People buy GW-501516 because it has PPARδ, a gene that can produce a protein that controls lots of other genes. Scientists have found that the gene controls those that determine muscle fibre type. It is a performance enhancer used widely by athletes. It has been said to demonstrate reversal of metabolic abnormalities in obese people with pre-diabetic metabolic syndrome.

GW-501516 also works by regulating the burning of fat. It heightens the uptake of glucose in skeletal muscle tissue and expands muscle gene expression. This changes the metabolism of the body to lean toward burning fat for energy instead of muscle protein or carbohydrates. At the same time, it also increases muscle mass. A paper in 2004 also showed that GW-501516 reduced obesity caused by a high fat diet, which is why drug companies took so much interest on it.

image1Even though tests by GlaxoSmithKline deemed GW-501516 unfit for human consumption, it is still possible to buy GW-501516 because the chemical compounds have been published. This means that any manufacturer that gets their hands on it can produce the drug. Surely so, this has been done by some and packaged as a supplement for endurance training. The drug has been used by power athletes such as bodybuilders and cyclists. It has been advertised by some as being helpful when working out and gives a person the ability to push harder become stronger.

GW-501516 was tested on mice, and the result was that the mouse that was doped with the GW-501516 was able to run longer than a normal mouse on a treadmill. This, however, does not automatically mean that it would also be the same with humans. Also, mice that were given the drug for a period of two years showed a substantially increased risk to developing cancer in a number of organs like the stomach, bladder, liver, skin, and others. Again, this also does not mean that it would translate to humans, but it does certainly show that GW-501516 has health risks.

GW-501516 has been banned for use by professional athletes, but as with any other unregulated performance enhancing drug, people still continue to buy GW-501516.

It is said to really help the athletes have significantly increased endurance. The World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) has already issued a warning to athletes who use GW-501516. Just recently, a cyclist tested positive for the drug and was subsequently suspended. Before the 2008 Beijing Olympics, concerns were raised on the potential use of GW-501516 by athletes. Consequently, a researcher developed a urine test that would detect the drug, and let the International Olympic Committee make use of the test.

One of the possible reasons why athletes are choosing to ignore WADA’s warnings and continue to buy GW-501516 could be because WADA is not exactly known for their scientific accuracy. Also, the fact that no one, as far as the online community goes, has died or reported any tumors is yet another possible reason.

GW-501516 is one of many unregulated drugs that athletes use for enhanced performance. There are countless others that are out in the black market and are being used by athletes. It is a mystery as to why athletes continue to do so despite the possible health risks attached to it. It could be because of a culture that promotes extreme competitiveness; so much that athletes are willing to take the risk and willingly buy and consume these unregulated performance enhancing drugs. A survey done in the 1980s and 1990s asked famous athletes if they were willing to take a pill that would guarantee a gold medal but would kill them in five years. Each survey showed that about 50% of the respondents would do so.