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HMB (a.k.a.beta-hydroxy-beta-methylbutyrate or b-hydroxy-b-methylbutyrate) is a metabolite of the amino acid L-leucine, and is naturally manufactured by the body. Thought to play a role in the formation of proteins including muscle tissue, HMB is of special interest to athletes. HMB is found in small amounts in animal and plant source foods such as catfish and alfalfa.
Research shows that HMB plays a role in the synthesis of proteins and new muscle tissue, and may help prevent muscle catabolism (breakdown of muscle tissue for energy). HMB may also have immune-boosting properties. These two factors make HMB a supplement of choice for hard-training athletes and strength trainers seeking muscle gains and improved workout recovery. HMB may also help preserve muscle mass in those with muscle wasting, cancer, or immune deficiencies such as AIDS. Some studies are conflicting; more research is needed to learn about the benefits of HMB.
Use as directed. Athletes or bodybuilders typically supplement with 3 grams daily.
Pregnant/nursing women should not use HMB supplements. Consult your physician before taking HMB if you have a serious condition.