Meta-study negative about HMB efficacy
HMB does not work. Canadian sports scientists at McMaster University reach this conclusion in a meta-study published in Nutrients. But if we, the compilers of this free web magazine, take a look at the figures in the study, we cannot share this view yet.
The researchers traced 11 studies in the scientific literature that they considered good enough. The researchers only looked at studies in which subjects dit resistance training, and were younger than 50. The filtered out studies in which, according to the Canadians, the measurements were not done properly, or the outcomes were not described carefully enough. Studies that lasted shorter than 3 weeks, and cross-over studies, were not eligible.
Supplementation with HMB resulted in a significant increase in body weight. There was also a trend that HMB led to an increase in lean body mass, but this was not significant in the studies used.
Click on the figures below for a larger version.
In terms of body strength, there was a trend that HMB supplementation led to an increase in body strength - but here again the increase was not statistically significant.
The researchers are remarkably negative about HMB. "There is no rationale for prescription of HMB as a supplement to improve body composition caused by resistance training in young subjects," they write. "In addition, effects on strength were also not significant."
"Our results [...] show that HMB is not an effective anabolic supplement."
We ourselves wonder whether this harsh judgment is justified. For a supplement that does not work, there are a lot of studies that conclude that HMB does indeed do something. An attentive reader has just sent us another study like this. We will write about this research tomorrow.
Nutrients. 2020 May 23;12(5):1523.
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