Principal Proposed Uses
Other Proposed Uses
Technically "beta-hydroxy beta-methylbutyric acid," HMB is a chemical that occurs naturally in the body when the amino acid leucine breaks down.
HMB is not an essential nutrient, so there is no established requirement. HMB is found in small amounts in citrus fruit and catfish. To get a therapeutic dosage, however, you need to take a supplement in powder or pill form.
A typical therapeutic dosage of HMB is 3 g daily.
Be careful not to confuse HMB with gamma hydroxybutyrate (GHB), a similar supplement. GHB can cause severe sedation, especially when combined with other sedating substances, such as alcohol or anti-anxiety drugs.
What Is the Scientific Evidence for Hydroxymethyl Butyrate?
In another controlled study reported in the same article, 32 male volunteers took either 3 g of HMB daily or placebo, and then lifted weights for 2 or 3 hours daily, 6 days a week for 7 weeks. The HMB group saw a significantly greater increase in its bench-press strength than the placebo group. However, there was no significant difference in body weight or fat mass by the end of the study.
When the results of small studies contradict one another, it often means that the studied treatment produces minimal benefits at most, and this may be the case with HMB. Larger trials will be necessary to truly determine the extent of its effect.
As with all supplements taken in very large doses, it is important to purchase a quality product, as an impurity present even in very small percentages could add up to a real problem.
- Reviewer: EBSCO CAM Review Board
- Review Date: 08/2013 -
- Update Date: 08/22/2013 -