HMB works, meta-study says
In sports, HMB is a controversial supplement. Some users insist that it really does something, other users consider it to be overhyped and ineffective. According to a meta-study published by British researchers in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, HMB really works. A little bit.
The researchers found 13 previously published trials in which subjects had received more than 1.5 grams of HMB. The researchers collected both HMB-only studies and studies in which HMB was administered in combination with other nutrients. They excluded studies with children or athletes as a test subject. They only used studies with patients.
According to the meta-analysis, HMB supplementation had a positive effect on the growth of muscle mass. However, this effect was modest.
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The effect of HMB on strength was more convincing, but that effect was not great either. The relatively high scores of the ONS studies are noteworthy. In these trials, subjects daily received HMB in combination with 36 grams of whey and two doses of 1000 IU of vitamin D.
"This systematic review and meta-analysis of randomized controlled trials found that HMB alone, and supplements containing HMB, improve muscle mass and muscle strength in a variety of clinical groups, although the effect size was small to moderate", the British write.
"However, given the bias associated with many of the included studies, further, high-quality randomized controlled trials should be undertaken with greater methodologic rigor."
Am J Clin Nutr. 2019 Apr 1;109(4):1119-32.
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