researchers in the Journal of Medicinal Chemistry.

Dalton notes that so far the drugs are “generally well-tolerated” in clinical trials, but none of them have ever reached final approval by a regulatory body.

One SARM in particular, known by a variety of names including enobosarm, ostarine, and S-22, has made it through phase III clinical trials.

An FDA warning letter and a raid of a California company’s offices highlight issues concerning the supplements some feel are a healthy substitute for steroids

https://www.healthline.com/health-news/debate-heats-up-over-sarms-fitness-supplements

Move over steroids.

The popularity of gray-market research chemicals known as selective androgen receptor modulators (SARMs) among bodybuilding and fitness buffs is growing.

Healthcare professionals and national regulatory bodies, including the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) and the U.S. Anti-Doping Agency (USADA), are watching closely.

SARMs are a novel class of drugs similar to androgenic steroids, including testosterone. They aren’t currently approved for use in humans in the United States or any other country.

Nonetheless, they remain available through various outlets on the internet as well as some supplement companies in the United States.

The drugs are touted as an aid for muscle building without many of the side effects of traditional steroids.

Researchers and bodybuilders both appear to be interested in them for this reason.

“SARMs have been shown in early clinical studies to build lean mass and muscle strength,” James Dalton, PhD, dean of pharmaceutical sciences at the University of Michigan, told Healthline.

“They differ from commonly used androgenic steroids by their ability to stimulate muscle and bone growth with lesser prostatic effects in males and virilizing effects in females,” he added.

Androgenic steroids are known to increase muscle development but are accompanied by a host of undesirable effects.

For men, this often means things like acne, breast development (gynecomastia), enlarged prostate, and shrinking of the testicles.

Women may experience increased body hair growth, acne, and increased clitoral size.

More serious health concerns include liver damage and numerous cardiovascular complications, including increased risk of heart attack and blood clots.

SARMs potentially represent a step toward a safer class of androgenic drugs. They have “revived an almost dormant search for improved androgens,” wrote researchers in the Journal of Medicinal Chemistry.

Dalton notes that so far the drugs are “generally well-tolerated” in clinical trials, but none of them have ever reached final approval by a regulatory body.

One SARM in particular, known by a variety of names including enobosarm, ostarine, and S-22, has made it through phase III clinical trials.

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