Selective Androgen Receptor Modulators, or SARMs, are a group of drugs promoted to target testosterone receptors in muscle cells to increase muscle mass and performance. They are marketed under various names including ostarine and andarine. These drugs are not approved for any use in the U.S., but that doesn’t keep manufacturers and marketers of dietary supplements from selling these products for bodybuilding or athletic performance in retail stores and online.
To better understand how readily available these products are as well as their authenticity, F. Perry Wilson, MD, MSCE, an assistant professor of medicine at the Yale School of Medicine and MedPage Today reviewer, conducted a study of his own. He Googled SARMs and within seconds found an online store claiming to sell the products.
Upon further research, Wilson found another study in which 44 different dietary supplements claiming to contain SARMs were purchased online. The researchers used advanced mass spectrometry to determine the ingredients contained in these supplements and found that the quality was weaker than expected.
Only 23 of the 44 compounds contained the promised SARMs. Only 18 of the 23 had as much compound as what was listed on the label. Four of the 44 supplements tested contained no active ingredients. Many contained undeclared chemicals, including the hormone secretagogue ibutamoren. Four products contained the breast cancer treatment tamoxifen, a selective estrogen receptor modulator.
“These drugs – and I refuse to call them nutritional supplements – these are drugs – are not harmless,” Wilson writes. “All the effects of anabolic steroids – baldness, rage, testicular atrophy, liver damage, stroke and gynecomastia – have been seen in people taking SARMs.”
Despite warnings from the Food and Drug Administration (FDA), these dangerous ingredients continue to be found in supplements. “We need to start standing up to the corrupt, unregulated, nutritional supplement industry not because we want to protect traditional pharma, but because we want to protect our patients,” Wilson said.
Source: MedPage Today