Selective Androgen Receptor Modulators: Do they Increase Testosterone?
Ever since the creation of anabolic steroids, people have used them to gain an edge in athletic events. The effects are so profound that they were eventually banned from official competitions. In some case, abuse of the drug went rampant and made authorities label it as a “Schedule 3” drug, which means it’s illegal to either use and possess it.
Even though steroids were banned in competition and made illegal, they still have a place in medicine. Steroidal treatments are administered to patients through a variety of conditions.
- Steroids help patients with wasting syndrome: This is basically a condition where the body “gives up” due to the stress caused by another condition like cancer or an autoimmune disorder. Steroids help the patient maintain weight and muscle mass, just enough to get through the disease
- They are used to treat certain types of breast cancer in some women (and men for that matter)
- Corticosteroids are a kind of steroid commonly used to treat irritation. Steroids are also used as analgesics, anti inflammatories, and antihistamines
- Steroids are sometimes used to stimulate testosterone activity, commonly done in hormone treatments. This applies to both illnesses and gender reassignments
Nonetheless, Anabolic steroids have an array of side-effects. Though they increase muscle mass, energy, weight, libido, and strength, taking steroids comes with many issues. One of the more prominent side-effects is the total shutdown of the body’s testosterone output.
Enter SARMs, also known as “Selective Androgen Receptor Modulators.” A relatively new kind of performance enhancing drug that can easily out rival anabolic steroids. They promise similar effects, but with dramatically fewer side-effects.
SARMs are basically compounds that stick to certain receptors (your muscle and bone cell receptors) and make them do certain tasks. These tasks involve imitating what testosterone normally does to the cell, like increasing protein intake and cellular division. SARMs also have compounds that reduce the unwanted effects of anabolic steroids, making them a perfect transition drug.
But the question remains: Do they increase testosterone? The answer is not simple. Some formulations do, others don’t provide any noticeable change, and some decrease the amount outright. There’s already research on how a formulation of SARMs can be used as an oral male contraceptive.
Examples of SARMs That Affect Testosterone
One example of SARMs that actually reduce testosterone is LGD-4033, more commonly known as Ligandrol. The formulation suppresses testosterone because it essentially replaces them. The body then stops creating testosterone because it ‘believes’ that it’s already supplying the body with enough.
These kinds of SARMs are often taken with a complimentary testosterone supplement. The good news is that according to research, the suppression effects quickly stop after quitting the drug. There’s no research nor case where the SARMs were shown to permanently alter hormonal activity.
There are other formulations that don’t alter testosterone levels. One such is GW501516, also known as Cardarine. It has profound effects of increasing and preserving muscle mass and mitochondrial growth, leading to better performance. On the hormonal side, people who have used Cardarine reported no decrease in testosterone levels (via blood test.) This may mean there’s no suppression involved, but the long-term effects are still unsure.
Another example of SARM is MK-2966 also known as Ostarine. This brand is more popular due to the studies already made on it. It has powerful results with surprisingly little side effects. Users reported lower testosterone levels while using the product. Like Ligandrol, the levels bounced back after stopping the product.
The following video also has some interesting points regarding testosterone, aging, and gains:
SARMs, Steroids and Testosterone
Unlike anabolic steroids, SARMs do not directly increase testosterone levels. A majority of them are formulated to suppress or bypass testosterone activities and supplement their own. This has its own share of good effects on the body, provided you take the right dosage. As always, if you are in doubt, consult a professional.