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HMB: help in preventing cardiovascular disease.

HMB; great potential for preventing cardiovascular disease.

HMB is a well known food supplement for improving recovery and performance levels even if not many are aware of its potential in preventing hypercholesterolaemia.

Let’s start by understanding what we are talking about considering the word consists in a difficult chemical formula, especially when talking about the METABOLITE OF LEUCINE.


Leucine is an essential amino acid, the most important among BCAA (Branch Chain Amino Acids); studies identify it as the primarily amino acid responsible for glycogenic recovery and muscle protein synthesis.

Leucine promotes a very important enzyme called mTOR (mammalian Target Of Rapamycin, a protein-kinase) which phosphorylates serine and threonine, regulating the growth, proliferation, motility and cell survival together with protein synthesis and DNA transcription.

It is estimated that 1 gram of HMB equals to taking 20 g of LEUCINE, this shows how HMB is a metabolite and after understanding the importance of Leucine, HMB has demonstrated to be even more effective in specific cases that we will be considered shortly.

Thanks to it’s very important mTOR stimulating functions, HMB has a primary ANTI-CATABOLIC function during definition periods, namely when carbohydrates are reduced in the diet with the objective of losing fat mass.

This happens because by reducing carbohydrates the body reduces the production of insulin (the hormone that regulates glucose transportation in the blood of the cell making iit available at a mitochondrial level, at the heart of the cells energy) which in turn induces fat loss but also diminishes mTOR (considering insulin also plays a role in mTOR production).

HMB is not only useful for those who want to lose body weight in connection to physical training, but also for those who are looking for an excellent food supplement that improves recovery during any type of endurance and ultra endurance sport, especially when the athlete faces strenuous and long training sessions that exceed 10 hours a week.

Anabolic and anti-catabolic function

Thanks to two important functions (anabolic phase during the increase of strength and anti-catabolic phase during the loss of weight caused by strenuous training faced by professional athletes or during endurance sports) HMB is a well known food supplement in itself

Why does it not work for everyone?

It’s main benefits are experienced by ectomorph body types (see morphism of Sheldon) during the anabolic phase, lower muscle anabolism benefits are experienced by mesomorph or endomorph body types with a marked anabolic tendency and low catabolism unless these subjects reduce the carbohydrate intake and increase their training sessions exceeding 6 hours per week.

According to studies (I will quote the references below at the end of the article) the medium ideal dosage is between 3-5 grams per day distributed by taking 1 gram with the 3 main meals and 2 grams before training (for ectomorph body types or when undergoing a reduced carbohydrate diet for mesomorph and endomorph body types of for prolonged training sessions that go beyond 3 hours of aerobic workouts like cycling or running) or post training (after high intensity anaerobic or aerobic sports like swimming, basketball, volleyball, football and functional training like crossfit).

To care for these needs, KeForma, has developed a product based on HMB and another one called Corti Blocker that combines HMB action with PHOSPHATIDYLCHOLINE and PHOSPHATIDYLSERINE, two important phospholipids extracted from soya that stand out for their inhibiting action on cortisol, the hormone produced during high physical and psychic stress.

That is how HMB’s anti-stress function has been associated by some scholars to the inhibition of cholesterol synthesis.

Psychic-physical stress and cholesterol

It has been demonstrated that psychic-physical stress may increase cholesterol levels, if not associated with appropriate aerobic activity (at least 30 minutes per day 70% of the VO2Max for 7 days a week); this is because when under stress the liver increases cholesterol levels and consequently even the insulin produced by the same cortisol increases cholesterol in the form of LDL (“bad cholesterol”) produced in higher quantities if compared to HDL (“good cholesterol”).

From these deductions a new study was made that demonstrated how subjects taking 3 grams of HMB per day for at least 3 months experience a reduction of their total cholesterol levels, predominantly LDL levels.

This group of scholars concluded that 30 minutes of daily aerobic activity associated to a diet that keeps under control glycemic levels and reduces saturated fat intake combined with 3 g of HMB, helps greatly in reducing cardiovascular disease in western countries, considering passed studies had already demonstrated how a good diet and daily aerobic activity had similar benefits on LDL reduction also improving glucose tolerance.

This important conclusion emphasizes the great importance food supplements have together with nutraceuticals when combined with a balanced diet and physical training which is the best enzyme we could dispense daily which in turn enhances the effectiveness other external stimulus has on our bodies.

Therefore let’s work on it! By cycling, running, jumping or lifting weights, eating a balanced diet that reduces glycemic levels and saturated fats, taking top quality supplements according to our needs, carefully selected for you by KeForma.



