Hmb Oddity - Muscle Building Supplements Research


Glucose is ordinary blood sugar. In the diet it comes from the breakdown of starch (a glucose polymer) and of table sugar (a disaccharide of glucose and fructose) and other disaccharides (e.g., maltose, lactose). Because it is standard blood sugar, muscle and other tissues have receptors for it, co-transporters that help get it into cells, and special enzymes for breaking it down throughout the body to harvest metabolic energy from it.

One of its actions seems to involve an interaction with L-leucine and probably other BCAAs for getting fuel into muscle tissue. It seems logical that HMB (beta-hydroxy-beta-methylbutyrate), which a metabolite of L-leucine and is the best of the muscle building supplements on the market, also has a potential role in fueling muscle cells.

With that brief background, you may understand why the recent research study that I cite below was directed at finding out more about the potentially interdependent roles of HMB and glucose in a combined supplement formula.

Note that the formula I describe there is based on solid research, and it also involves a boosting effect from glucose.

Odd Research

You may not realize how expensive it is to conduct a research study involving human subjects. Well, it is very expensive. That is why two consistent flaws characterize most human studies: 1) too few subjects; and, 2) they do not do dose-dependent evaluations (i.e., how much of what causes what ... I hope that is at least a little clear). They use a small group of people and one dosage level of the treatment variable.

This is the full citation of the study in question:

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 Nov;12(11):631-639.

Three treatment protocols were: 1) modified glucose tolerance test (75 g glucose) (GLU), 2) oral ingestion of 3 g of HMB with water (HMB), and 3) ingestion of 3 g of HMB with 75 g of glucose (HMB+GLU).

75 Grams of Glucose!

That is a lot of glucose. If I weigh out a heaping teaspoon of glucose powder in my kitchen, it comes to 7.8 grams. Picture this: 75 grams is more than 9.5 teaspoons.

Furthermore, the ratio of glucose to HMB is 25:1. That is a lot of glucose.

The results, however, were good regarding the peak amount of HMB with glucose, and the time it remains in plasma (expressed as its half-life).