Benefit to Older Adults

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Studies have also been conducted in elderly subjects participating in an exercise program, where it was shown that HMB supplementation improved body composition.10 Seventy-year-old adult men and women were assigned to either 3 g of HMB or a placebo undergoing a 5 days/week exercise program for 8 weeks. The exercise program was a combination of both resistance training (2 days/week) and walking (3 days/week). After 8 weeks, HMB supplementation tended to increase fat-free mass gain (p < 0.08) and significantly decreased body fat (p < 0.05) compared to

the placebo-supplemented subjects. In a second study in resistance training elderly subjects, strength gains during the study were similar between the HMB-supple-mented group and the placebo-supplemented group.47 However, HMB supplementation significantly improved functional ability as measured by a "get up and go" (GUG) test,47 which measures the time to get up out of a chair, walk a set distance, turn around, and return to the chair and sit down again. Decreasing body fat and improving muscle function are both important findings in the elderly. Body fat, and in particular visceral fat storage, is linked to the development of insulin resistance (type II diabetes)48 and cardiovascular disease.49 Additionally, improving functional ability in the elderly should improve the quality of life and may result in decreasing falls, a common cause of injury in the elderly population.

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