The chemical (2S)-3-(4-cyanophenoxy)-N-[4-cyano-3-(trifluoromethyl)phenyl]-2-hydroxy-2-methyl-propanamide is also know as Ostarine and goes by the additional nomenclatures as Enobosarm, MK-2866, GTx-024 and S-22.
Ostarine is a non-steroidal Selective Androgen Receptor Modulator (SARM).
SARMs are relatively new (first appearing in 2003) compounds that bind to specific androgen receptors in the human body and can produce effects similar to those of anabolic steroids, but claim to do so without the various undesirable steroid side effects.
SARMs are taken orally, and, unlike the majority of oral steroids, are not heptotoxic (hard on the liver).
However, before you begin madly Googling for Ostarine with visions of holding up a Mr. Olympia trophy, read on….
Ostarine works by binding to the androgen receptors and affects both muscle and bone tissue. It was developed with the intent of using it as a treatment for conditions such as muscle wasting, andropause, and osteoporosis, especially in the elderly and disease patients.
The compound showed positive results in Phase I and II clinical trials, with the effect of increasing lean muscle with a corresponding increase in muscular strength and decreasing fat.
Despite it’s reputation for minimal side effects (when compared to steroids) Ostarine doesn’t come without its own set of concerns.
When taken at the recommended dosage for muscle building (15 – 30 milligrams per day compared to a therapeutic dose of 2.5 – 5 milligrams per day) over a period of 2 or more weeks, individuals have experienced various side effects:
- Testicular Atrophy
- Hair loss
- Sleep disturbances
- Female users may develop more male characteristics (deeper voice, increased facial or body hair)
The Goal of SARMs
SARMs are being researched and applied to patient therapy with the intent being able to selectively target the androgen receptors in different tissues differently. The goal here is to develop a compound that allows for a selective response, that response being that tissues target will respond as they would to traditional anabolics, while tissues will not. All gain, no pain, so to speak.
However, none of the SARMs so far developed are truly selective for anabolic effects in muscle or bone tissues without producing androgenic effects in other tissues.
There are, however, several non-steroidal androgens with a ratio of anabolic to androgenic effects of greater than 3:1 and up to as much as 90:1 (see RAD-140). Compare this to testosterone, which has a ratio of 1:1.
This suggests that SARMs are likely to show virilizing side effects at high doses, like the kind typically used by bodybuilders. At lower therapeutic doses they may be an effective application in the treatment of osteoporosis and muscle wasting due to disease or age.
Research to develop stronger and more selective SARMs continues.
As far as taking the SARMs currently available, it might be best to play “wait and see” to evaluate long tern effects.