Beta-Hydroxy beta-methylbutyric acid

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β-Hydroxy β-methylbutyric acid (HMB), or β-hydroxy β-methylbutyrate, is a metabolite of the essential amino acid leucine and is synthesized in the human body. Its part in protein synthesis was discovered by Steven L. Nissen at Iowa State University.[1] It has been used in scientific studies to purportedly increase muscle mass and decrease muscle breakdown. Nissen held the original patent on the metabolite as a nutritional supplement. It was discovered in pigs and small quantities can also be found in grapefruit, alfalfa, and catfish. As a supplement it is usually sold as the calcium salt calcium beta-hydroxy-beta-methylbutyrate.

Research published in the Journal of Applied Physiology has shown that HMB may have an effect on increasing muscle weight and strength.[1] A review in Nutrition & Metabolism provides an in depth and objective analysis of HMB research. [2] The same study lists as HMB's proposed mechanisms of action the following:

The human body produces about 0.2-0.4 grams per day. Standard doses in research studies have been 1.5 to 3.0 grams per day, usually divided into two doses.


  1. 1.0 1.1
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