SARMs and steroids are becoming very popular in bodybuilding industry. People are using these substances without considering their nasty side effects. The reason is simple. These substances often offer very surprising results in bodybuilding journey.
Let’s read SARMs vs Testosterone.
- SARMs vs Testosterone
- What are SARMs?
- How Do SARMs Work?
- Legal Status of SARMs and Testosterone (Steroids)
- Do Steroids increase muscle mass?
- Are SARMs Safer Than Steroids?
- Side Effects: SARMs vs Testosterone (Steroids)
- Availability: SARMs Vs Testosterone
- Most Recommended for Women: SARMs Vs Testosterone
- Fake Products: SARMs Vs Testosterone
- SARMs Vs Testosterone (Anabolic Steroids): Which One Wins?
- Testosterone | What are anabolic steroids?
- What is the most common way people misuse anabolic steroids?
- What are the effects of anabolic steroids on the brain?
- Are steroids that are anabolic addictive?
- What are the best ways to treat people for anabolic steroid dependence?
SARMs vs Testosterone
Selective Androgen Receptor Modulators or SARMs are a class of androgen receptor ligands that maintain some of the desirable effects of androgens, such as preventing osteoporsis and muscle loss while reducing risks of developing prostate cancer.
Steroids, also called corticosteroids, are anti-inflammatory medicines used to treat a range of conditions.
They’re different from anabolic steroids, which are often used illegally by some people to increase their muscle mass.
What are SARMs?
SARMs are claimed by their manufacturers to mimic what steroids do when it comes to creating muscle mass but with less minor adverse consequences.
Are these facts actual? Find out how SARMs compare to steroids based on existing medical research and anecdotal evidence/observations.
SARMs, when deemed safe, can fulfill the same role as anabolic steroids used in medicine and help improve the mass of lean muscle and red blood cell count as well as bone mineral content in patients with cachexia (muscle degeneration), anemia, osteoporosis, and cachexia.
Therefore, researchers developed SARMs to achieve the same goals as steroids for anabolic purposes. But, SARMs are intended to be superior to other medications with no cardio-vascular, orogenic, hepatic, or estrogenic side effects of the anabolic steroids used today. Read More: What are SARMs?
How Do SARMs Work?
SARMs and steroids have a lot in common in their functions, notably connecting to androgen receptors to enhance muscle growth, strength, and fat loss for users.
However, newer generation SARMs, developed in the latter part of 1990, are not steroidal and aren’t exogenous testosterone. Therefore, this has caused controversy within the bodybuilding industry, and some claim to take SARMs and remain natural.’
One of the unique structural characteristics of SARMs is their tissue-specific. This mechanism seeks to trigger anabolism of desirable cells while reducing unwanted effects in other cells and, in turn, decreasing the adverse effects of anabolic steroids.
Legal Status of SARMs and Testosterone (Steroids)
Anabolic steroids are classified in Schedule III controlled substances category and, consequently, are prohibited in the US and many other countries around the world. Only one exemption is when a doctor gives a prescription for steroids for the treatment of an illness, for example, as the prescription of testosterone to treat hypogonadism.
The legality of SARMs is more an undefined area. It is perfectly legal to buy for research reasons. So if you’re buying SARMs to administer liquid drops to your pet and observe its effects, it is within the law’s limits. Read more: Are SARMs Banned: Are SARMs Safe to Use in 2022?
Do Steroids increase muscle mass?
Anabolic steroids and SARMs largely offer the same advantages to users: greater strength, muscle mass, and weight loss (albeit in different amounts).
Medical research suggests that the results of users of anabolic steroids are considerably improved compared to SARMs, which only produce a portion of the muscle mass in the same way.
In one study, the researchers discovered that people given SARMs improved their weight-free by 1kg-1.5kg over 4-6 days (1).
But, the testosterone enanthate group gained a fat-free 5-7kg mass (on doses of 300mg and 600 mg/week).
Additionally, the doctor. Thomas O’Connor has observed significant adverse effects in many SARM patients regarding their liver and cholesterol profiles. But he also mentions patients who have seen little or any change in their body composition.
Are SARMs Safer Than Steroids?
It has been more than an entire century of medical research about the effects of anabolic steroids since the invention of testosterone in 1935. Therefore, the benefits of steroids, their side effects, and their safety are widely known in the short and long term.
There is an insignificant amount of research on SARMs (particularly about their impacts on humans) because of their recent discovery. Therefore, SARMs are classed as research drugs, whereas anabolic steroids aren’t.
Certain anabolic steroids have been FDA recognized as medicine like Anavar (oxandrolone) and testosterone along with Deca Durabolin (nandrolone), providing a sufficient degree of safety when treating chronic illnesses.
