Is Cardarine GW5015 a SARM?
GW5015 Cardarine is not a SARM, which stands for selective androgen receptor
modulators. SARMs activate the androgen receptors in specific tissues
like bone and muscle, which increases muscle mass. They were first
developed in the 40s to mimic testosterone .
Cardarine, on the other hand, is a PPAR-delta activator. It doesn’t
act directly on androgen receptors.
10 Potential Uses of Cardarine
1) Brain Protection
Cardarine protected brain blood vessels from oxidative stress and
damage in one animal study. It helped to maintain normal blood flow in
the brain .
Although GW5015 Cardarine was not tested, PPAR activators boost the
development of nerve cells and PPAR-delta plays an important role
However, Cardarine had both pro- and anti-inflammatory effects on
inflamed rat brain cells. It reduced some inflammatory substances
(like TNF-alpha) but increased other inflammatory ones, such as IL-6.
High IL-6 can cause brain cell damage [9, 10].
According to animal trials, Cardarine may protect brain cells against
oxidative stress. However, it’s still unclear whether it protects the
brain or causes damage.
2) Fat Burning
Cardarine was first researched for this indication. PPAR-delta
activates a number of genes involved in burning fat and increasing
energy use .
Recently, several human studies shed new light on its fat-burning benefits.
In one study of 13 men with belly fat and a bad cholesterol profile,
Cardarine decreased triglycerides, fatty acids, and VLDL proteins
(apoB fractions). A lower dose of 2.5 mg/day was used for over 6 weeks
Cardarine increased HDL cholesterol in 2 studies of 305 patients with
low HDL. It also reduced LDL, triglycerides, and apoB. Cardarine was
dosed at 5 or 10 mg daily over 12 weeks .
In a small study of 12 inactive volunteers, Cardarine increased HDL.
It boosted the use of fats as an energy source by activating
fat-burning and carnitine genes (ABCA1 and CPT1). The volunteers took
10 mg of Cardarine daily for 2 weeks .
Cardarine may boost fat burning and lowers blood fats, but the
available evidence is limited.
In 6 overweight volunteers, Cardarine reversed the symptoms of
metabolic syndrome without causing damage. It lowered liver fat by
20%, insulin by 11%, and blood fats (triglycerides by 30%, VLDL APOB
by 26%, LDL by 23%). They used 2.5 or 10 mg of Cardarine daily over 2
Cardarine prevented the activity of inflammatory substances via
PPAR-delta activation in fat tissue, which could help with chronic
inflammation and obesity-induced insulin resistance. This is because
the belly fat from obese insulin-resistant patients contains more
inflammatory cytokines (TNF-alpha and IL-6) and fewer PPAR-delta
compared to healthy people .
Similarly, in obese monkeys, Cardarine increased HDL cholesterol and
decreased triglycerides, insulin, and LDL cholesterol, which may
altogether decrease the risk of heart disease .
Also, Cardarine stopped the liver from releasing too much glucose and
increased insulin sensitivity in mice. This would be helpful for
obesity and type II diabetes .
It increased the development of muscle fibers in mice. It could
potentially protect against obesity, even without physical exercise
It may protect against weight gain as it helped break down and use
fats faster in muscle tissue .
Cardarine may prevent obesity by enhancing insulin sensitivity,
increasing fat-burning, and reducing blood lipids.
4) Heart and Blood Vessels
Aside from lowering cholesterol, Cardarine may have a direct effect on
Cardarine prevented oxidative damage to blood vessels in mice. It may
reduce the risk of plaque buildup in the arteries by boosting
protective and blood vessel-relaxing nitric oxide .
Low doses of Cardarine reduced tissue damage and inflammation in
the arteries of mice. It could help clear up the blood vessels, this way
reducing heart disease risk and complications .
Cardarine increased the growth of new blood vessels in human heart
cells (increasing VEGF). This could be beneficial for those with heart
disease, but could also be problematic if excessive. For example,
people prone to cancer should avoid taking substances like Cardarine
that increase new blood vessels [20, 21].
According to animal and cell studies, Cardarine may stimulate the
growth of blood vessels and protect them against oxidative stress and
In mice, Cardarine reduced kidney inflammation, suggesting that it may
protect against kidney disease. It reduced the activity of genes
linked to kidney disease (MCP-1) .
6) Anti-inflammatory and Antioxidant
In general, Cardarine seems to suppress inflammation .
By activating PPAR-delta, it could reduce liver inflammation in
animals. It blocks substances involved in inflammatory responses on
the level of DNA, reducing the activity of inflammatory genes .
Applied on the skin, Cardarine GW5015 improved the healing of diabetic wounds
in mice by reducing inflammation .
Cardarine could also protect and increase the survival of skin cells,
improving the wound healing process.
It blocked the production of various inflammatory molecules such as
MCP-1, TNF-alpha, IL-6, and NFκB in rats .
Cardarine also has antioxidant potential – it increased the production
of the antioxidant enzymes SOD1 and catalase in mice .
Cardarine lowered inflammation, reduced oxidative damage, and improved
wound healing in animal trials.
7) Liver Damage
One of the main targets of Cardarine is the liver, as the liver is
crucial for storing, burning, and releasing fats into the body.
Cardarine causes the liver to switch its energy source from glucose to
fatty acids, which can reduce blood sugar (all via PPAR-delta
In mice, Cardarine reduced IL-6, which may help prevent insulin
resistance in liver cells .
Short-term use protected the liver from damage due to a high-fructose
diet in mice .
It also improved nonalcoholic fatty liver disease in mice by helping
the liver burn more fats and reducing inflammation .
However, Cardarine GW5015 caused cell death in liver cells and liver damage
(fibrosis) in some mice with liver disease .
Cardarine may prevent liver damage by stimulating fat-burning,
improving insulin resistance, and relieving inflammation. However, it
may also worsen liver disease.
8) Muscle Growth and Stamina
Activation of PPAR-delta via Cardarine drives the development of
muscle fibers in mice. These muscle fibers are associated with
increased physical performance. The treated mice had improved
endurance and could run almost twice as long .
9) Skin Diseases
Activation of PPAR-delta could improve the inflammation caused by skin
diseases like psoriasis. Cardarine reduced inflammation in human skin
cell studies. With more research, new skin products with Cardarine may
be developed .
10) Blood Flow and Wound Healing
By activating PPAR-delta, Cardarine increased levels of blood-vessel
relaxing nitric oxide (via BH4) in mice. Nitric oxide helps improve
blood flow and boosts wound healing [7, 32].
Cardarine Risks, Side Effects & Dosage
Cardarine increased cell death in liver cells and caused liver damage
in some mice with liver disease .
In animals, Cardarine was not safe to use during pregnancy as high
doses over an extended period of time posed risk to fetal development
In rats, Cardarine can cause cancer. There are not enough human
studies to show the same effect .
However, this is the main reason GSK abandoned further development of
the drug in 2007 – the drug caused rapid cancer development in several
organs in animals .
Therefore, you should be mindful of its side effects before you
consider using it .
Have in mind that internet forums and blogs often downplay the side
effects and present only a small fraction of the information.
Cardarine caused rapid cancer development in animal trials, which
terminated further drug development. It may also cause liver damage
and impair fetal development. Retailers often downplay its side
In clinical studies, doses of 2.5 to 10 mg/day were used for up to 12 weeks.
There are vendors who sell cardarine in the United States.
We at SelfHacked advise speaking to a doctor before taking any drug,
especially when taking unscheduled drugs with limited safety data. The
safety of Cardarine has not been confirmed in humans and there were
cancer risks in animals.