Does HMB Supplements Work?
is a natural compound produced in the body in very small
amounts, and it can be found in some foods like catfish
and alfalfa. HMB is a metabolite of the amino acid leucine,
and numerous studies have shown HMB to be a precursor of
cholesterol. A very small portion of leucine in the body
is converted to HMB producing about 0.2 - 0.4g of HMB per
It is believed that stressed cells may
not make sufficient HMG-CoA to support adequate cholesterol
synthesis. HMB supplements could be used a readily available
source of HMG-CoA for these cells to maintain cholesterol
synthesis, which helps maintain cell membrane function.
Studies have show HMB to decrease muscle membrane damage
after strenuous exercising.
HMB plays a role in synthesis of muscle
tissue in response to exercises and helps to reduce body
fat - this is achieved indirectly from the gain in lean
body mass, which oxidizes fatty acids (whether HMB plays
a direct role in burning fat still needs concrete evidence).
However, the actual mechanisms of HMB
metabolism are not known. One hypothesis suggests that HMB
directly inhibits the catabolism of muscle proteins during
stressful events such as exercise. Another possibility is
that HMB is a structural component covalently linked to
tissues or cell membranes and is destroyed when under stress.
Thus, supplementation with HMB may both prevent muscle breakdown
as well as accelerate tissue repair after exercise .
HMB Studies and Research
There are extensive research done on HMB
that well documents its effectiveness in helping reduce
muscle breakdown and helping muscle gain from strenuous
exercising. Below are just a few of the hundreds of studies
done on HMB.
HMB Study 1: In a study
conducted by Institute of Sport and Physical Education (Biala
Podlaska, Academy of Physical Education, Warsaw, Poland),
a 3 week, double blind study involving 40 participants were
placed in 4 groups: 1) placebo group, 2) 20g of creatine
for 7day, 10g of creatine for 14 days, 3) 3g of HMB per
day, and 4) Creatine and HMB.
Group 2, 3, and 4 gained 0.92kg, 0.39,
and 1.54kg of lean body mass respectively, and had achieved
accumulative strength increases of 37.5, 39.1, and 51.9
kg for each group respectively.
HMB Study 2: In a study
done by Department of Education, East Tennessee State University,
39 men and 36 women were randomized into a placebo group
or a HMB group given 3g of HMB per day. After a 4 week period
of resistance training, the HMB group had a 7.5kg strength
gain compared to 5.2kg of the placebo group. The HMB group
also had a 1.4kg lean mass gain and lowered body fat by
1.1%, while the placebo group had a 0.9kg lean mass gain
and lowered body fat by 0.8%.
HMB Supplement Benefits
Obviously, HMB helps prevent muscle break
down and increases muscle gains:
- Increases lean mass gains
- Prevents muscle catabolism
- Speeds up muscle repair
- Decreases body fat
- Decreases blood cholesterol levels
What's My View On HMB Supplements?
From all of above, HMB sounds pretty swell
doesn't it? Sure did to me while I was researching up on
it, and well, all this positive research and information
convinced me to do a cycle of EAS HMB some time back, and
honestly, I really don't know if taking HMB helped me. Of
course, I had read up quite a bit on the positives on stacking
HMB and Creatine, and yep, that's what I tried. Mind you
I had done numerous cycles of creatine before, but trying
HMB for the first time.
I got my self a month's supply of EAS
HMB . At the same time, I coincided my HMB cycle with
my creatine cycle, and during this time, I was taking creatine,
HMB, glutamine, and some whey supplements. It was just a
very basic cycle with nothing fancy other than the HMB,
so I can objectively evaluate the effectiveness of HMB and
test it out. I did a week of loading on creatine as usual
followed with 4 weeks of maintaining. The HMB supply lasted
me a little over 4 weeks.
During this cycle, I really can't say
I felt any "different" or didn't quite feel the
effects of HMB so to speak. After the 5 weeks, I gained
maybe 2 to 3lbs - hard for me to say whether this was from
the HMB or just regular body weight fluctuation. (Obviously,
my cycle isn't very scientific like the studies listed above,
but at least its real life situation with an average Joe
trying to put on some weight. ^__^ )
Although the results weren't great for
myself, I'm sure with all the conclusive research done on
HMB, it does work, but to a certain extent. If you have
the cash to spare, by all means, give HMB a shot, but if
you're on a tight budget, save your money and stick with
something tested and true like creatine, glutamine, whey
supplements, tribulus, zma etc... There are reviews
of these on the site here.
HMB Side Effects
Obviously, before trying anything new,
I always dig around for all the dirt I can find on it, and
side effects is something I always look at carefully (which
you should also). And I have to say that I couldn't find
any thing that had shown HMB to have any side effects. During
my 4 week cycle of HMB, I didn't experience side effects
of any kind from HMB.
The suggested daily dose of HMB is about
3 to 5 grams.
One of the better and cheaper HMB supplement
I went for was EAS HMB. I got a month's supply for under
Click here for HMB supplements