MK-2866 belongs to a group of drugs called Selective Androgen Receptor Modulator (SARMS), and was originally developed to combat muscle wasting conditions. Also known as ostarine, MK 2866 is a relatively new compound, having only been created in 2009. Although it was originally developed for therapeutic use, its additional qualities which mimic anabolic steroids were quickly identified by athletes and it became popular within the sporting community.
GTx, the company responsible for originally creating MK 2866, has not yet finished research and development so it remains experimental only. This means it’s not widely available commercially for consumption. Some manufacturers have nevertheless created ostarine supplements but it remains a shady area legally. Therefore, the best place to buy ostarine is from online providers who offer it as a research chemical.
MK-2866 bears more than a passing resemblance to another SARMS, S1, and in some cases ostarine can be incorrectly labelled as this. However, S1 is a different compound entirely and is no longer subject to ongoing development.
Ostarine is potent enough to be used on its own, either during a cycle or to bridge the gap between anabolic steroids. It is very effective in protecting lean mass and reducing the amount of muscle which is lost following a bulking cycle, or during cutting.
However, it can also be added to a stack very effectively, helping to enhance the effects without adding any unwanted side effects such as gynecomastia or bloating. This can either be with other SARMS or with anabolic steroids, such as testosterone.
In some cases, ostarine can be added to a stack for the purposes of kick-starting a cycle, delivering results before the longer acting drugs start to have an effect.
How it is administered
Ostarine MK-2866 is taken orally, thus avoiding the need for inconvenient injections and all the complications that can ensue.
Unlike steroids, there’s no hepatotoxicity when MK 2866 is taken orally so each cycle can extend up to 8-12 weeks without any problems.
The typical dosage for men is 25mg and half that, 12.5mg, for female users. Higher levels can be taken but side effects such as testosterone suppression can start to become more evident.
The above dosages are the typical minimum levels for performance enhancement and to change the physique, however benefits can be seen to the joints at doses as low as 3mg.
Half life info
MK 2866 has a half life of 24 hours, so is typically taken once per day.
Use in sports
As ostarine provides the ability to shed fat while steadily increasing lean gains, while simultaneously improving recovery and protecting the joints, it’s a drug which is held in high esteem by many athletes.
WADA and other drug enforcement agencies in sport have listed ostarine as a banned substance which means it’s not legal to take it for the purposes of gaining an advantage. Random drug checking outside competition can identify participants who use SARMS off-season to try and gain an advantage.
Cyclist Nikita Novikov was the first athlete to be found guilty of using SARMS after being tested out of competition. Other sports where ostarine could provide an advantage include bodybuilding, weight lifting, athletics, hockey and football.
Cutting isn’t the first reason that MK-2866 ostarine is typically used for but nevertheless it can provide some real value to a stack.
During the cutting cycle, catabolism can be a big problem but ostarine can help to maintain muscle mass even when calorific intake is low.
Although ostarine is very anabolic, it’s not so androgenic as other SARMS such as S4 so the same hard, dry look won’t be achieved.
Because ostarine has the greatest anabolic effect out of the entire SARMS family of drugs, it can be utilized to its very best during a bulking cycle. The typical dosage for bulking is 25mg, taken for a 4-6 week cycle. At this dose a gain of around 6lbs of lean mass can be expected.
For users who weight at least 210lbs, the dosage can be ramped up to 36mg for a maximum of 8 weeks. However, at this dose there is a much greater chance of testosterone suppression so full PCT becomes essential.
Strengthening or recomping
Because ostarine results can include both fat loss and bulking, it is the perfect choice for recomping. This generally isn’t an overnight process which can make achieving real results more problematic when a steroid is being used.
As ostarine can be run for up to 8 weeks without a problem, it is often chosen in preference to anabolic steroids to an overall recomping effect. A good diet must accompany a recomping cycle with at least 30% made up of lean protein. The nutrient partitioning qualities of MK-2866 will maximize the benefits of this.
GTx, the company responsible for creating the compound, carried out 8 separate scientific trials using 600 subjects, plus an additional three efficacy studies. A Phase IIB medical trial lasting four months and based on 159 patients revealed ostarine both increased muscular strength and enhanced the amount of lean muscle tissue when compared to a placebo.
These qualities make MK2866 extremely popular with athletes because of its ability to not only retain muscle but to increase it, providing lean gains. In addition, it also has protective qualities too helping to prevent injuries from occurring, guarding against degeneration and also healing joints. These healing qualities are particularly effective on bone and tendons.
Aside from use within sport, ostarine can help to treat cachexia, atrophy and osteoporosis and it remains possible that in the future may be developed further for these purposes.
Potential side effects
Ostarine is widely considered to be the “strongest” SARMS on the market with its effects often being likened to an anabolic steroid.
However, unlike an anabolic steroid, MK 2866 does not have significant side effects, despite its potency.
Although it’s taken orally, there are no concerns re hepatotoxicity which means that it’s possible to cycle for longer. Ostarine acts directly on the androgen receptor but because it’s selective, there’s no conversion into DHT which means the unwanted androgenic effects such as loss of hair and acne won’t occur.
MK 2866 doesn’t aromatize either which rules out estrogenic effects such as gynecomastia and bloating. Estrogen levels may increase slightly but not sufficiently high to cause any symptoms nor to warrant the use of an anti-estrogen drug. Using one could cause more problems by pushing estrogen levels too low.
Without the estrogenic effect of bloating, blood pressure will be unaffected but some small reductions in both HDL and LDL cholesterol may be noted while taking the SARMS. This is not believed to be clinically relevant.
Unlike some others in the SARMS group, ostarine effects do not include the possibility of decreased night vision or yellowing of the eyes.
Because MK 2866 has a similar action in nutrient partitioning to anabolic steroids, there are some suggestions that it may be disruptive to a significant degree to the blood glucose levels of those with diabetes. For this reason, it’s not recommended to take ostarine if you have impaired glucose tolerance or have been diagnosed as diabetic.
Is it safe for women to use?
MK 2866 is a very potent compound and as such, female bodybuilders or athletes may see marked results with its use. Despite this strength, there is no virilization with the use of the drug, making ostarine for women a safe choice.
Will PCT be required?
SARMS in general don’t suppress the production of testosterone in any way comparable to anabolic steroids, but there is some evidence that with ostarine HPTA can be suppressed to a mild degree.
Therefore, while full PCT is not as essential, it’s considered good practice to have at least a mini-PCT following an ostarine cycle which is greater than 4 weeks.
Typical cost of Ostarine
SARMS for sale can be quite a tricky area to navigate because the legality of purchase is somewhat vague. For this reason, anyone who wants to buy SARMS will find it easier to source the compound online.
Ostarine MK-2866 for sale can be found for between $100-200 for a four week supply. The ostarine price is surprisingly high given the competition in the market, but it’s not the most expensive SARMS cycle to try.
Legality of purchase and its usage in the US
SARMS supplements are not treated in the same way by law as anabolic steroids, and at present, are not classified as a controlled substance.
However, they are rather a grey area legally with some experts suggesting they should be treated as a pharmaceutical grade item while others treat them as a supplement. This lack of clarity has led to a law suit between two rival nutritional supplement firms, because of the use of ostarine in the products of one.
For this reason, although it’s not illegal to possess or buy ostarine at present, the law around the use of SARM supplements in general may evolve in the short to medium term.
SARMS are widely available in Canada, UK, and Europe also.