In this article, we pay attention to a topic that has been quite popular in the fitness circles lately SARMs total nutrition. Namely, SARMs are selective androgen receptor modulators. What are they you might ask? Are they effective and more importantly are they safe and do they have a place in fitness circles at all? If you are a beginner fitness enthusiast, you play sports for health or you are trying to lose weight, you have hardly heard this term so far and it is very likely that you have lost interest by reading the first sentence of the article. And you’re right – you can easily pass it. However, if you have experience in the gym, work hard to gain muscle mass, or want to keep it as much as possible while cleansing fat, it is very likely that you already know what we are talking about and you are interested in these facts about SARMs nutrition.
What are SARMs and How They Work?
The abbreviation SARMs is selective androgen receptor modulators, or selective androgen receptor modulators. They are a new type of experimental substances, still subject to research, with which medicine hopes to eventually replace treatment with our well-known anabolic steroids. Androgen receptors in cells play an important role in the development and maintenance of the body’s reproductive, musculoskeletal, cardiovascular, immune, nervous, and hematopoietic systems. The main function of the androgen receptor is as a DNA-binding transcription factor that regulates gene expression. In other words, by binding to it, certain hormones (androgens) can fulfill their role in the body.
Androgens, or more precisely, anabolic-androgenic hormones (testosterone and dihydrotestosterone-DHT) are sex hormones necessary for the development of the male reproductive system and secondary sexual characteristics – just as estrogens are responsible for their development in women. In order to act in the body, androgens act as bound molecules that attach to the cellular androgen receptor. Thus, we come to the selective modulators of these androgen receptors and their potential as substitutes for anabolic-androgenic hormones.
Both steroids and SARMs have generally been developed as substances to help preserve muscle tissue and improve bone density in patients suffering from severe diseases such as cancer, osteoporosis, and the like, as well as to treat hormonal diseases associated with advancing age.
Differences Between SARMs and Steroids
Both types of substances are modulators of androgen receptors, but SARMs are selective. This is their main advantage – selectivity of action. To understand what this selectivity means, we must first look at exactly how steroids work and why more control is needed. The use of steroids such as testosterone is a kind of “flooding” of the body with external hormones, which have many benefits. But this can cause a lot of harm because they control their activities and we cannot tell them exactly what androgen receptors and which cells to contact to exert their action on the specific organ or tissue concerned.
Thus, in addition to the damaged cells in the body to the androgen receptors to which we want to direct steroids, they target many other and healthy ones. This leads to a number of side effects – including reproductive problems, hair loss, acne, gynecomastia, damage to internal organs, and others.
Anabolic steroids inject so many androgens into the body that it cannot utilize them all. As a result, some of them are converted into estrogen or DHT, which gives most of the aforementioned side effects.
However, SARMs are special, laboratory-developed molecules with a more precisely targeted action. In theory, they have the ability to target androgen receptors to different tissues in the body in different ways. In particular, they are designed to bind only to androgen receptors on skeletal muscle and bone, without affecting other tissues. This would provide a reliable treatment against loss of muscle mass and bone density in a number of serious diseases.
The idea is to take them to achieve the desired healing effect, especially in the affected tissues, which respond to SARMs as well as to testosterone. But at the same time, healthy tissues that are not the subject of treatment remain unaffected. In short, the purpose of SARMs is to provide a treatment option similar to that with anabolic androgenic hormones, but without the side effects – or at least with very limited ones.
Imagine this: if you are a soldier and the target you have to destroy are the damaged tissues in the body, you will have 2 weapons for that – steroids, which are like a grenade launcher that will hit the target, but will level the ground and everything around. Or SARMs, which are like a precision sniper rifle that you can carefully aim at and hit only the target.
Are SARMs effective?
Are they legal and have a place in the fitness industry?
If you’ve read everything so far, you probably think that SARMs are something like the Holy Grail of medicine. But do not jump to conclusions. Yes, their potential benefits sound great in theory, but again, I want to remind you that these are substances that are still under development.