1. What is it and where does it come from?
HMB is short for beta-hydroxy beta-methylbutyrate. It is a new and exciting supplement that is one of the most popular body building supplements today. HMB is a metabolite of leucine, one of the body's essential amino acids.
There are small amounts of HMB present in many foods, primarily catfish, grapefruit, and alfalfa. Dietary supplements of HMB are also available from Bodybuilding.com.
2. What does it do and what scientific studies
give evidence to support this?
Many of the world's champions and athletes are using HMB and receiving dramatic results. Specifically, HMB plays a role in the synthesis of muscle tissue. It has the ability to burn fat and build muscle consistently in response to exercise. Backed heavily by science, HMB works for NFL greats like Shannon Sharpe and Olympic medallists throughout the globe. New scientific studies are being conducted on this supplement all the time. Recently, a study showed in a control group supplementing with HMB, that after taking 3 grams of HMB per day for three weeks, those who took HMB versus the random placebo takers gained three times more muscle on their bench press! Animal studies also suggest that it may increase lean muscle mass. A study conducted on humans showed that those who supplemented with HMB experienced enhanced strength, greater endurance, and increased fat loss. It's ability to boost endurance alone is an incredible result. A seven week long study showed a much greater gain in muscle when a group of 28 participated in a regular weight-training program. How does HMB do all this? It appears to increase the rate of protein being used to increase muscle growth, while decreasing the atrophy or tear down of muscle that occurs.
12/6/01 - A new study from two Brazilian universities included subjects with high cholesterol (12 older men, aged 50 - 72). They took either a placebo or 3 grams of HMB per day for four weeks. During that time, all the men trained five days per week with three of the days for aerobic training and two days for weight training. They found that the men taking HMB dramatically reduced their LDL, or "bad" cholesterol and had significant gains in both strength (as judged by 1RM in the leg press, lat pulldown and biceps curl) and lean mass. The placebo group experienced no changes in LDL or in lean mass although they did get stronger as a result of the training program. This proves it! HMB works for building lean mass and strength faster than if you are not taking it... and may even lower your cholesterol while you are taking it.
3. Who needs it and what are some symptoms of deficiency?
Basically anyone who is ready to experience some awesome muscle-building effects can benefit from HMB. Deficiency is not an issue, but building strength, getting cut, and trimming off the extra fat is. It is safe for men and women.
4. How much should be taken? Are there any side effects?
Generally, the research done involving HMB used 3 - 5 grams of HMB in combination with regular exercise (like weight lifting). Take it before training or before bedtime for best results. There are no known side effects when taken properly only BIG gains!