Beta-hydroxy-beta-methylbutyrate, B-Hydroxy B-Methylbutyrate Monohydreate, Beta-Hydroxy-Beta-Methylbutyric Acid, Calcium B-Hydroxy B-Methylbutyrate Monohydrate, Calcium HMB, Hidroximetilbutirato, HMB, HMB de Calcium, Hydroxyméthylbutyrate, Hydroxymethyl Butyrate, Hydroxyméthyl Butyrate.


Overview Information

Hydroxymethylbutyrate (HMB) is a chemical that is produced when the body breaks down leucine. Leucine is an amino acid, one of the building blocks of protein. People use HMB to make medicine.

HMB is most commonly used for building muscle or preventing muscle loss.

How does it work?

HMB might promote muscle growth. It seems to reduce the destructive breakdown of muscle in people with AIDS.


Uses & Effectiveness?

Possibly Effective for

  • Age-related muscle loss (sarcopenia). Most research shows that taking HMB can slightly decrease the loss of muscle that occurs with aging.

Possibly Ineffective for

  • Physical performance in elderly adults. Most research shows that taking HMB doesn't improve muscle strength, physical performance, or muscle mass in elderly adults.

Insufficient Evidence for

  • Athletic performance. HMB seems to help athletes use oxygen more efficiently. But it's unknown if this helps athletes perform better.
  • Involuntary weight loss in people who are very ill (cachexia or wasting syndrome). Taking HMB by mouth, along with the amino acids arginine and glutamine, seems to increase muscle in people with cachexia due to cancer. But it doesn't seem to help people with cachexia from rheumatoid arthritis.
  • Foot sores in people with diabetes. Early research shows that taking HMB by mouth, along with the amino acids arginine and glutamine, helps foot sores heal faster in people with diabetes.
  • Muscle damage caused by exercise. Early research shows that taking HMB before and after exercising might help prevent muscle damage. But taking HMB only after exercising doesn't seem to help prevent muscle damage.
  • Muscle soreness caused by exercise. Early research shows that taking HMB for 2-4 weeks before exercising doesn't seem to help prevent muscle soreness.
  • High cholesterol. Early research shows that HMB can lower cholesterol.
  • High blood pressure. Early research shows that HMB can lower blood pressure.
  • Muscle strength. Most research shows that HMB helps increase muscle by a small amount in people who are just beginning to train. It's unclear if it's beneficial when used in well-trained athletes.
  • Obesity. Early research shows that taking HMB and doing resistance exercise helps to reduce fat around the waist. But taking HMB without exercise does not help.
  • Recovery after surgery. Taking HMB before and after surgery doesn't seem to help people get out of the hospital faster.
  • Kidney failure. Early research shows that taking HMB doesn't help people getting hemodialysis to maintain muscle or strength.
  • Diseases of the heart and blood vessels (cardiovascular disease).
  • Involuntary weight loss in people with HIV/AIDS.
  • Skin damage caused by radiation therapy (radiation dermatitis).
  • Swelling (inflammation) and sores inside the mouth (oral mucositis).
  • Other conditions.
More evidence is needed to rate HMB for these uses.

Side Effects

Side Effects & Safety

When taken by mouth HMB is POSSIBLY SAFE for most people when taken by mouth. Doses of 3 grams per day or less for up to one year seem to be safe.

Special Precautions & Warnings:

Pregnancy and breast-feeding: There isn't enough reliable information to know if HMB is safe to use when pregnant or breast-feeding. Stay on the safe side and avoid use.



We currently have no information for HYDROXYMETHYLBUTYRATE (HMB) Interactions.



The following doses have been studied in scientific research:


  • For involuntary weight loss in people with HIV/AIDS: 3 grams HMB in combination with 14 grams each of arginine and glutamine in two divided doses daily.
  • For age-related muscle loss (sarcopenia): 220 mL of a specific liquid nutritional supplementation (Ensure Plus Advance, Abbott) twice daily.

View References


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