Beta-hydroxy Beta Methylbutyrate (HMB)

HMB is derived from the essential amino acid leucine. A substantial body of evidence suggests that leucine when combined with proper training increases strength, decreases body fat, decreases muscle breakdown, stimulates protein synthesis, and decreases soreness. Similarly, research implies that HMB supplementation exhibits both pro-growth and anti-breakdown properties like its parent compound leucine. Moreover, some investigation even suggets that HMB may be more effective at reducing muscle breakdown when compared to leucine. 

Potential Benefits of HMB for Musculoskeletal Health*  

 

1. HMB may help you lose body fat* 5,6,7,8,9,10,11,12,13,14,15

Obesity is a major risk factor for chronic joint disease. Research suggests HMB may ramp up fatty acid oxidation. Fatty acid oxidation is a metabolic process in which your body preferentially uses fat as an energy source.   

Researchers at South Dakota State University investigated the effects of HMB on 70-y-old adults undergoing a 5 d/wk exercise program. HMB supplementation increased the percentage of body fat loss compared with the placebo group. (Vukovich et al. Body composition in 70-year-old adults responds to dietary beta-hydroxy-beta-methylbutyrate similarly to that of young adults. J Nutr. 2001 Jul;131(7):2049-52.)

 

2. HMB may increases strength*16,17, 18, 19, 20,21,22,23,24,25

Weakness is a common complaint of individuals with chronic joint and muscle disease. Research suggests HMB directly stimulates protein synthesis, may promote muscle cell proliferation, and potentially encourages stem cell differentiation to new muscle cells. Moreover,  some investigation implies HMB may increase production of growth hormone and insulin growth like factor. 

Researchers at The University of Tampa evaluated the effects of HMB on an 8-week periodized resistance-training program. HMB supplementation demonstrated greater increase in total strength (bench press, squat, and deadlift combined), a greater increase in vertical jump power; and increased lean body mass gain when compared with the placebo group. (Wislon et al. The effects of 12 weeks of beta-hydroxy-beta-methylbutyrate free acid supplementation on muscle mass, strength, and power in resistance-trained individuals: a randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled study. 2014 Jun;114(6):1217-27. doi: 10.1007/s00421-014-2854-5. Epub 2014 Mar 6.)

 

3. HMB may reduces muscle damage* 26,27,28,29,30,31,32,33,34,35

Skeletal muscle breakdown is a cardinal sign of aging. Research suggest HMB restricts the synthesis of enzymes that breakdown protein and thwarts the effectiveness of muscle eating enzymes. HMB also has been shown to reduce muscle cell death after injury, a process called apoptosis.

Researchers from Florida investigated the effects of HMB on an indices of muscle damage and protein breakdown. The study authors concluded HMB supplement given to trained athletes before exercise can blunt increases in muscle damage and prevent declines in perceived readiness to train following a high-volume, muscle-damaging resistance-training session. (Wislon et al. β-Hydroxy-β-methylbutyrate free acid reduces markers of exercise-induced muscledamage and improves recovery in resistance-trained men. Br J Nutr. 2013 Aug 28;110(3):538-44. doi: 10.1017/S0007114512005387. Epub 2013 Jan 3.)

 

4. HMB may boost aerobic performance* 36, 37,38,39,40

Research suggests HMB may increase the number and size of mitochondria in skeletal muscle. Mitochondria are the power generators of the cell. The more mitochondria you have, the more energy you can produce, and the better your aerobic performance. 

Polish researchers examined the effects of HMB on aerobic capacity and body composition in trained athletes. The study demonstrated significant improvement in indices that measure aerobic capacity. The authors concluded HMB supplementation stimulates an increase in aerobic capacity. (Durkalec-Michalski et al. The Effect of β-Hydroxy-β-Methylbutyrate on Aerobic Capacity and Body Composition in Trained Athletes.J Strength Cond Res. 2016 Sep;30(9):2617-26.)

 

Safety First*41,42,43,44,45

HMB is generally well tolerated. As with any consideration of any form of supplementation consult your healthcare provide prior to use if you are pregnant, nursing, taking any medications or have any medical conditions. Discontinue use and consult your doctor is any adverse reactions occur.

*These statements have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. These statements are not intended to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent any disease.

 

References

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Anthony JC, Anthony TG, Layman DK: Leucine supplementation enhances skeletal muscle recovery in rats following exercise. J Nutr 1999, 129:1102–1106. 


Anthony JC, Yoshizawa F, Anthony TG, Vary TC, Jefferson LS, Kimball SR: 
Leucine stimulates translation initiation in skeletal muscle of postabsorptive rats via a rapamycin-sensitive pathway. J Nutr 2000, 130:2413–2419. 


Wilson GJ, Wilson JM, Manninen AH: Effects of beta-hydroxy-beta- methylbutyrate (HMB) on exercise performance and body composition across varying levels of age, sex, and training experience: a review. Nutr Metab (Lond) 2008, 5:1.


Durkalec-Michalski K, Jeszka J. The Effect of a 12-Week Beta-hydroxy-beta-methylbutyrate (HMB) Supplementation on Highly-Trained Combat Sports Athletes: A Randomised, Double-Blind, Placebo-Controlled Crossover Study.  Nutrients. 2017 Jul; 9(7): 753.

