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Table 1 Studies Which Support the Efficacy of HMB supplementation in Varying Populations

From: Effects of beta-hydroxy-beta-methylbutyrate (HMB) on exercise performance and body composition across varying levels of age, sex, and training experience: A review






Body composition

Nissen et al. [36]


0, 1.5, or 3 g/day for 7 weeks

CK & 3-MH decreased, dose dependent

Greater Total weight lifted, dose dependent

Greater LBM, dose dependent

Van Someren et al. [32, 37]


3 grams of HMB and .3 grams of KIC, prior to a single bout eccentric exercise

CK down

Greater 1-RM bicep curl and ROM, lower DOMS


Jowko et al. [18]

40 M, untrained

P, 3 gram HMB, HMB &creatine, or creatine

Only HMB lowered CK, urine urea nitrogen, and plasma urea

HMB & creatine additive effect on weight lifted

HMB & creatine additive effect on LBM

Gallagher et al. [19, 93]

37 M, untrained

P, 38 or 76 mg/kg for 8 weeks

CK, no effect on lipid profile, immune system, or renal function

Greater Isokinetic & Isometric torque, independent of dose.

Greater LBM, no effect on FML, independent of dose

Nissen et al. [28]

40 M, trained and untrained

P or 3 g/day for 4 weeks


Greater bench press 1-RM

Increase in LBM and FML

Panton et al. [38]

36 F, 39 M, varying training experiences

P or 3 g/d for 4 weeks


Greater upper body strength

Greater LBM & FML.

Thomson [39]

34 experienced weight lifters

P or 3 g/d for 9 weeks


Greater leg extension strength


Neighbors et al. [40]

Experienced collegiate football players

P or 3 g/d



Greater LBM and FML

Nissen & Sharp [41]

Meta-analysis, 9 studies

P or 3 g/day


.28% greater weekly strength

1.4% greater weekly LBM

Nissen et al. [63]

37 F

P or 3 g/day for 4 weeks

No effect

Greater Bench Press 1-RM

Greater LBM

Vukovich and Geri [42], Vukovich and Adams [43]

8 experienced cyclists

3 g/day HMB, leucine, or P, 2 weeks for each supplement.


HMB increased time to reach VO2 peak, and VO2 at OBLA.


Knitter et al. [17]

16 F & M, experienced long distance runners

P or 3 g/day prior to 20 KM run.

Lower LDH and CK.



Byrd et al. [44]

28 active M

P or 3/g HMB or creatine daily prior to downhill run


HMB lowered soreness.


Vukovich et al. [29]

31 untrained M & F

P or 3 g/day for 8 weeks


Greater upper and lower body strength

Greater FML, no effect on LBM.

Vukovich et al. [46]

31 elderly M & F

P or 3 g/day for 8 weeks


Greater Leg strength

Greater FML, trend for LBM (P > .06)

Flakoll et al. [45]

50 elderly F

P or 2 g of HMB, 5 g of arginine, and 1.5 g of lysine daily.

Greater protein synthesis

Greater functional mobility, leg and handgrip strength.

Trend FML (P=.08)

Panton et al. [47]

35 elderly M & F

P or HMB for 8 weeks


Greater Functional mobility

No effect

Soares et al. [48]

Adult mice

HMB prior to hind limb immobilization



Less fiber damage, greater fiber diameter.

Cohen [51]

Dieting humans, in negative energy balance

3 g/day of HMB



Greater maintenance LBM

Coelho and Carvalho [52]

12 elderly M

3 g/day of HMB for 4 weeks

Lower LDL-C

Greater weight lifting strength

Greater LBM

  1. M = Male; F = Female; LBM = Lean body mass; P = Placebo; FML = Fat mass lost; CK = Creatine kinase; LDL-C = Low density lipoprotein cholesterol; NR = Not reported; 3-MH = 3-methylhistidine.