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Preserve & Improve Body Composition

Preserve & Improve Body Composition
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Beta-hydroxy-beta-methylbutyrate, better known as HMB, has been shown to improve muscle strength and quality in adults of all ages.1,2

It stimulates protein synthesis and prevents muscle breakdown.1

It even shows benefits in those who are practicing intermittent fasting while working out.3

HMB may help adults of any age achieve and maintain a healthier body composition.

Fat Vs. Muscle Mass

Having an ideal body composition isn’t just about looking good.

The ratio of fat versus lean mass in the body can be an excellent indicator of overall health.4

According to the Director of PEAK Health and Wellness at the University of Utah, maintaining a healthy body composition:4

  • Decreases the risk of cardiovascular disease, diabetes, and osteoporosis,
  • Lowers the risk of metabolic syndromes,
  • Maintains cognitive function and decreases stress,
  • Boosts energy, and
  • Enhances the ability to perform daily activities.

HMB (or beta-hydroxy-beta-methylbutyrate) is a compound formed naturally when your body breaks down the amino acid leucine.7

It’s been shown to help prevent sarcopenia,8 the age-related loss of muscle mass.

As of 2016, over 650 million adults worldwide suffered from obesity. This amounted to 13% of the world’s adult population at that time.19 Scientists designed a clinical trial to investigate the effects of HMB on muscle strength in overweight, sedentary women, aged 20 to 45. No exercise training was involved.1

The study was the most rigorous type: randomized, placebo-controlled, and double-blind (in which neither the subjects nor the researchers know who’s receiving the placebo or treatment).

Another team of scientists investigated how HMB would affect muscle mass in people trying a form of intermittent fasting known as time-restricted feeding.

So scientists set up a randomized, placebo- controlled, double-blind study to test whether taking HMB could prevent this loss in those practicing this form of intermittent fasting.3

The research team recruited healthy female volunteers between 18 and 30 years old. All subjects were required to have previously participated in regular resistance training for at least one year.

These young, active women were divided into three groups:3

  • The control group took a placebo
    and maintained a normal eating schedule.
  • A second group took a placebo and followed
    a time-restricted eating schedule, which permitted eating only between noon and 8 p.m.
  • A third group took 3 grams of HMB daily and followed the same time-restricted eating schedule as group two. All groups participated in a resistance training program for three nonconsecutive days each week.

After eight weeks, the researchers found in a subgroup analysis and compared to baseline that:3

  • The control group had an average 2% increase in body fat mass,
  • Group two had an average 4% decrease in body fat mass, and
  • Group three, the time-restricted eating group that took HMB, had an average 7% decrease in body fat mass.
  • The greatest increases in fat-free mass also occurred in the HMB participants, who had a shift to a healthier body composition.3

How Vitamin D Works

There are several ways in which vitamin D can have a beneficial effect on muscle.

Research has shown that vitamin D:

  • Directly increases the ability of muscle cells to contract,24,25
  • Improves the function and health of the mitochondria, the power suppliers in every cell, which increases muscle strength,26 and
  • Reduces chronic inflammation that can lead to muscle pain and weakness.27 Summary Maintaining muscle mass is vital for a healthy body composition. HMB has previously been shown to reduce muscle wasting in older adults. Human studies now confirm that HMB works in adults of all ages, promoting muscle growth and function while leading to improvements in strength, lean muscle mass, and body composition.

Vitamin D has been shown to boost muscle performance and strength as well.

Vitamin D and HMB can help improve body composition, preserve and increase muscle mass, and promote strength.


Hashempour A, Hooshmand S, Tabesh MR, et al. Effect of 6-week HMB (beta-hydroxy-beta methylbutyrate) supplementation on muscle strength and body composition in sedentary overweight women. Obesity Medicine. 2019 2019/09/01/;15:100115.

2. Stout JR, Smith-Ryan AE, Fukuda DH, et al. Effect of calcium beta- hydroxy-beta-methylbutyrate (CaHMB) with and without resistance training in men and women 65+yrs: a randomized, double-blind pilot trial. Exp Gerontol. 2013 Nov;48(11):1303-10.

3. Tinsley GM, Moore ML, Graybeal AJ, et al. Time-restricted feeding plus resistance training in active females: a randomized trial. Am J Clin Nutr. 2019 Sep 1;110(3):628-40.

4. Available at: https://healthcare.utah.edu/healthfeed/post- ings/2017/01/body-composition.php. Accessed September 15, 2020.