For instance, Anavar has been successfully given to women, men, and children to treat cachexia, indicating its gentle nature and tolerance.
Dr. Thomas O’Connor, on our medical team, has treated thousands of men with anabolic steroids for more than two decades.
He has also seen more than 2000 patients on SARMs and has accumulated information over ten years.
Based on his extensive personal experience and thorough analysis of the patient’s lab and blood tests, Dr. Thomas O’Connor concludes that SARMs are riskier than anabolic steroids. The most common side effects are tension in the heart, testosterone deficiency, and stress on the liver.
Dr. O’Connor likens the hepatotoxic effects of SARMs to taking a large dosage of Anavar (50mg/day).
Evidence suggests the FDA has also identified evidence of cardiovascular and liver problems in people who use SARMs (even in the short term). In 2017 the FDA classified SARMs as potentially risky’ and shut down many websites online that listed SARMs as dietary supplements (for human consumption) instead of research chemicals.’
But, since it is the case that FDA has not yet approved SARMs intended for human consumption legally, they are not legal to buy or sell for human consumption due to their current formulation and the fact that their long-term effects are not yet known.
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Side Effects: SARMs vs Testosterone (Steroids)
In theory, the adverse effects are less than anabolic steroids due to the mechanisms of tissue selection. However, according to O’Connor and Dr. O’Connor, SARMs’ side effects are the same (or perhaps more severe).
One of the reasons anabolic steroids don’t make an ideal treatment is their negative impact on HDL/LDL cholesterol and blood pressure.
Different steroids can bring different levels of risk to your cardiovascular system. For instance, oral steroids like Dianabol or Anadrol could significantly change cholesterol levels, increasing the risk of developing hypertension. However, injectable steroids like testosterone or Deca Durabolin only have minor effects on blood lipids.
There is also evidence that SARMs significantly decrease HDL cholesterol levels (beneficial cholesterol), increasing the chance of developing arteriosclerosis.
SARMs have adverse impacts on the heart and could be similar to oral steroids due to administering the same route (orally).
When swallowed orally, liver cells process SARMs along with oral steroids, increasing the hepatic lipase enzyme and harming HDL cholesterol.
So, injectable steroids could be safer for cardiovascular health than SARMs, avoiding the liver and sustaining an improved blood lipid profile.
As mentioned previously that liquid SARMs are broken through the liver, which causes the enzymes ALT/AST to increase, which indicates inflammation and stress on the organ.
This has a similar effect to oral steroids, which are known to have the possibility of causing liver damage when used in excess.
Research demonstrated high hepatotoxic effects of SARMs after two previously healthy males developed hepatocellular-cholestatic liver injuries via short-term use (2). The first man used LGD-4033 (Ligandrol) for nine weeks, while the second used the RAD140 (Testolone) for four weeks.
These results are alarming due to the limited duration of the use and the average endurance of the liver that has self-healing abilities, and the capacity to stand up to the rigors of high-stress levels without harm.
Injectable steroids are likely to be more secure than SARMs in the health of your liver. Even moderate oral steroids like Anavar, Primobolan acetate, and testosterone undecanoate are most likely to have a lower hepatic risk. Read More: Legal Trouble Hits Close To Home: Crackdown on Anabolic Steroids
Anabolic steroids are testosterone exogenous. When the body is aware of high levels of synthetic testosterone, it stops natural production.
The effects can be felt with full force once the steroid cycles cease. Users may experience lower sexual libido, decreased sexual function, low energy levels, and lower levels of overall well-being. These effects are typically short-lived, lasting for a few weeks or months, depending on the steroids used.
The potent substances like Anadrol and trenbolone can cause hypogonadism (total shut down); however, mild steroids, like Anavar or Primobolan, can only result in modest decreases in testosterone.
SARMs are not steroidal substances. But, their high affinity for they are bound to an androgen receptor could result in a decrease in testosterone levels. This causes the same, but temporary impact on testosterone levels as steroids do.
The level of testosterone suppression isn’t fully understood through SARMs. It is a standard procedure for bodybuilders to take post-cycle treatments after SARMs-cycles to restore their testosterone production.
Thus, moderate interference with the HPTA (hypothalamic-pituitary-testicular axis) can be expected on SARMs.
The most potent SARMs can cause greater diminutions in testosterone from natural sources, including LGD-4033 (Ligandrol) and RAD 140 (Testolone), when compared to the less potent SARMs like S4 (Andarine) and MK-2866 (Ostarine).
Certain anabolic steroids can trigger Gynecomastia, also called gyno. It is an expansion of breast tissue among men.
In the early stages, this may appear as nipples that puff; However, as the stages progress, the pectorals look like female breasts.
