Supplement of the Month – HMB (B-Hydroxy B-Methylbutyrate)

by Greg Rowe

First in a series of monthly bulletins to benefit my readers.

HMB, B-Hydroxy B-Methylbutyrate is a simple supplement that helps us rebuild muscle and hold onto the strength we once had and feel slipping away in our fifth or sixth decades.

If you plan to remain active and do the sort of heavy exercise which involves breaking down and rebuilding muscle tissues, this may prove relevant to you.

Below are some quick readings, with citations should you want to explore in more depth. It’s a common error in hearing of beneficial substances which are found in foods to imagine that, “If I just ate more grapefruit, catfish, or avocado, I’d get what I need anyway, so no need to supplement.” The error here is one of scale. While avocados are a source of HMB, a person would have to eat 6,000 of them to get an appreciable dose of this. So, the citations below discuss benefits of taking 3-6 grams daily for preventing muscle loss due to ageing.

It’s role in preventing sarcopenia, which afflicts 1 in 3 adults over 50:

 “Both muscle protein breakdown and muscle protein synthesis, or building, are happening in the body throughout the day. The goal is to ensure that breakdown isn’t happening faster than building.

However, breakdown can accelerate with age, illness and immobility.

While younger people are typically able to offset natural breakdown, the balance can shift with age as the body becomes less adept at using protein for muscle synthesis. A review paper published in Age and Ageing reported that age-related muscle loss, known as sarcopenia, affects approximately one in three adults age 50 and older. This decline in muscle health can contribute to fatigue, losses in strength and energy as well as poor mobility.“

How much and how often?

“ HMB in a supplement form is more concentrated. Most studies use three grams of HMB, while some indicate up to six. The half-life of HMB (meaning how long it remains effective in the system) is relatively short, and age, body mass, and gender all affect half-life. A range of two to six hours is most commonly observed. Given this factor, it is suggested that splitting up the doses throughout the day may provide most benefits. For example, you might take some first thing in the morning before a strength training session for increased performance, another dose mid-morning to reduce muscle catabolism following your training session, and the final dose in the evening to prevent muscle catabolism overnight.” (

Keep in mind that the above is aimed at body builders, not builders or tree service operators. I’d think a breakfast and lunch supplementation would be adequate for most tradesmen. The ones I take a few hours prior to going and an hour after training on gym days are 1,000 mg, two capsules and are made by Double Wood, but you may need much more than the 2 grams I’m taking for ah hour’s workout. It does prevent soreness and show gains in performance!

And what’s under the hood? What do National Institutes of Health scientists conclude in testing people taking HMB-fa (HydroxyMethylButurate-free acid) against people’s taking a placebo?

“ HMB-FA resulted in increased total strength (bench press, squat, and deadlift combined) over the 12-week training (77.1 ± 18.4 vs. 25.3 ± 22.0 kg, p < 0.001); a greater increase in vertical jump power (991 ± 168 vs. 630 ± 167 W, p < 0.001); and increased lean body mass gain (7.4 ± 4.2 vs. 2.1 ± 6.1 kg, p < 0.001) in HMB-FA- and placebo-supplemented groups, respectively. During the overreaching cycle, HMB-FA attenuated increases in CK (−6 ± 91 vs. 277 ± 229 IU/l, p < 0.001) and cortisol (−0.2 ± 2.9 vs. 4.5 ± 1.7 μg/dl, p < 0.003) in the HMB-FA- and placebo-supplemented groups, respectively.


These results suggest that HMB-FA enhances hypertrophy, strength, and power following chronic resistance training, and prevents decrements in performance following the overreaching.”

Bottom Line: There’s no down side to trying this if you’re over 50 and working a strenuous job or doing heavy exercise.

These suggested remedies are offered for evaluation only. This a pastoral healing service based upon psychic and energetic  approaches to healing and/or my own observations. Do research the uses and applications of components yourself and discuss with a healthcare professional prior to using.

2 responses to “Supplement of the Month – HMB (B-Hydroxy B-Methylbutyrate)”

  1. Thank you. I’m glad you find these articles useful. They are offered for the greater good and in spirit of public service.

  2. You are most kind. I don’t feel smart. I just work a lot, research a lot and continually look for information that will help our Teutonic Healing readers and clients better take charge of their own health outcomes. Just hard work, not brilliance…

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