Beta-Hydroxy Beta-Methylbutyrate (HMB)
Beta-Hydroxy Beta-Methylbutyrate or abbreviated as HMB is a type of metabolite that falls under the category of essential amino acid leucine. The human body synthesizes this particular metabolite, which is known for offering certain benefits.
Its role in the synthesis of protein was first identified by a Steven L. Nissen from Iowa University. HMB has been observed and studied in various scientific experiments. In these experiments, researchers have observed that it can help with muscle mass growth and muscle breakdown reduction.
Though Nissen held the initial patent to use HMB as a nutritional supplement, it was later discovered that certain food sources contain HMB. This included pork meat, catfish, alfalfa, and grapefruit. It can also be purchased as a calcium salt.
How HMB Works?
It is not yet known how exactly HMB works. However, a study conducted at Vanderbilt University indicated that HMB prevents the degradation of protein during resistance training. In another study published in the European Journal of Applied Physiology, HMB was found to be very effective in helping minimize the breakdown of muscle tissue.
Here are few of the benefits offered by HMB:
• Muscle building: In August 2001, a “Nutrition” Journal published study stated that HMB, when combined with creatine, it was able to boost strength gain and lean mass. In another study published in the “Nutrition & Metabolism” journal, it was stated that HMB had a role to play in reducing muscle soreness for athletes, boosting strength, and enabling lean body composition.
• Fight weight-loss: Certain studies have also shown that HMB consumption can fight disease related weight loss. For instance, patients suffering from Cancer related cachexia were able to put on weight and increase lean body mass by consuming a combination of HMB, glutamine and arginine. Similarly, it has also been prescribed to fight muscle wasting in patients affected with AIDS.
• Other than the above mentioned benefits, many studies have shown that HMB plays a key role in lowering cholesterol, controlling hypertension, and minimize the risk factors for cardiovascular diseases.
• About 0.2 to 0.4 grams of HMB is synthesized in the human body itself.
• However, for those who may require extra supplements, studies indicate that humans can consume between 1.5 to 3.0 grams of HMB. This quantity must be divided into two separate doses per day.
The human body produces its own HMB and therefore, most people may not require an added supply. However, individuals who engage in intense fitness regimes or athletes may benefit from the extra dosage of HMB. As mentioned above, this can either be sourced from nutritional supplements or obtained from food such as catfish, alfalfa, pork meat, and grapefruit.