Many steroids can trigger Gynecomastia because of the aromatase enzyme, which converts testosterone to estrogen. Other steroids may directly activate the estrogen receptors on a cellular level, for instance, Anadrol (which is not a member of an aromatized enzyme).
SARMs don’t smell, but they indirectly increase estrogen levels, leading to the development of Gynecomastia. It is because SARMs compete with the user’s natural testosterone levels for binding to the receptor for androgens. SARMs can win this battle because of their significantly greater binding affinity, leaving the natural testosterone levels open to bind to estrogen and DHT receptors.
Therefore, Gynecomastia remains possible with SARMs, hair loss, and water retention.
A mild anti-aromatase inhibitor, such as Arimistane (Androsta-3,5-diene-7,17-dione), may be taken during SARMs cycles to counteract high estrogen side effects.
Bodybuilders, however, take more powerful SERMs or AIs when they are on steroids to combat estrogenic effects.
There are dry steroids’ that don’t increase estrogen levels, resulting in an uninvolved body which is not a risk for the development of Gynecomastia. Examples of such compounds include Anavar superdrol, turinabol, superdrol, and Winstrol.
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Availability: SARMs Vs Testosterone
Anabolic steroids are usually available either in oral or injectable forms.
However, because SARMs are technically a “research chemical, ” they aren’t available in tablet form. Instead, they’re liquid.
Bodybuilders usually use the liquid SARMs orally, either taking it in immediately or placing it on the tongue (sublingually) and waiting for 10-15 minutes before swallowing (for more excellent absorption due to contact with mucus membrane).
In general, injections are considered to be less efficient. However, it is an efficient method of administration for both substances. It is because injectables produce less cardiovascular and hepatic stress.
A greater risk of liver damage can result from oral medications because they must be broken down by the liver when they enter the bloodstream. Additionally, once the liver treats them, oral medications could increase hepatic lipase and cause an increase in blood pressure by increasing hepatic lipase.
When evaluating SARMs against. Steroids as a means of entry are more practical because users can take tablets or inject the drug.
Finding SARMs in tablet form is possible but more uncommon. If you swallow liquid SARMs, they typically have a solid or foul taste that can linger for some time afterward.
Most Recommended for Women: SARMs Vs Testosterone
SARMs Are more appropriate for women.
Many anabolic steroids aren’t recommended for women because of the risk of the process of virilization (masculine adverse negative effects).
Women who take steroids can have a larger clitoris, lower breasts, a more prominent voice and irregular menstrual cycles, and hair growth throughout the body.
There are some exceptions to this principle, like Anavar, where females can consume moderate doses and still avoid male-related adverse effects.
Although there isn’t much research on SARMs’ effect on the virilization process, early evidence suggests women tolerate them more because tissue selectivity reduces androgenicity.
But, severe risks to the liver and heart are still present for women who take SARMs. These health risks are more minor when using mild female-friendly steroids like Anavar.
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Fake Products: SARMs Vs Testosterone
Anabolic steroids and SARMs are often manufactured through the underground market and risk users’ health.
However, pharmaceutical-grade steroids are available and are used for medical reasons (which are then sold on the market in black).
This means that pharmaceutical grade is an excellent product created in a lab run by scientists employed by a pharmaceutical company instead of developed in an underground lab (by non-medical professionals).
There are no pharmaceutical-grade available for SARMs since doctors cannot prescribe SARMs due to the absence of FDA approval.
So finding an authentic SARMs source that offers what’s stated on the label might be more complex than locating the pharmaceutical-grade steroids. Read More: Buying Fake Anabolic Steroids Online: Avoid Cheap Steroids in 2022
SARMs Vs Testosterone (Anabolic Steroids): Which One Wins?
There are nearly 100 years of studies examining the effects of anabolic steroids compared to only two decades of research on SARMs (with only a few trials on humans).
Based on research studies that have been conducted and anecdotal reports, there is evidence that suggests SARMs are more damaging than steroids and have a more negligible effect on the body’s composition.
So, the risk-to-reward ratio appears to be significantly better with steroids. SARMs, specifically when administering ‘safer’ steroids like testosterone that doctors routinely prescribe for men across the globe.
Testosterone | What are anabolic steroids?
Anabolic steroids are synthetic or human-made variations of testosterone, the male sex hormone. The full name for these compounds is anabolic-androgenic steroids. “Anabolic” refers to building muscle, while “androgenic” means an increase in the sexual sex traits of males.
Health doctors may prescribe steroids to treat hormonal problems, like delayed puberty. They can also treat illnesses that cause muscle loss, like cancer or AIDS. However, some bodybuilders and athletes use these substances to improve their performance or appearance.
