A 2022 survey found that folks in the U.S. spend a monthly average of $110 on beauty, fitness, and wellness. Of these three, the most money went toward beauty, with a monthly $36 allowance. Fitness ranked second, getting $34 a month, while the rest went toward wellness.
Vitamin and supplement purchases, in turn, are some of the top fitness-related expenses. These include SARMs, sometimes marketed as supplements. It stands for selective androgen receptor modulators.
There are many SARMs in the market, one of which is RAD 140, an investigative SARM developed by Radius Health, Inc. The company initially created it for use in androgen replacement therapy.
But what exactly is RAD 140, and why do people use it? How does it benefit users, and most importantly, what are its side effects?
We’ll answer all those questions (and more) below, so read on.
Table of Contents
What Is RAD 140?
RAD 140 (also known as RAD140, RAD-140, or Testolone) is a SARM that mimics testosterone (T) activity. That makes it similar to anabolic steroids, drugs that also copy some of the T hormone’s effects.
Like steroids, RAD 140 also imitates the masculinizing effects of testosterone.
However, RAD 140 differs from steroids because, as a SARM, it’s non-steroidal. Thus, it’s the opposite of steroids. Experts also say it possesses potential tissue-selective properties.
Tissue-selective means that a substance targets specific tissues without affecting other tissues. So in the case of RAD 140, its targets are the skeletal muscle and bone tissues.
By contrast, anabolic steroids can affect all other tissues, organs, and body functions. That’s why their use may lead to problems with the prostate, cardiovascular system, and skin, to name a few. Yet, despite those health risks, an estimated 1% to 3% of people in the U.S. still use these chemicals.
Note, too, that anabolic steroids are illegal in athletic and sporting competitions. They’re also Schedule III drugs, so their purchase requires a valid prescription. Their use can also result in both physical and psychological dependence.
Why Do People Use RAD 140?
People who use SARMs, including RAD 140, do so to encourage muscle growth in their bodies. Strength gains and fat loss are also common reasons folks take them. Clinically, RAD 140 is under testing for treating tumors, bone loss, and muscle wasting.
Androgens, which include testosterone, are chief players in muscle development.
For example, the T hormone helps promote tissue growth and protein synthesis. It also boosts growth hormone levels, making it more likely for exercise to build muscle.
In the bones, testosterone supports increased bone density. It also signals the bone marrow to make red blood cells (RBCs), which are integral to energy. For the same reason, people with low RBC levels are at a higher risk of bone fractures and anemia.
RAD 140 may be beneficial because it acts as an agonist in skeletal muscle and bone. An agonist is a compound that interacts with specific cells to produce a response.
RAD 140 binds with muscles and bones and activates their androgen receptors (ARs). These ARs, in turn, allow the body to respond to androgens so that these hormones can do their job.
From there, RAD 140 imitates testosterone’s role in triggering muscle development. Thus, paired with bodybuilding workouts, this SARM may also make muscles bulk and buff up.
Red blood cells, also called erythrocytes, contain hemoglobin.
Hemoglobin is the protein responsible for the red color of the blood. However, its primary task is carrying oxygen (O2) from the lungs to the body’s tissues. Without O2, the tissues can’t produce energy, so people with low RBC count often feel tired.
According to experts, the T hormone has an erythrogenic effect. That means it can increase the body’s production of red blood cells. More RBCs mean more O2 circulates in the body, which may promote higher energy levels.
Increased energy levels can lead to strength gains as they let you exercise more and longer. For example, the more you lift, the more accustomed you become to the weight. Over time, that strengthens your arms, specifically their muscles and bones.
Since RAD 140 mimics the T hormone, it may produce the same strength-gaining effects.
RAD 140 may also boost endurance, the ability to stay active and resist fatigue within a period. People with shorter endurance get tired faster than those with greater endurance.
Since RAD 140 increases energy and strength, then it may also help improve endurance.
Maintain Muscle Mass and Lose Weight
A lack of testosterone can impair a person’s ability to build and maintain muscle mass. That’s bad enough, but even worse is that muscle mass plays a role in regulating your weight.
For starters, muscles have high energy requirements. So to keep them functioning, you must provide them with adequate calories.
Therefore, the more muscles you have, the more calories they need and, thus, burn.
If you’re low on the T hormone, your muscle mass can also decline, leading to a slowed metabolism. However, if you’re unaware of the problem, you may continue to consume the same amount of calories. That can lead to weight gain and stubborn fat that may seem impossible to lose.
Low T levels may also increase abdominal fat, which is among the most challenging types of fat to get rid of. Even worse, it can raise your risk for cardiovascular disease.
RAD 140 may help by mimicking testosterone to help the body build muscle mass. From there, the muscle growth it can induce may improve caloric and fat metabolism.
The more calories you burn, the fewer of them have the chance to turn into fats. Also, the more fats you burn, the more pounds you may shed.
What Are the Side Effects of RAD 140?
With RAD 140 still under investigation, clinical data on its side effects are scarce. However, a preliminary study on its antitumor activity noted its acceptable safety profile. Also, as a SARM, it may have fewer and less intense side effects than anabolic steroids.
