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HMB

Uses

What Are Star Ratings?

Our proprietary “Star-Rating” system was developed to help you easily understand the amount of scientific support behind each supplement in relation to a specific health condition. While there is no way to predict whether a vitamin, mineral, or herb will successfully treat or prevent associated health conditions, our unique ratings tell you how well these supplements are understood by the medical community, and whether studies have found them to be effective for other people.

For over a decade, our team has combed through thousands of research articles published in reputable journals. To help you make educated decisions, and to better understand controversial or confusing supplements, our medical experts have digested the science into these three easy-to-follow ratings. We hope this provides you with a helpful resource to make informed decisions towards your health and well-being.

3 Stars Reliable and relatively consistent scientific data showing a substantial health benefit.

2 Stars Contradictory, insufficient, or preliminary studies suggesting a health benefit or minimal health benefit.

1 Star For an herb, supported by traditional use but minimal or no scientific evidence. For a supplement, little scientific support.

This supplement has been used in connection with the following health conditions:

Used for Why
3 Stars
High Cholesterol
3 grams daily
Supplementing with HMB, or beta hydroxy-beta-methylbutyrate, is an effective way to lower total and LDL cholesterol.
The combined results of nine double-blind trials indicate that supplementing with HMB, or beta hydroxy-beta-methylbutyrate, effectively lowers total and LDL cholesterol.1 All trials used 3 grams per day, taken for three to eight weeks.
2 Stars
HIV and AIDS Support and Preservation of Lean Body Mass (Arginine, Glutamine)
1.5 grams of HMB, 7 grams of L-glutamine, and 7 grams of L-arginine twice per day
The combination of glutamine, arginine, and HMB may prevent loss of lean body mass in people with AIDS-associated wasting.

The combination of glutamine, arginine, and the amino acid derivative, hydroxymethylbutyrate (HMB), may prevent loss of lean body mass in people with AIDS-associated wasting. In a double-blind trial, AIDS patients who had lost 5% of their body weight in the previous three months received either placebo or a nutrient mixture containing 1.5 grams of HMB, 7 grams of L-glutamine, and 7 grams of L-arginine twice daily for eight weeks.2 Those supplemented with placebo gained an average of 0.37 pounds, mostly fat, but lost lean body mass. Those taking the nutrient mixture gained an average of 3 pounds, 85% of which was lean body weight.

2 Stars
Obesity
3 grams per day or 17 mg per pound of body weight per day
HMB may improve muscle growth and overall body composition when combined with an exercise program in people who are not already highly trained athletes.

Biochemical and animal research show that HMB has a role in protein synthesis and might, therefore, improve muscle growth and overall body composition when given as a supplement. However, double-blind human research suggests that HMB may only be effective when combined with an exercise program in people who are not already highly trained athletes. Double-blind trials found no effect of 3 to 6 grams per day of HMB on body weight, body fat, or overall body composition in weight-training football players or other trained athletes.3 , 4 , 5 , 6 , 7 However, one double-blind study found that 3 grams per day of HMB increased the amount of body fat lost by 70-year old adults who were participating in a strength-training program for the first time.8 A double-blind study of young men with no strength-training experience reported greater improvements in muscle mass (but not in percentage body fat) when HMB was used in the amount of 17 mg per pound of body weight per day.9 However, another group of men in the same study given twice as much HMB did not experience any changes in body composition.

1 Star
Athletic Performance and Improving Body Composition with Strength Training in Untrained People
3 grams daily
HMB, a breakdown product of an essential branched-chain amino acid, has a role in protein synthesis and might, therefore, improve muscle growth and overall body composition. Research suggests it might be effective only when combined with an exercise program in people who are not already highly trained athletes.
HMB (beta hydroxy-beta-methylbutyrate) is a metabolite (breakdown product) of leucine, one of the essential branched-chain amino acids.  Biochemical and animal research show that HMB has a role in protein synthesis and might, therefore, improve muscle growth and overall body composition when given as a supplement. However, double-blind human research suggests that HMB may only be effective when combined with an exercise program in people who are not already highly trained athletes. Double-blind trials found no effect of 3 to 6 grams per day of HMB on body weight, body fat, or overall body composition in weight-training football players or other trained athletes.10 , 11 , 12 , 13 , 14 However, one double-blind study found that 3 grams per day of HMB increased the amount of body fat lost by 70-year old adults who were participating in a strength-training program for the first time.15 A double-blind study of young men with no strength-training experience reported greater improvements in muscle mass (but not in percentage body fat) when HMB was used in the amount of 17 mg per pound of body weight per day.16 However, another group of men in the same study given twice as much HMB did not experience any changes in body composition.

How It Works

How to Use It

Most people do not need to use HMB. For those involved in regular exercise who do choose to take this supplement, the research generally uses 3 grams of HMB per day in combination with resistive exercise, such as weight lifting.

