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HMB May Lower Inflammation After Extreme Exercise

During exercise, muscles are damaged, causing muscle protein to break down. HMB, a metabolite of leucine (a branched-chain amino acid), helps prevent protein breakdown. A new study suggests that HMB supplements may help lower inflammation after high intensity training.

Participants in the study included 27 male soldiers who were given either 3 grams of HMB or a placebo daily for 23 days. During the last week of the intervention period, the men participated in extreme physical training, including going on night hikes with heavy loads.

14 of the men dropped out due to injury or poor compliance. In the 13 men who did complete the trial, the researchers noted significantly lower TNF-alpha levels in the HMB group when compared with the placebo. TNF-alpha is a marker of inflammation.

The researchers also noted a non-significant trend toward lower levels of INF-gamma, IL-6, and IL-8, three more markers of inflammation.

Researchers from the University of Central Florida, Ben-Gurion University of the Negev Beer-Sheva, and the Israel Defense Forces conducted the study. It was published online ahead of print on February 21, 2016, in Nutrition Research.

HMB is a metabolite of the amino acid leucine. It has previously been linked to bolstering muscle synthesis and preventing muscle fiber breakdown. Recent studies have found that HMB may reduce the risk of sarcopenia and help support physical strength and functionality.

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