Are SARMs Bad For You?

The quest to look a certain way can lead us down a dangerous path if we're not careful. Extreme diets, surgical procedures, and "magic diet pills" can all result in disastrous outcomes. If you're considering a supplement or an extreme overhaul of your diet, it might be best to do your research first and discuss any concerns you have with your doctor. Good marketing can make almost any product or plan look healthy when in reality, it could have a major negative impact on your health.

Take Selective Androgen Receptor Modulators (SARMs), for example. Men's Health explains they work like steroids by triggering changes in your DNA to stimulate muscle growth. The conception of SARMs was actually an accident. Scientist James T. Dalton made the finding while working on pioneering treatments for prostate cancer in the 1990s. He discovered the molecule andarine — the first SARM. "It was the opposite of what we were looking for at the time," he told Men's Health. "But we turned almost all of our attention to this. We knew we really had something unique."

Dalton worked to slow SARM distribution

Dalton went on to share with Men's Health that he refined his creation into what is known today as ostarine. When observed in clinical trials, elderly men were able to increase their lean muscle and decrease their body fat percentage. Despite this result, the drug's production was halted, and Dalton himself has since tried to slow down its distribution on the black market.

So, are SARMs legal in the U.S? Technically, yes, but this is where the grey area thickens. According to Healthline, SARMs are legal to purchase in the U.S, but they can only be sold as "research chemicals." They are not intended to be used as steroids or fitness supplements. Perhaps most important to note is that they are not approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration.

Due to SARMs' lack of clinical testing, the side effects are not scientifically proven. Men's Health reports evidence of high blood pressure, skin rashes, impotence, and decreased eyesight among SARM users.

SARMs are not FDA approved

SARMs can be purchased legally, but not as a body-building supplement. "We are extremely concerned about unscrupulous companies marketing body-building products with potentially dangerous ingredients," said Donald D. Ashley, director of the Office of Compliance in the FDA's Center for Drug Evaluation and Research (via FDA). "Body-building products that contain selective androgen receptor modulators, or SARMs, have not been approved by the FDA and are associated with serious safety concerns, including [the] potential to increase the risk of heart attack or stroke and life-threatening reactions like liver damage."

As previously stated, strong marketing campaigns behind diets and supplements may make them appear to be a healthy choice. For this reason, it's important to keep in mind that SARMs are not legally sold to be used as a fitness supplement, and they are not FDA approved. The FDA also claims there is current evidence suggesting life-threatening side effects associated with the product. SARMs may appear to be helpful for your goal to look a certain way. Considering what we know so far, we suggest going another direction and finding a safer method to stimulate muscle growth.