The Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration notes that approximately 1,084,000 people in the United States have used anabolic steroids. These steroids are primarily used by bodybuilders and athletes, and are used to increase lean body mass, strength, and aggressiveness towards lifting. Another form of steroids has reached the market and are selling as “legal steroids” – but these steroids may be very dangerous and should be approached with caution.
“Selective androgen receptor modulators, also known as SARMs, are pharmaceutical drugs that mimic the effects of testosterone”, according to CNN. They are not yet approved by the Food and Drug Administration, but they are sold to bodybuilders online and are marketed to help them look more lean and muscular. Many of these products contain substances that aren’t approved or are in doses higher than stated on the labels. A study conducted in November 2017 examined 44 products sold online as selective androgen receptor modulators and found that only 52% contained that exact product while 39% of them contained another unapproved drug. This breeds caution to any who are contemplating buying these products online, as many unwanted and dangerous side effects could occur.
The U.S. Food and Drug Administration cautions that steroids or steroid-like substances have been linked to serious health risks including liver injury, kidney damage, heart attack, stroke, pulmonary embolism (blood clots in the lungs), deep vein thrombosis (blood clots that occur deep within the veins), severe acne, hair loss, altered mood, irritability, increased aggression, and depression. Other bodybuilding products are labeled as “dietary” supplements but are not truly dietary. Many supplement manufacturers can sell their products without first having to ensure their safety and effectiveness; without approval from the FDA, these supplements are likely to cause harm.
There are several steps that you can take to ensure your safety in taking bodybuilding supplements; 1) Consult your doctor or physician regarding products and/or side effects; 2) Be aware of problematic categories such as weight loss, bodybuilding and sexual enhancement, because these often contain steroids and other prescription drugs that could harm your health; 3) Look for the USP (U.S. Pharmacopeia) Verified mark – this indicates that the manufacturer has voluntarily asked this trusted non-profit to verify the quality, purity and potency of the ingredients; 4) Report problems to the FDA or ask your doctor to report them.
If you have an eating disorder and you are ready to begin your journey to recovery, call us today at 888-958-7511. Avalon Malibu is a world-renowned mental health and substance abuse treatment center aiming to provide you with the best care possible while you focus on your recovery. We provide nutritional guidance and assessment and will work with you to restore your mind, body, and spirit. Call us for a consultation today.