Note: SARM-X has been discontinued.
“With the advent of SARM technology, the scientific community boasts this new class of compounds is capable of superceding the effectiveness of testosterone in producing massive muscle building effects…SARM-X has the unique ability to selectively target androgen receptors specifically in muscle tissue and not bind to the androgen receptors in other tissues and organs. This greatly increases its anabolic activity in muscle tissue.”
Wow! SARM-X is capable of superceding testosterone? Color me impressed!
Unfortunately, I’m more impressed with MHP’s “unique ability” to selectively target potential customers eager for scientific advances. Let’s face it, the supplement market just hasn’t been the same since prohormones—along with some of the more effective “designer steroids”—were regulated out of existence.
Does SARM-X represent such an advance? Is it really capable of “…producing massive muscle building effects?” Let’s take a closer look at “SARM technology” and SARM-X to find out.
To begin with, MHP is more-or-less correct about how the “scientific community” regards “this new class of compounds,” otherwise known as SARMs. SARM is an acronym for Selective Androgen Receptor Modulator. SARMs are to testosterone and DHT, what SERMs (Selective Estrogen Receptor Modulators) are to estrogen(s). Unlike estrogens, which activate estrogen receptors throughout the body, SERMs may either activate or block receptors, depending on the tissue type.
Nolvadex or “Nolva” (tamoxifen) is a SERM that may be familiar to many bodybuilders. Originally developed for breast cancer therapy, Nolvadex acts as an “anti-estrogen” in breast tissue, while activating estrogen receptors in other tissue compartments, such as bone. This selective action provides certain estrogen-related benefits (i.e., prevention of osteoporosis), without the drawbacks (i.e., stimulating the growth of estrogen-sensitive breast cancer cells).
SARMs act in a similar fashion. Certain SARMs may be able to act as “anti-androgens” in reproductive tissues such as the prostate, and/or mimic the anabolic effects of testosterone/DHT in bone and muscle. The therapeutic benefits are obvious. Currently androgens (i.e., anabolic-androgenic steroids, or AAS) are used to treat conditions such as hypogonadism, cachexia (muscle-wasting), osteoporosis and post-burn catabolism. But even at therapeutic levels, there’s a risk of undesirable side effects, such as virilzation, acne, prostate cancer and alteration of blood lipids. Ideally, replacing AAS with SARMs would reduce—or even eliminate—these problems.
The potential benefits for bodybuilding are equally obvious. If SARMs represent an improvement over AAS for therapeutic purposes, then the same could also be true for mass and strength gains. Even better, they’re orally-available, so the hepatotoxicity associated with 17-alpha-alkylated orals like Dianabol or M1T would be a non-issue.
So MHP is definitely on to something here, right?
Wrong. Unlike SERMs, SARMs are still in development. Human clinical trials are just beginning, so we have only limited animal data to go on. In one study, for example, a SARM known as S-4 improved strength and body composition in castrated male rats similar to DHT (dehydrotestosterone) with a fraction of the androgenic effects. Similar anabolic effects were observed with a SARM known as BMS-564929. So far, so good, but there is still a long way to go.
To put it another way, MHP’s claim that “this new class of compounds” can produce “massive muscle building effects” in healthy athletes is rather…premature, to put it mildly. SARMs haven’t even been fully tested in ailing people with cancer or AIDS cachexia yet.
Even worse, it’s clear that MHP doesn’t actually understand how SARMs work. The company claims SARM-X binds only to the androgen receptors in muscle, and not in other tissues. This is simply wrong. A SARM is likely to bind to androgen receptors in a variety of tissues—the “selectivity” is based on what it does (i.e., activate or block) after it binds.
It’s a subtle point, perhaps, but it speaks volumes about the professionalism—or lack thereof—of the “brain trust” at MHP. Is it that they don’t know, or don’t care?
I’m betting on the latter. Check out the formula.
Serving Size: 1 Tablet
Servings Per Container: 60
Amount Per Serving
Diandrone, Trans-4-Hydroxy-3-Methoxycinnamic Acid 200 mg
Directions: For Individuals Under 150 Lbs:
Take 1 tablet per day. Do no exceed recommended dose.
For Individuals Over 150 Lbs: Take 1 tablet in the morning and 1 tablet in the evening. Do not exceed recommended dose. Do not use longer than 60 continuous days without cycling off.
Ferulic acid is found in grains, vegetables and fruits. It’s also a component of two supplement ingredients: gamma-oryzanol (which is a mixture of steryl ferulates) and pycnogenol. Ferulic acid is already fairly abundant in the diet, and—while useful from a health perspective—has no obvious AR-binding activity, selective or otherwise.
DHEA, of course, can be metabolized to testosterone and DHT, which can—in turn—bind to androgen receptors. It can also bind to the AR directly in model systems. But there is nothing “selective” about it. In addition, supplemental DHEA does nothing to enhance muscle/strength gains.
To make a long story short: SARM-X isn’t a SARM.
This should come as no surprise. Like the AAS they’ll (eventually) replace, SARMs are drugs…they’re synthetic compounds developed in pharmaceutical research laboratories. The use of the phrase “new class of compounds” by MHP is misleading. “Compound” is a generic term, that could refer to any chemical agent, natural or synthetic.
The truth is there are NO known, naturally-occurring SARM compounds. I searched and found nothing. I even checked with an expert: Dr. James Dalton, Professor of Pharmaceutics at Ohio State University and co-inventor/owner of several patents on SARMs. Dr. Dalton confirmed my suspicions.
“To my knowledge, there are NO orally bioavailable SARMs that are derived from natural, non-synthetic sources. All of the compounds in the SARM patent and scientific literature arising from pharmaceutical companies focus on synthetic analogs.”
Far from representing an advance, SARM-X represents a tired, old marketing trick. SARM-X should be renamed “SCAM-X.”
Needless to state, you should save your money. SARM-X is nothing more than a cynical attempt to exploit a potential scientific breakthrough to make a fast buck. Hopefully, a genuine SARM supplement will be discovered and brought to market someday—although if one is, you can be sure it won’t be by a company that displays this much contempt for its customers.