Both Selective Androgen Receptor Modulators (SARMs) and Peptides are drugs that are design to bind to receptors in the body. They are both synthetic drugs that are for more particular in which receptors they bind to. Unlike most anabolic steroids, this means that physiological triggers are limited. All the very negative side effects are not common, and in the case of some SARMS are completely absent.
While these drugs have numerous applications, one of the most common shared benefits is that they can increase bone density. In fact, some Peptides and SARMs were specifically developed to explore their use for treatment of osteoporosis.
On this page we will provide you with information on how these drugs have shown to help increase bone density. You will also find out what some recent studies have been able to achieve in clinical trials.
What Affects Bone Density
Age and disease are the two most significant impacting factors on bone density, with osteoporosis being common in both elderly men and women at different stages in life. These have generally been difficult to manage situations where brittle bones can very easily fracture.
This can even happen under the pressure of body weight alone or minor bumps.
Treatment options have mostly focused on direct hormone injections to trigger the production of human growth hormone and insulin like growth factor 1 (IGF1). However, using hormone treatments like testosterone has very negative effects on the prostate that causes other issues.
SARMs and peptides have been developed to target specifically those physiological processes that produce increased muscle and bone tissue without the other negative effects. And they have done so very successfully.
What Studies Have Shown
There have been countless studies on many different peptides and SARMs with various results on their effectiveness. Obviously, different products have proven to be more and less effective which always happens in drug development phases.
In this section we will focus on 3 studies that have shown some very positive effects especially around increasing bone density. What you won’t find here is medical jargon that only a scientist would understand, so that it makes it easier for you to interpret the trial results.
Study 1 Results
Merck Research Laboratories ran a study using Ibutamoren MK 677 on over 180 elderly people. These patients were subjected to the drug over a period of 2 to 9 weeks. The study followed best practice of using double blind and placebo controlled groups to ensure that the results would not be tainted by human bias or preference.
During the test phase both urine and blood samples were taken to test for very specific markers associated to increases and decreases in bone density. Urine samples specifically were used to identify markers (N-telopeptide cross-links) associated to bone resorption.
This is the process by which bone tissue is broken down and absorbed into the blood stream. The more pronounced these markers are the higher the level in loss of bone density.
Blood samples were used to identify levels in the markers called bone-specific alkaline phosphatase and serum osteocalcin. These are associated to an increase in bone tissue production leading to higher density.
The results of the study were very positive showing an average increase in bone-specific alkaline phosphatase of over 10% and serum osteocalcin by almost 30%. The study’s conclusion was that daily doses of 25 to 50 mg of MK677 produced favourable results in bone density of elderly test subjects.
Study 2 Results
Merck followed up this study with a far more in-depth test specifically targeting women with osteoporosis after the menopause. This specific study combined MK-677 with alendronate to further test the effects by inhibiting the process that results in bone resorption.
By minimising the effect of bone density loss using alendronate, the study aimed to produce far more effective increases in bone density.
A total of 292 women took part in a clinical trial using double bind and placebo controlled administration. The tests were run and monitored over an 18 month period to determine the overall effect on the osteoporosis.
While alendronate had already been proven to be a successful drug for the treatment of this bone disease, adding MK677 did bring about some positive results as well. However, the increases in bone density were not as wide spread as initially expected.
Most of the benefit was noted in the femur (the upper thigh bone), however spinal and hip bones did not show the same signs of improvement. As a result the combination of the two drugs was discontinued for testing, but positive benefits of each drug individually were still noted.
Study 3 Results
Ligand Pharmaceuticals in conjunction with the University of Texas performed a test study on SARMs using different dosages to assess the overall risk factors. The drug used was LGD-4033 which had already shown positive impacts on muscle growth.
A total of 76 men were used as test subjects and were administered the drug over a 21 day period. Random placebos were used to keep to clinical trial best practices.
During the test phase and for 5 weeks following it, blood samples were taken to measure for prostate levels, hormones, lean and fat mass, bone density and an electrocardiogram was also performed to measure any cardio changes.
One of the most noted results was a significant increase in lean body mass. Unlike other muscle increasing anabolic drugs this did not come at the expense of harmful increases in prostate antigen.
Tests also showed increases in density of bone minerals and overall bone formation. Bending strength of the femur was also observed showing that the test brought about very positive effects on skeletal tissue.
SARMs and peptides have been explored in countless studies with 3 of the most successful results highlighted above. Their selective triggering of just the right receptors to bring about muscle and bone tissue production is the biggest appeal.
Without showing signs of all the damaging effects of anabolic steroid, their use in treatment of osteoporosis and muscle wasting are showing very positive signs.