Since the first study was published, two studies have investigated the use of higher dosages of HMB (6 g/day).7,9 It was concluded that a higher dose of HMB does not appear to promote additional increases in one repetition maximum strength or fat-free mass.7,9 Gallagher et al.58 studied the effects of HMB consumption at 0, 38, or 76 mg HMB/kg of body weight/day for 8 weeks on hematology and hepatic and renal function. The dosages studied corresponded to dosages of approximately 0, 3, or 6 g of HMB/day for the average person, with the 6 g/day level being twice the normally recommended dosage. Thirty-seven healthy male volunteers 18 to 29 years of age took the HMB supplements while undergoing a resistance exercise program. No differences in liver function were seen between any of the treatment groups (0, 38, or 76 mg HMB/kg body weight/day). There were also no differences in hematology parameters between the treatment groups, except for an increase (p < 0.05) in basophils in the 38 mg of HMB/kg of body weight/day. However, this increase in basophils was not seen in either the 0 or 76 mg of HMB/kg of body weight/day supplemented groups. Additionally, no differences were seen in lipid profiles, blood urea nitrogen, or hemoglobin between the treatment groups. Renal function was assessed by urine pH and the presence of glucose, protein, and ketones. No treatment differences existed for any of the values, and all data were within normal limits. Similarly, Kreider et al.7 also studied the effects of supplementing HMB at 0, 3, and
6 g/day and showed no adverse effects on hematological or metabolic profiles for the higher dose group as well as the 3 g/day dose group.
In conclusion, supplementation of 3 g of HMB/day for several weeks should be considered safe. Additionally, studies of adult males consuming up to 6 g of HMB/day for up to 8 weeks had no adverse effects on measures of hematology or hepatic and renal function. Health-related positive effects of consuming 3 g of HMB/day include decreasing LDL and total cholesterol, decreasing blood pressure, and feeling better (improved mood).
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