Most people who use steroids are men who lift weights in their 20s or 30s. Anabolic steroid abuse is lesser common among females. It’s difficult to quantify the misuse of steroids across the United States because many national studies do not quantify the issue. However, the use of steroids among teenagers is typically low. The study funded by NIDA Monitoring the Future has revealed that the use of steroids has decreased in students in grades 8th and 10th in recent years, while it has remained the same for 12th graders. Read More: The Anabolic Steroids Blackmarket Is A Scary Place!
What is the most common way people misuse anabolic steroids?
Users of anabolic steroids generally use the steroids orally and inject them into the muscle or apply them to the skin in cream or gel. The dosages could be as high as 10 to 100 times greater than doses used for medical reasons.
Common patterns for misuse of steroids are:
cycling — taking multiple doses for a specific duration, stopping at intervals before resuming
stacking – combining two or more distinct steroids, and mixing injectable and oral types
Pyramiding is the process of gradually increasing the dose or frequency of steroid abuse until it reaches a maximum that is then slowly reducing the dose or frequency until it is zero
plateauing–alternating, overlapping, or substituting with another steroid to avoid developing a tolerance
There is no scientific proof to suggest that these techniques can reduce the harmful medical effects of these medications.
What are the effects of anabolic steroids on the brain?
Anabolic steroids perform differently than other abused substances and don’t have the same effect on the brain. The primary distinction is that steroids don’t directly trigger the reward system, causing the sensation of a “high,” and don’t cause rapid increases in the brain chemical dopamine, which is the primary driver of behavior triggered by drugs.
Anabolic steroids can result in adverse mental effects, for instance:
- paranoid (extreme and insane) jealousy
- extreme anger and aggression (“roid anger”)
- false beliefs, delusions, or concepts
- poor judgment
- Long-term effects
- Androlic steroids can result in severe and even permanent health issues. For example:
- kidney issues or failure of the kidneys
- Tumors and liver damage
Heart enlargement and blood pressure, along with changes in cholesterol levels all of that, increase the chance of suffering from stroke and the risk of a heart attack in young people.
higher chance of developing blood clots
Other effects include specific to age and gender:
- shrinking testicles
- the lower number of sperm
- Breasts develop
- an increased risk of prostate cancer
- development of facial hair or body hair that is excessive
- reduced breast size
- male-pattern baldness
- the menstrual cycle, or stop the menstrual cycle
- The clitoris has been enlarged.
- A more deep voice
slow growth (when the high levels of hormones from steroids tell the body to slow bone growth too early)
reduced height (if teens are using steroids before their growth period)
Specific physical changes, like the shrinking of sex organs in males, are causes of mental effects, such as mood disorders.
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Are steroids that are anabolic addictive?
Although anabolic steroids are not as high as other substances, they can cause an addiction disorder. The term “substance use disorder” is when someone persists in using steroids despite the severe consequences. The most serious form of a substance abuse disorder is addiction. Individuals may continue to use steroids despite physical ailments, the high cost of buying the substances, or the negative consequences of their relationship. These actions reflect the potential for addiction to steroids. Studies have also revealed that some users of steroids resort to other substances, including opioids, to alleviate sleep issues and the irritability that steroids cause.
The users of steroids could experience withdrawal symptoms once they stop using, such as:
- Loss of appetite
- Sleep problems
- reduced sexual drive
- Steroid cravings
One of the most severe withdrawal symptoms can be depression which may often lead to suicide attempts.
What are the best ways to treat people for anabolic steroid dependence?
A few people who seek treatment for anabolic steroid dependence have found a mix of behavioral therapy and medication effective.
In certain instances of addiction, patients have been prescribed medications to treat withdrawal symptoms. For instance, doctors have prescribed antidepressants for depression and pain medication to treat headaches and joint and muscle pain. Other medications have also been utilized to restore the patient’s hormonal system.
Tips to Remember
Anabolic steroids are the synthetic variants of the male sex hormone testosterone.
Health professionals can prescribe steroids for different medical conditions. However, some bodybuilders and athletes use these drugs to enhance their performance or physical appearance.
The people who use anabolic steroids generally take them orally. Inject them into muscles or apply them directly on the skin using gel or cream.
People abuse steroids in a variety of dosages and regimens.
Misusing anabolic steroids can result in short-term consequences that include paranoid jealousy, extreme anger and irritability, illusions, impaired judgment, and mania affliction.
The continued use of steroid drugs can affect the same brain pathways and chemicals as other drugs, such as serotonin, dopamine, and opioid systems.
Androlic steroids may result in severe long-term or even permanent health issues.
Other effects include gender and age-specific.
Injecting steroids can increase their chances of contracting to transmit HIV/AIDS or hepatitis.
Although anabolic steroids do not provide the same high as other substances, they can cause dependence. Many people who seek treatment for anabolic steroids have discovered that behavioral therapy and medication are beneficial. Drugs can treat withdrawal symptoms in certain situations.
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