Tuesday, July 27, 2010

Getting Old? Try Some HMB Against Loss of Lean Body Mass

While the effectiveness of the leucine metabolite b-hydroxy-b-methylbutyrate (HMB) in athletes is debatable, its usefulness in geriatric scenarios becomes more and more obvious. On July, 2 2010, Kim et.al. (Kim. 2010) presented the results of a study investigating the effect of HMB (0.46 g/kg/d, similar to 6 g/d in humans) to old rats for 16 wks prior to being sacrificed. The beneficial effects on the retention of lean body mass speak for themselves:
"The LBM decline from 60 to 102 wks was only observed in the Non-HMB group (p<0.05). There was a main group x time effect (p<0.01) in the lean/total body mass (LBM/TBM) ratio, indicating an improved ratio only in the HMB group between 86 and 102 wks (+35%). A group x time effect in fat mass (FM, g) revealed a significant loss in FM (-55%) only in the HMB group between 86 and 102 wks (p<0.01)." (Kim. 2010)
The reason why I mention these results on a blog directed mainly to athletes and younger people is that I want to raise your awareness of the fact that most of the studies (often cited in advertisements, as well) that show beneficial effects of HMB (and there is quite a hand-full) were either done on old or sick animals. They are thus of little significance for a bodybuilder on a protein-supplemented high calorie diet. Until now evidence for beneficial effects of HMB-supplementation in this group of people is lacking. So save you money and buy some quality whey proteinBCAAs or even better EAAs instead.