Jowko E, Ostaszewski P, Jank M, Sacharuk J, Zieniewicz A, Wilczak J, Nissen S: Creatine and beta-hydroxy-beta-methylbutyrate (HMB) additively increase lean body mass and muscle strength during a weight-training program. Nutrition 2001, 17:558–566.


Gallagher PM, Carrithers JA, Godard MP, Schulze KE, Trappe SW: Beta- hydroxy-beta-methylbutyrate ingestion, partI: effects on strength and fat free mass. Med Sci Sports Exerc 2000, 32:2109–2115.


Kraemer WJ, Hatfield DL, Volek JS, Fragala MS, Vingren JL, Anderson JM, Spiering BA, Thomas GA, Ho JY, Quann EE, et al: Effects of amino acids supplement on physiological adaptations to resistance training. Med Sci Sports Exerc 2009, 41:1111–1121.


Panton LB, Rathmacher JA, Baier S, Nissen S: Nutritional supplementation of the leucine metabolite beta-hydroxy-beta-methylbutyrate (hmb) during resistance training. Nutrition 2000, 16:734–739.


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, 17:34–39.

Bruckbauer A, Zemel MB, Thorpe T, Akula MR, Stuckey AC, Osborne D, 
Martin EB, Kennel S, Wall JS: Synergistic effects of leucine and resveratrol on insulin sensitivity and fat metabolism in adipocytes and mice.
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Verdin E, Hirschey MD, Finley LW, Haigis MC: Sirtuin regulation of mitochondria: energy production, apoptosis, and signaling. Trends Biochem Sci 2010, 35:669–675. 


Hardie DG: Minireview: the AMP-activated protein kinase cascade: the key sensor of cellular energy status. Endocrinology 2003, 144:5179–5183. 


Hardie DG, Hawley SA, Scott JW: AMP-activated protein kinase– development of the energy sensor concept. J Physiol 2006, 574:7–15. 


Zemel RASMB: Role of β-hydroxy-β-methylbutyrate (HMB) in leucine 
stimulation of muscle mitochondrial biogenesis. FASEB J 2012, 26:251.6.

Gerlinger-Romero F, Guimaraes-Ferreira L, Giannocco G, Nunes MT: Chronic supplementation of beta-hydroxy-beta methylbutyrate (HMbeta) increases the activity of the GH/IGF-I axis and induces hyperinsulinemia in rats. Growth hormone & IGF research: official journal of the Growth Hormone Research Society and the International IGF Research Society 2011, 21:57–62. 


Smith HJ, Mukerji P, Tisdale MJ: Attenuation of proteasome-induced proteolysis in skeletal muscle by {beta}-hydroxy-{beta}-methylbutyrate in cancer-induced muscle loss. Cancer Res 2005, 65:277–283. 


Kornasio R, Riederer I, Butler-Browne G, Mouly V, Uni Z, Halevy O: Beta- hydroxy-beta-methylbutyrate (HMB) stimulates myogenic cell proliferation, differentiation and survival via the MAPK/ERK and PI3K/Akt pathways. Biochim Biophys Acta 2009, 1793:755–763. 


Nissen S, Sharp R, Ray M, Rathmacher JA, Rice D, Fuller JC Jr, Connelly AS, Abumrad N: Effect of leucine metabolite beta-hydroxy-beta- methylbutyrate on muscle metabolism during resistance-exercise training. J Appl Physiol 1996, 81:2095–2104.

Jówko E, Ostaszewski P, Jank M, Sacharuk J, Zieniewicz A, Wilczak J, et al. Creatine and beta-hydroxy-beta-methylbutyrate (HMB) additively increase lean body mass and muscle strength during a weight- training program. Nutrition 2001;17: 558–566. 


Gallagher PM, Carrithers JA, Godard MP, Schulze KE, Trappe SW: Beta- hydroxy-beta-methylbutyrate ingestion, part I: effects on strength and fat free mass. Med Sci Sports Exerc 2000, 32:2109–2115.


Kraemer WJ, Hatfield DL, Volek JS, Fragala MS, Vingren JL, Anderson JM, Spiering BA, Thomas GA, Ho JY, Quann EE, et al: Effects of amino acids supplement on physiological adaptations to resistance training. Med Sci Sports Exerc 2009, 41:1111–1121.


Panton LB, Rathmacher JA, Baier S, Nissen S: Nutritional supplementation of the leucine metabolite beta-hydroxy-beta-methylbutyrate (hmb) during resistance training. Nutrition 2000, 16:734–739.

Thomson JS, Watson PE, Rowlands DS: Effects of nine weeks of beta- hydroxy-beta- methylbutyrate supplementation on strength and body composition in resistance trained men. J Strength Conditioning Res/ National Strength & Conditioning Assoc 2009, 23:827–835.


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, 17:34–39. 


Knitter AE, Panton L, Rathmacher JA, Petersen A, Sharp R. Effects of beta- hydroxy-beta-methylbutyrate on muscle damage after a prolonged run. J Appl Physiol 2000;89:1340–1344.