Where to Find It

Small amounts of HMB are present in many foods of animal and plant origin, especially alfalfa and catfish. The amino acid leucine is metabolized into a compound called alpha-ketoisocaproate (KIC), which is then turned into HMB by the body. Dietary supplements of HMB are also available.

Possible Deficiencies

HMB is not an essential nutrient. The body creates HMB from leucine, so any diet containing sufficient amounts of leucine (most do) should lead to the adequate production of HMB. Limited evidence indicates that athletes may benefit from supplemental intake of HMB.

Interactions

Interactions with Supplements, Foods, & Other Compounds

At the time of writing, there were no well-known supplement or food interactions with this supplement.

Interactions with Medicines

As of the last update, we found no reported interactions between this supplement and medicines. It is possible that unknown interactions exist. If you take medication, always discuss the potential risks and benefits of adding a new supplement with your doctor or pharmacist.
The Drug-Nutrient Interactions table may not include every possible interaction. Taking medicines with meals, on an empty stomach, or with alcohol may influence their effects. For details, refer to the manufacturers’ package information as these are not covered in this table. If you take medications, always discuss the potential risks and benefits of adding a supplement with your doctor or pharmacist.

Side Effects

Side Effects

At the time of writing, there were no well-known side effects caused by this supplement.

References

1. Nissen S, Sharp RL, Panton L, et al. ß-hydroxy-ß-methylbutyrate (HMB) supplementation in humans is safe and may decrease cardiovascular risk factors. J Nutr 2000;130:1937–45.

2. Clark RH, Feleke G, Din M, et al. Nutritional treatment for acquired immunodeficiency virus-associated wasting using beta-hydroxy beta-methylbutyrate, glutamine, and arginine: a randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled study. JPEN J Parenter Enteral Nutr 2000;24:133–9.

3. Ransone J, Neighbors K, Lefavi R, Chromiak J. The effect of beta-hydroxy beta-methylbutyrate on muscular strength and body composition in collegiate football players. J Strength Cond Res 2003;17:34–9.

4. Kreider R, Ferreira M, Wilson M, et al. Effects of calcium beta-HMB supplementation with or without creatine during training on body composition alterations. FASEB J 1997;11:A374 [abstract].

5. Slater G, Jenkins D, Logan P, et al. Beta-hydroxy-beta-methylbutyrate (HMB) supplementation does not affect changes in strength or body composition during resistance training in trained men. Int J Sport Nutr Exerc Metab 2001;11:384–96.

6. Kreider RB, Ferreira M, Wilson M, Almada AL. Effects of calcium beta-hydroxy-beta-methylbutyrate (HMB) supplementation during resistance-training on markers of catabolism, body composition and strength. Int J Sports Med 1999;20:503–9.

7. Slater GJ, Jenkins D. Beta-hydroxy-beta-methylbutyrate (HMB) supplementation and the promotion of muscle growth and strength. Sports Med 2000;30:105–16 [review].

8. Vukovich MD, Stubbs NB, Bohlken RM. Body composition in 70-year-old adults responds to dietary beta-hydroxy-beta-methylbutyrate similarly to that of young adults. J Nutr 2001;131:2049–52.

9. Gallagher PM, Carrithers JA, Godard MP, et al. Beta-hydroxy-beta-methylbutyrate ingestion, Part I: effects on strength and fat free mass. Med Sci Sports Exerc 2000;32:2109–15.

10. Ransone J, Neighbors K, Lefavi R, Chromiak J. The effect of beta-hydroxy beta-methylbutyrate on muscular strength and body composition in collegiate football players. J Strength Cond Res 2003;17:34–9.

11. Kreider R, Ferreira M, Wilson M, et al. Effects of calcium beta-HMB supplementation with or without creatine during training on body composition alterations. FASEB J 1997;11:A374 [abstract].

12. Slater G, Jenkins D, Logan P, et al. Beta-hydroxy-beta-methylbutyrate (HMB) supplementation does not affect changes in strength or body composition during resistance training in trained men. Int J Sport Nutr Exerc Metab 2001;11:384–96.

13. Kreider RB, Ferreira M, Wilson M, Almada AL. Effects of calcium beta-hydroxy-beta-methylbutyrate (HMB) supplementation during resistance-training on markers of catabolism, body composition and strength. Int J Sports Med 1999;20:503–9.

14. Slater GJ, Jenkins D. Beta-hydroxy-beta-methylbutyrate (HMB) supplementation and the promotion of muscle growth and strength. Sports Med 2000;30:105–16 [review].

15. Vukovich MD, Stubbs NB, Bohlken RM. Body composition in 70-year-old adults responds to dietary beta-hydroxy-beta-methylbutyrate similarly to that of young adults. J Nutr 2001;131:2049–52.

16. Gallagher PM, Carrithers JA, Godard MP, et al. Beta-hydroxy-beta-methylbutyrate ingestion, Part I: effects on strength and fat free mass. Med Sci Sports Exerc 2000;32:2109–15.

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