PricePlow team gets into the weeds on the science and research behind HMB and how this metabolite of leucine has muscle-building power.

Anyone who is in the supplement game has undoubtably heard of branched-chain amino acids or BCAAs.  BCAAs are well-known for recovery by helping to prevent the breakdown of muscle tissue that occurs from exercise.


What are the specific BCAAs?

There are three specific BCAAs: leucine, isoleucine, and valine.  In this trio of BCAAs, leucine is known for being the most beneficial and anabolic.  Leucine regulates several cellular processes like protein synthesis, tissue regeneration, and metabolism.  But what may not be known about leucine is that when it metabolizes it produces beta-hydroxy beta-methylbutyrate or HMB.


The Metabolite that Reaps the Benefits

What researchers have found is that HMB is actually responsible for most of the beneficial effects of leucine.  HMB is a signaling molecule that activates many of the same mechanisms as leucine.  And perhaps what’s even more significant is HMB’s ability to activate protein synthesis through the mTOR pathway and simultaneously decrease protein breakdown through the ubiquitin-proteasome proteolytic pathway.


A Quick History of HMB

This downstream metabolite of leucine was discovered in the 1980’s by Steve Nissen,  D.V.M., Ph.D. and Naji Abumrad, M.D.  Dr. Nissen was doing research on HMB for animal nutrition, while Dr. Abumrad was focused on human applications of HMB.  The two formed a partnership and started a company called Metabolic Technologies.  After 7 years of safety and research on HMB, it was brought to the national market – predominantly in the sports nutrition space.  Eventually, the HMB created by Metabolic Technologies was rebranded as the supplement ingredient myHMB®.


Not All HMB is Created Equal

While there are a variety of HMB options on the market, not all are created equal.

TSI Group (who acquired Metabolic Technologies in 2019) prides themselves on providing high-quality HMB known as myHMB® to supplement companies.  MyHMB® is researched and tested, USP-verified, regulatory compliant, and has no dietary restrictions.

This is important to note, because there are tainted products on the market that say they’re using HMB but may not actually be.  In 2010, a study published alleging that a dietary supplement with 3 grams of HMB plus KIC did not work.  Realizing something wasn’t right with the research Metabolic Technologies (the original developers of HMB) went and tested the product that had been used in the study.  What they found was that the product used in the study had ZERO HMB in it, thus making this study invalid.

Hear the full story behind HMB and why there have been some misconceptions in research about this ingredient in the PricePlow Podcast.  In this podcast they sit down with Shawn Baier, COO of Metabolic Technologies, to hear the ins and outs about HMB.


To read the full deep dive done by PricePlow, click here.

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