Still, the clinically reported side effects of RAD 140 aren’t something to ignore. The same goes for other anecdotal-based adverse reactions.
Acute myocarditis is an inflammation of the myocardium. The myocardium is the tissue making up the heart wall’s middle layer.
Myocarditis affects the heart’s muscle cells and electrical system. That causes irregular heart rhythms and problems with the heart’s pumping ability.
More severe myocarditis can weaken the heart so much it can no longer pump enough blood to the rest of the body. That can heighten the risk of clot formation in the heart, leading to a stroke or heart attack.
A 2022 clinical report noted that a patient who used RAD 140 developed acute myocarditis. However, it also stated this may be the first ever reported case of acute myocarditis linked with a SARM. The researchers also said that how exactly it caused myocarditis is still unclear.
Liver injuries may result from alcohol and drug-induced toxicity. Symptoms include nausea, appetite loss, increased thirst, fatigue, and weight loss. Skin changes, such as darkening, lightening, yellowing, or even reddening, may also occur.
Liver injury sounds terrible, and it is because, untreated, it can lead to liver failure. Anabolic steroid use is one of the primary causes of drug-induced liver injury.
Unfortunately, researchers implicated RAD 140 in one such case of drug-induced liver injury. However, they noted that along with RAD 140, the patient also had LGD-4033, another SARM, in his system. They also said the patient has a history of alcohol intake (daily consumption of bourbon and beer).
RAD 140 and other SARMs suppress natural testosterone since they mimic this hormone.
For instance, after you’ve taken Testolone, it starts to bind with your muscle tissues’ ARs. From there, it signals your ARs to begin building muscle.
However, all that AR activity also “misleads” your body to think it’s the work of testosterone. Therefore, your body may believe you have enough of the T hormone in your system. As a result, it will cease to produce testosterone on its own.
So once your body has used up all the available RAD 140, it will also have lower T levels.
Low testosterone, also known as hypogonadism, affects about 4 to 5 million men in the U.S. alone. Most are in their 60s, although many others are younger, sometimes even under 40.
Since RAD 140 can cause testosterone suppression, it can also lead to hypogonadism.
Low T levels can result in low libido or sex drive and loss of muscle mass. It may also make you feel lethargic. All that can lead to bedroom and relationship woes.
Gynecomastia is a condition that causes the enlargement of male breast tissue. The most common culprit behind this is an imbalance of testosterone and estrogen. That, once again, can result from the use of RAD 140.
Remember that when you take Testolone, it acts fast to bind with your ARs. Thus, it displaces the existing natural testosterone in your body. Without an AR to attach to, the free testosterone in your system converts to another hormone.
In some cases, free testosterone changes into estrogen, a female sex hormone. In women, it’s responsible for breast development and health. In men, it plays a role in sperm production.
However, too much estrogen in the male body can lead to gynecomastia.
Unused free testosterone can also convert into dihydrotestosterone (DHT).
Unfortunately, excessive amounts of DHT may trigger androgenetic alopecia. It’s the most common type of hair loss, affecting up to 50 million men in the U.S.
DHT appears to cause hair loss by shrinking hair follicles. That results in the premature death of hair strands and, ultimately, their shedding.
Hirsutism is a condition in which women experience excessive growth of male-like hair. Dark, coarse hair may occur on their face, chest, and back.
Having excess androgens is the most common reason women develop hirsutism. Therefore, using RAD 140, which mimics androgen activity, may also cause it.
Suppressed testosterone can mess with your moods and make you feel irritable. You may also feel anxious or even blue on top of your diminishing sex drive. Cognitive skills like memory and concentration may also take a hit.
When there’s too much DHT in the body, it can trigger the skin to produce more sebum. Sebum, in turn, is the natural oil secreted by the sebaceous glands. It hydrates the skin and keeps it moist, soft, glowing, and healthy.
The problem is that excess sebum can clog the inside of the hair follicles. That can cause whiteheads, blackheads, and lesions known as pimples or zits.
So, RAD 140 may cause acne breakouts due to its testosterone-suppressing ability. Remember: Unused free testosterone in your system can turn into DHT.
How Can You Prevent RAD 140 Side Effects?
Many online proponents of SARMs like RAD 140 recommend post-cycle therapy (PCT).
PCT involves stopping the use of SARMs after using them over a cycle. For example, after taking RAD 140 for eight weeks, PCT may begin five days later. It may then last for up to four weeks.
PCT appears to be a way to kickstart endogenous testosterone production. Think of it as a way to let the body’s natural T levels rise after it diminishes due to SARMs use. It may also help prevent any remaining T hormone from converting into estrogen or DHT.
Stay Up to Date on SARMs
While RAD 140 may exert benefits, it isn’t a panacea and is not yet approved for human use in the United States. Remember, it’s an investigational substance used only as a reference or research material.
Fortunately, scientists are looking further into RAD 140. Hopefully, they may soon find a way to incorporate it into products for safe human use. So, in the meantime, consider being on the lookout for new studies on this SARM.
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