Information based on:

1. ISSA The Truth about HMB. 2005.

2. Slater , Gary , Jenkins J, David Beta-Hydroxy-beta-Methylbutyrate (HMB) Supplementation and the Promotion of Muscle Growth and Strength. Sports Medicine. 2000;30:105–116. doi: 10.2165/00007256-200030020-00004. [PubMed] [Cross Ref]

3. Kreider RB, Ferreira M, Greenwood M, Wilson M, Grindstaff P, Plisk S, Reinardy J, Cantler C, Almada AL. Effects of calcium B-HMB supplementation during training on markers of catabolism, body composition, strength and sprint performance. Journal of Exercise Physiology online. 2000;3:48–59.

4. Hoffman JayR, Cooper Joshua, Wendell Michael, Im Joohee, Kang Jie. Effects of β-Hydroxy β-Methylbutyrate on Power Performance and Indices of Muscle Damage and Stress During High-Intensity Training. The Journal of Strength and Conditioning Research. 2004;18:747–752. doi: 10.1519/13973.1. [PubMed] [Cross Ref]

5. Nissen S, Sharp RL, Panton L, Vukovich M, Trappe S, Fuller JC., Jr β-Hydroxy-β-Methylbutyrate (HMB) Supplementation in Humans Is Safe and May Decrease Cardiovascular Risk Factors. Journal of Nutrition. 2000;130:1937–1945. [PubMed]

6. Coelho C, Carvalho Effects of hmb supplementation on ldl-cholesterol, strength and body composition of patients with hypercholesterolemia. Medicine & Science in Sports & Exercise. 2001;33:M 340.

7. Smith HJ, Wyke SM, Tisdale MJ. Mechanism of the attenuation of proteolysis-inducing factor stimulated protein degradation in muscle by β-hydroxy-β-methylbutyrate. Cancer Res. 2004;64:8731–5. doi: 10.1158/0008-5472.CAN-04-1760. [PubMed] [Cross Ref]

8. Jowko E, Ostaszewski P, Jank M, Sacharuk J, Zieniewicz A, Wilczak J, Nissen S. Creatine and β-hydroxy-β-methylbutyrate (HMB) additively increase lean body mass and muscle strength during a weight-training program. Nutr. 2001;17:558–566. doi: 10.1016/S0899-9007(01)00540-8. [PubMed][Cross Ref]

9. Van Kovering M, Nissen SL. Oxidation of leucine and alpha-ketoisocaproate to b-hydroxy-b-methlbutyrate in vivo. Am J Physiol Endocrinol Metab. 1992;262:27.

10. Vukovich MD, Dreifort GD. Effect of β-Hydroxy β-Methylbutyrate on the Onset of Blood Lactate Accumulation and O2peak in Endurance-Trained Cyclists. The Journal of Strength and Conditioning Research. 2001;15:491–497. doi: 10.1519/1533-4287(2001)015<0491:EOHMOT>2.0.CO;2.[PubMed] [Cross Ref]

11. Vukovich MatthewD, Adams GD. Effect of β-hydroxy β-methylbutyrate (HMB) on vo2peak and maximal lactate in endurance trained cyclists. Medicine & Science in Sports & Exercise. 1997;29:252.

12. Nissen SL, Abumrad N. Nutritional role of the leucine metabolite β-hydroxy-β-methylbutyrate (HMB)J Nutr Biochem. 1997;8:300–311. doi: 10.1016/S0955-2863(97)00048-X. [Cross Ref]

13. Vukovich MD, Slater G, Macchi MB, Turner MJ, Fallon K, Boston T, Rathmacher J. beta-hydroxy-beta-methylbutyrate (HMB) kinetics and the influence of glucose ingestion in humans. J Nutr Biochem. 2001;12:631–639. doi: 10.1016/S0955-2863(01)00182-6. [PubMed] [Cross Ref]

14. Smith HJ, Mukerji P, Tisdale MJ. Attenuation of proteasome-induced proteolysis in skeletal muscle by β-hydroxy-β-methylbutyrate in cancer-induced muscle loss. Cancer Res. 2005;65:277–83. doi: 10.1158/0008-5472.CAN-05-0169. [PubMed] [Cross Ref]

15. Ditscheid B, Keller S, Jahreis G. Cholesterol metabolism is affected by calcium phosphate supplementation in humans. J Nutr. 2005;135:1678–82. [PubMed] 16. Soma MR, Corsini A, Paoletti R. Cholesterol and mevalonic acid modulation in cell metabolism and multiplication. Toxicol Lett. 1992;64–65:1–15. doi: 10.1016/0378-4274(92)90167-I. [PubMed][Cross Ref]

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