HMB Supplement Benefits - Anabolic, Anti-Catabolic or Not?

HMB Supplement Benefits

Supplements Can Play an Essential Role in your Fitness Results

It is the beauty of science and medicine that what was at one time considered correct and acceptable can bethought of as wrong and unacceptable at a later date. This ability to keep an open mind and constantly undergo an evolution of thought is that makes working in science rewarding. The very core of what we once thought is the correct way to exercise or eat has changed, and most likely will change and reinvent itself every few years. Think about how many times you have been watching the evening news or reading the paper and you see a report regarding some study related to cholesterol or some medical condition, only to hear a few months later a new report that contradicts the first one. This does not mean that one is correct, while the other is wrong, but rather that the thought process is evolving. Keeping an open mind and avoiding thinking in absolutes will help you achieve greater successes in both the gym (in the manner that you train) and in life in general.

The science of training and nutrition is constantly being explored. You have the thinkers and the cerebrals who attempt through research to answer simple questions. These questions often are "how does it work," "what would be the effect if I give compound X to a group of people," and "why does the reaction occur" Let's take a look at some of the latest research into the how and why of nutrition and training.


In a study conducted at the Iowa State University, researchers from the Human Performance Laboratory examined if supplemental beta-hydroxy-betamethylbutyrate (HMB) could protect muscle from damage after intense miming. Subjects took either the HMB (three grams per day) or a matching placebo for six weeks. HMB is derived from the essential amino acid, leucine. In the body, leucine is broken down into alpha-keto-isocaproic acid (KIC) and HMB. Both KIC and HMB have shown to have some anabolic (muscle building) and/or anti-catabolic (protect against muscle breakdown) effects in humans. It is commonly thought of that HMB is stronger or more potent than KIC, thus HMB enjoys a greater market presence.

Subjects were tested prior to supplementation and again after six weeks of supplementation. Throughout the six weeks, each subject did his or her normal amount of running. The test included running 12.2 miles, with half being uphill and the other half downhill. Each subject had his or her blood taken along with other measurements to denote safety and efficacy of the supplement. After six weeks of daily supplementation with three grams of HMB, it was determined that HMB protected the muscles against catabolism. Catabolism was measured via two blood tests (CPK and LDH), which are considered accurate for detecting muscle damage. The researchers concluded that aim supplementation helps prevent exercise-induced muscle damage (I). If you over-exercise or train frequently at a very high intensity, HMB may be able to help protect your body from catabolism, thereby enabling you to recover quicker.

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