5. Available at: https://www.cdc.gov/obesity/downloads/BMIforpacti- tioners.pdf. Accessed September 21, 2020.

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  3. Argiles JM, Campos N, Lopez-Pedrosa JM, et al. Skeletal Muscle Regulates Metabolism via Interorgan Crosstalk: Roles in Health and Disease. J Am Med Dir Assoc. 2016 Sep 1;17(9):789-96.
  4. Smith HJ, Wyke SM, Tisdale MJ. Mechanism of the attenuation of proteolysis-inducing factor stimulated protein degradation in muscle by beta-hydroxy-beta-methylbutyrate. Cancer Res. 2004 Dec 1;64(23):8731-5.

10. Smith HJ, Mukerji P, Tisdale MJ. Attenuation of proteasome-induced proteolysis in skeletal muscle by {beta}-hydroxy-{beta}-methyl- butyrate in cancer-induced muscle loss. Cancer Res. 2005 Jan 1;65(1):277-83.

11. Nissen SL, Abumrad NN. Nutritional role of the leucine metabolite beta-hydroxy-beta-methylbutyrate (HMB). The Journal of Nutritional Biochemistry. 1997 1997/06/01/;8(6):300-11.

12. Nissen S, Sharp RL, Panton L, et al. beta-hydroxy-beta-methylbu- tyrate (HMB) supplementation in humans is safe and may decrease cardiovascular risk factors. J Nutr. 2000 Aug;130(8):1937-45.

13. Feige JN, Lagouge M, Canto C, et al. Specific SIRT1 activation mimics low energy levels and protects against diet-induced metabolic disor- ders by enhancing fat oxidation. Cell Metab. 2008 Nov;8(5):347-58.

14. Wilkinson DJ, Hossain T, Limb MC, et al. Impact of the calcium form of beta-hydroxy-beta-methylbutyrate upon human skeletal muscle protein metabolism. Clin Nutr. 2018 Dec;37(6 Pt A):2068-75.

15. Kuriyan R, Lokesh DP, Selvam S, et al. The relationship of endog- enous plasma concentrations of beta-Hydroxy beta-Methyl Butyrate (HMB) to age and total appendicular lean mass in humans. Exp Gerontol. 2016 Aug;81:13-8.

16. Vukovich MD, Stubbs NB, Bohlken RM. Body composition in 70-year- old adults responds to dietary beta-hydroxy-beta-methylbutyrate similarly to that of young adults. J Nutr. 2001 Jul;131(7):2049-52.

17. Wu H, Xia Y, Jiang J, et al. Effect of beta-hydroxy-beta-methylbu- tyrate supplementation on muscle loss in older adults: a system- atic review and meta-analysis. Arch Gerontol Geriatr. 2015 Sep- Oct;61(2):168-75.

18. Deutz NE, Pereira SL, Hays NP, et al. Effect of beta-hydroxy-beta- methylbutyrate (HMB) on lean body mass during 10 days of bed rest in older adults. Clin Nutr. 2013 Oct;32(5):704-12.

19. Available at: https://www.who.int/en/news-room/fact-sheets/detai... obesity-and-overweight. Accessed September 15, 2020.

20.Beaudart C, Buckinx F, Rabenda V, et al. The effects of vitamin D
on skeletal muscle strength, muscle mass, and muscle power: a systematic review and meta-analysis of randomized controlled trials. J Clin Endocrinol Metab. 2014 Nov;99(11):4336-45.

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22. Cangussu LM, Nahas-Neto J, Orsatti CL, et al. Effect of vitamin
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24. Girgis CM, Clifton-Bligh RJ, Hamrick MW, et al. The roles of vitamin D in skeletal muscle: form, function, and metabolism. Endocr Rev. 2013 Feb;34(1):33-83.

25. Kinuta K, Tanaka H, Moriwake T, et al. Vitamin D is an important factor in estrogen biosynthesis of both female and male gonads. Endocrinology. 2000 Apr;141(4):1317-24.

26. Ryan ZC, Craig TA, Folmes CD, et al. 1alpha,25-Dihydroxyvitamin D3 Regulates Mitochondrial Oxygen Consumption and Dynamics in Hu- man Skeletal Muscle Cells. J Biol Chem. 2016 Jan 15;291(3):1514- 28.

27. Dalle S, Rossmeislova L, Koppo K. The Role of Inflammation in Age- Related Sarcopenia. Front Physiol. 2017;8:1045.

28. Kim TN, Choi KM. Sarcopenia: definition, epidemiology, and patho- physiology. J Bone Metab. 2013 May;20(1):1-10.

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