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European Journal of Applied Physiology

, Volume 112, Issue 7, pp 2531–2537 | Cite as

Metabolic and functional effects of beta-hydroxy-beta-methylbutyrate (HMB) supplementation in skeletal muscle

  • Carlos Hermano da Justa Pinheiro
  • Frederico Gerlinger-Romero
  • Lucas Guimarães-Ferreira
  • Alcione Lescano de Souza-Jr
  • Kaio Fernando Vitzel
  • Renato Tadeu Nachbar
  • Maria Tereza Nunes
  • Rui Curi
Original Article

Abstract

Beta-hydroxy-beta-methylbutyrate (HMB) is a metabolite derived from leucine. The anti-catabolic effect of HMB is well documented but its effect upon skeletal muscle strength and fatigue is still uncertain. In the present study, male Wistar rats were supplemented with HMB (320 mg/kg per day) for 4 weeks. Placebo group received saline solution only. Muscle strength (twitch and tetanic force) and resistance to acute muscle fatigue of the gastrocnemius muscle were evaluated by direct electrical stimulation of the sciatic nerve. The content of ATP and glycogen in red and white portions of gastrocnemius muscle were also evaluated. The effect of HMB on citrate synthase (CS) activity was also investigated. Muscle tetanic force was increased by HMB supplementation. No change was observed in time to peak of contraction and relaxation time. Resistance to acute muscle fatigue during intense contractile activity was also improved after HMB supplementation. Glycogen content was increased in both white (by fivefold) and red (by fourfold) portions of gastrocnemius muscle. HMB supplementation also increased the ATP content in red (by twofold) and white (1.2-fold) portions of gastrocnemius muscle. CS activity was increased by twofold in red portion of gastrocnemius muscle. These results support the proposition that HMB supplementation have marked change in oxidative metabolism improving muscle strength generation and performance during intense contractions.

Keywords

HMB Muscle contraction Glycogen ATP Fatigue Oxidative metabolism 

Notes

Acknowledgments

C.H.J Pinheiro was scholar fellowship of São Paulo Research Foundation, FAPESP [2008/54693-9]. Gerlinger-Romero F, