Amino Acids

, Volume 40, Issue 4, pp 1015–1025 | Cite as

HMB supplementation: clinical and athletic performance-related effects and mechanisms of action

  • Nelo Eidy ZanchiEmail author
  • Frederico Gerlinger-Romero
  • Lucas Guimarães-Ferreira
  • Mário Alves de Siqueira Filho
  • Vitor Felitti
  • Fabio Santos Lira
  • Marília Seelaender
  • Antonio Herbert LanchaJr.
Review Article


Amino acids such as leucine and its metabolite α-ketoisocaproate (KIC), are returning to be the focus of studies, mainly because of their anti-catabolic properties, through inhibition of muscle proteolysis and enhancement of protein synthesis. It is clear that these effects may counteract catabolic conditions, as well as enhance skeletal muscle mass and strength in athletes. Moreover, beta-hydroxy-beta-methylbutyrate (HMB) has been shown to produce an important effect in reducing muscle damage induced by mechanical stimuli of skeletal muscle. This review aims to describe the general scientific evidence of KIC and HMB supplementation clinical relevance, as well as their effects (e.g., increases in skeletal muscle mass and/or strength), associated with resistance training or other sports. Moreover, the possible mechanisms of cell signaling regulation leading to increases and/or sparing (during catabolic conditions) of skeletal muscle mass are discussed in detail based on the recent literature.


HMB Clinical effects Performance-related effects Mechanisms 



Brazilian Funding Agency (FAPESP—Fundação de Amparo à Pesquisa do Estado de São Paulo); Grant Number: 08/51090-1.


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag 2010

Authors and Affiliations

  • Nelo Eidy Zanchi
    • 1
    • 4
    Email author
  • Frederico Gerlinger-Romero
    • 2
  • Lucas Guimarães-Ferreira
    • 2
    • 5
  • Mário Alves de Siqueira Filho
    • 2
  • Vitor Felitti
    • 1
  • Fabio Santos Lira
    • 3
  • Marília Seelaender
    • 4
  • Antonio Herbert LanchaJr.
    • 1
  1. 1.Laboratory of Applied Nutrition and Metabolism, Physical Education and Sports SchoolUniversity of Sao PauloSão PauloBrazil
  2. 2.Department of Physiology and Biophysics, Institute of Biomedical SciencesUniversity of Sao PauloSão PauloBrazil
  3. 3.Division of Nutrition Physiology, Department of PhysiologyFederal University of Sao PauloSão PauloBrazil
  4. 4.Cancer Metabolism Research Group, Department of Cell and Developmental Biology, Institute of Biomedical SciencesUniversity of Sao PauloSão PauloBrazil
  5. 5.Department of Sports, Center of Physical Education and SportsFederal University of Espirito SantoVitória/ESBrazil

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