Researchers, Coelho and Carvalho, at Gama Filho University, Brazil, reported in Medicine and Science in Sports and Exercise the effects of HMB supplementation on changes in cholesterol, strength and body composition in subjects with high cholesterol. The thought was that if HMB enhanced training adaptations, it might promote greater effects on cholesterol.
In the study, 12 males between the ages of 50 and 72 with high cholesterol ingested either a placebo or HMB (three grams/day) for four weeks during a standardized training program consisting of three aerobic sessions and two resistance-training sessions per week.
Results revealed that subjects ingesting HMB experienced a significant decrease in low density (LDL) lipoproteins (172 to 123 mg), a significant increase in lean body mass (2.4 kg or six percent), and significant increases in leg press, lat pulls and biceps curls strength. These findings suggest that HMB may be particularly beneficial in middle-aged individuals with high cholesterol who start a training program.