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The idea of SARMS is that they mimic the affects of testosterone in the body, but unlike using synthetic testosterone or anabolic steroids, they are directly targeted at skeletal muscle," Dr Krissy Kendall, Edith Cowan University exercise and sports science lecturer, tells Coach.
"Anabolic androgen steroids can target any androgen receptor in the body – possibly affecting the brain, heart, reproductive organs and liver, but SARMS are 'selective' to skeletal muscle."
SARMS have been developed for use in people with medical conditions, such as cancer patients who suffer muscle wastage from chemotherapy and radiation. However body builders and gymgoers have begun buying them online to inject, in the hope that it will help them easily boost muscle mass and strength.
Further, Dr Kendall says the research has not confirmed if there are any dangerous side effects.
"There's not any long-term safety data on SARMS," she says.
What is Andarine (S4)?
Andarine is a selective androgen receptor modulator (SARM) originally developed to treat muscle wasting diseases and osteoporosis. It has shown promise in preliminary animal studies where it effectively increased bone density, muscle mass, and strength. It is currently undergoing human clinical trials.
SARMs are drugs that bind to the androgen receptor (AR), but are selective in their actions. This prevents them from causing unwanted side effects such as hair loss, gynecomastia or water retention. Moreover, Andarine is regarded as having high oral bioavailability and great muscle building properties. Phase one human trials with this drug have reportedly been successful but no studies have been published.
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