In an effort to raise public awareness about a potential danger lurking in some fitness and bodybuilding supplements, the Council for Responsible Nutrition (CRN; Washington, DC) announced the launch of a consumer education initiative focusing on selective androgen receptor modulators, or SARMs, ingredients that FDA classifies as unapproved drugs.
Despite this classification, SARMs have appeared—often as “ostarine” or “andarine”—in adulterated products falsely marketed as supplements that enhance athletic performance by stimulating androgen receptors in muscle and bone. However, they also increase the risk for such conditions as heart attack, stroke, and liver damage. Not only does FDA consider SARMs unapproved drugs; the World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) prohibits them under the S1 Anabolic Agent category of its Prohibited List, as well.
Thus, CRN created a #SARMsCanHarm toolkit for fitness organizations that includes customizable flyers, newsletter material, and social media content featuring educational information on SARMs and how athletes can protect themselves from products containing the illicit ingredients. Associations representing fitness organizations and sports clubs are circulating the toolkit among their members.
“Consumer safety is the number one priority of the dietary supplement industry,” said Steve Mister, president, CEO, CRN, in a press statement. “We are grateful for the organizations helping us deliver responsible industry’s firm message: SARMs are dangerous, illegal, and have no place in dietary supplements or in any sports nutrition regimen. Our goal is to equip consumers with the tools they need to make sound decisions when it comes to dietary supplements and to help them responsibly and judiciously use legitimate sports nutrition supplements to help them succeed in reaching their fitness goals.”
Mister emphasized that CRN and its member companies “fully support” FDA’s efforts to crack down on companies pedaling products containing SARMs. “We hope that fitness organizations, sports clubs, personal trainers, and coaches across the country will join CRN and its members in taking a stand against SARMs and the risks companies marketing these products unapologetically present consumers,” he added.
Gyms, sports clubs, coaches, and personal trainers interested in accessing the #SARMsCanHarm toolkit, can find it at www.crnusa.org/SARMs. Additional information on SARMs and resources for athletes is also available at www.usada.org/SARMs.