Vukovich M, Dreifort G: Effect of β-Hydroxy β-Methylbutyrate on the Onset of Blood Lactate Accumulation and O2peak in Endurance-Trained Cyclists. J Strength Cond Res 2001, 15:491–497.


Nissen S, Sharp R, Ray M, Rathmacher JA, Rice D, Fuller JC Jr, Connelly AS, Abumrad N: Effect of leucine metabolite beta-hydroxy-beta- methylbutyrate on muscle metabolism during resistance-exercise training. J Appl Physiol 1996, 81:2095–2104.

Jówko E, Ostaszewski P, Jank M, Sacharuk J, Zieniewicz A, Wilczak J, et al. Creatine and beta-hydroxy-beta-methylbutyrate (HMB) additively increase lean body mass and muscle strength during a weight- training program. Nutrition 2001;17: 558–566. 


Knitter AE, Panton L, Rathmacher JA, Petersen A, Sharp R: Effects of beta- hydroxy-beta-methylbutyrate on muscle damage after a prolonged run. J Appl Physiol 2000, 89:1340–1344.


Panton LB, Rathmacher JA, Baier S, Nissen S: Nutritional supplementation of the leucine metabolite beta-hydroxy-beta-methylbutyrate (hmb) during resistance training. Nutrition 2000, 16:734–739.
van Someren KA, Edwards AJ, Howatson G: Supplementation with beta- hydroxy-beta-methylbutyrate (HMB) and alpha-ketoisocaproic acid (KIC) reduces signs and symptoms of exercise-induced muscle damage in man. Int J Sport Nutr Exerc Metab 2005, 15:413–424.


Holecek M, Muthny T, Kovarik M, Sispera L: Effect of beta-hydroxy-beta- methylbutyrate (HMB) on protein metabolism in whole body and in selected tissues. Food and chemical toxicology: an international journal published for the British Industrial Biological Research Association 2009, 47:255–259. 


Kovarik M, Muthny T, Sispera L, Holecek M: Effects of beta-hydroxy-beta- methylbutyrate treatment in different types of skeletal muscle of intact and septic rats. J Physiol Biochem 2010, 66:311–319. 


Smith HJ, Wyke SM, Tisdale MJ: Mechanism of the attenuation of proteolysis-inducing factor stimulated protein degradation in muscle by beta-hydroxy-beta-methylbutyrate. Cancer Res 2004, 64:8731–8735. 


Eley HL, Russell ST, Tisdale MJ: Mechanism of attenuation of muscle protein degradation induced by tumor necrosis factor-alpha and angiotensin II by beta-hydroxy-beta-methylbutyrate. Am J Physiol Endocrinol Metab 2008, 295:E1417–E1426. 


Verdin E, Hirschey MD, Finley LW, Haigis MC: Sirtuin regulation of mitochondria: energy production, apoptosis, and signaling. Trends Biochem Sci 2010, 35:669–675. 


Hardie DG: Minireview: the AMP-activated protein kinase cascade: the key sensor of cellular energy status. Endocrinology 2003, 144:5179–5183. 


Hardie DG, Hawley SA, Scott JW: AMP-activated protein kinase– development of the energy sensor concept. J Physiol 2006, 574:7–15. 


Zemel RASMB: Role of β-hydroxy-β-methylbutyrate (HMB) in leucine 
stimulation of muscle mitochondrial biogenesis. FASEB J 2012, 26:251.6. 


Vukovich MD, Dreifort GD. Effect of beta- hydroxy beta-methylbutyrate on the onset of blood lactate accumulation and V(O)(2) peak in endurance-trained cyclists. J Strength Cond Res 2001;15: 491–497.

 Nissen SL, Abumrad NN: Nutritional role of the leucine metabolite B- hydroxy B-methylbutyrate (HMB). J Nutr Biochem 1997, 8:300–311. 


Gallagher PM, Carrithers JA, Godard MP, Schulze KE, Trappe SW: Beta- hydroxy-beta-methylbutyrate ingestion, part II: effects on hematology, hepatic and renal function. Med Sci Sports Exerc 2000, 32:2116–2119. 


Nissen S, Sharp RL, Panton L, Vukovich M, Trappe S, Fuller JC Jr: beta- hydroxy-beta-methylbutyrate (HMB) supplementation in humans is safe and may decrease cardiovascular risk factors. J Nutr 2000, 130:1937–1945. 


Rathmacher JA, Nissen S, Panton L, Clark RH, Eubanks May P, Barber AE, D'Olimpio J, Abumrad NN: Supplementation with a combination of beta- hydroxy-beta-methylbutyrate (HMB), arginine, and glutamine is safe and could improve hematological parameters. JPEN J Parenter Enteral Nutr 2004, 28:65–75. 


Baxter JH, Carlos JL, Thurmond J, Rehani RN, Bultman J, Frost D: Dietary toxicity of calcium beta-hydroxy-beta-methyl butyrate (CaHMB). 
Food Chem Toxicol 2005, 43:1731–1741. 


 Lucas J. Bader MD

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