HMB Powers Abdominal Fat Loss Prowess of Resistance Training - Is This a Result of HMB Increased GH Increases?

Will HMB help you to finally see your abs?
Only recently a study from the Jeremy Townsend et al. reported that the provision of β-Hydroxy-β-methylbutyrate free acid will increase the growth hormone response to resistance training (Townsend. 2015).

Now, we all know that the growth hormone response is not, as some people may still believe, a measure of the total amount of muscle the subjects will gain.

Instead of discussing the results of this acute-phase study, I will thus deal with the results of a recent study from the Institute of Exercise Physiology and Wellness at the University of Central Florida (Stout. 2015), instead.
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In said study, Stout et al. examined effects of exercise and/or HMB supplement in older men for 12 weeks. The 48 mean with a mean age of 72.1 years, were randomized to receive either 200 mg calcium (Ca) + 4 g carbohydrate (PLA) or 1.5 g CaHMB + 4 g carbohydrate (HMB) twice daily over the course of a 12 week resistance training (RT) intervention.
"Compliance was assured by recording individual product intake and measuring urinary HMB levels as described by Stout et al. (2013). Participants were further separated into no-training placebo (NT-PL), treatment only (NT-HMB), RT with PL (RT-PL), or treatment with RT (RT-HMB) groups. Supervised progressive RT sessions were performed three times per week for 12 weeks" (Stout. 2015).
The amount of abdominal fat was measured using the procedures described by Glickman et al. (2004). Whole-body scans were performed following a 12-hour fast using a dual-energy X-ray absorptiometry (DXA) scanner (Lunar Prodigy Advanced, Madison, WI., Software version 10.50.086).
Figure 1: Changes in abdominal fat in response to 12 weeks of training / no-training + placebo / CA-HMB supplementation in older men (Stout. 2015).
As a brief glance at Figure 1 shows, Stout's reanalysis of the data shows a significant effect on the abdominal fat mass of the subjects. In view of the fact that the 12-week study lacked a rigid dietary control and considering the fact that the subjects in the non-training placebo group also lost abdominal fat, future studies are warranted to confirm that the increased abdominal fat loss was actually triggered by HMB.
Data from Yarasheski et al. (1992) shows: Even exogenously adminis- tered growth hormone (40µg/day) does not have uber-potent muscle building effects in young men. 
Speaking of abdominal fat loss: I started this article with a reference to the recent study by Townsend et al. Now, you already know that GH increases in the post-exercise phase do not necessarily correlate with increased lean mass gains (West. 2012).

What you may also know, even endogenous growth hormone as it is used for doping purposes is not exactly an uber-potent muscle builder (Yarasheski. 1992). What exogenous growth hormone can do - specifically in overweight subjects - is to reduce abdominal fat (Johannsson. 1997). Eventually, there may thus be a link between the two studies mentioned in today's SuppVersity - HMB increases the growth hormone response to exercise and this boosts the abdominal fat loss effects of resistance training | Comment on Facebook!
  • Glickman, Scott G., et al. "Validity and reliability of dual-energy X-ray absorptiometry for the assessment of abdominal adiposity." Journal of Applied Physiology 97.2 (2004): 509-514.
  • Johannsson, Gudmundur, et al. "Growth Hormone Treatment of Abdominally Obese Men Reduces Abdominal Fat Mass, Improves Glucose and Lipoprotein Metabolism, and Reduces Diastolic Blood Pressure 1." The Journal of Clinical Endocrinology & Metabolism 82.3 (1997): 727-734.
  • Stout, Jeffrey R., et al. "Effect of calcium β-hydroxy-β-methylbutyrate (CaHMB) with and without resistance training in men and women 65+ yrs: A randomized, double-blind pilot trial." Experimental gerontology 48.11 (2013): 1303-1310.
  • Stout, Jeffrey R., et al. "β-Hydroxy-β-methylbutyrate (HMB) supplementation and resistance exercise significantly reduce abdominal adiposity in healthy elderly men." Experimental Gerontology (2015).
  • Townsend, Jeremy R., et al. "Effects of β-Hydroxy-β-methylbutyrate Free Acid Ingestion and Resistance Exercise on the Acute Endocrine Response." International Journal of Endocrinology (2015).
  • West DW, Phillips SM. Associations of exercise-induced hormone profiles and gains in strength and hypertrophy in a large cohort after weight training. Eur J Appl Physiol. 2012 Jul;112(7):2693-702.
  • Yarasheski, Kevin E., et al. "Effect of growth hormone and resistance exercise on muscle growth in young men." American Journal of Physiology-Endocrinology And Metabolism 262.3 (1992): E261-E267.
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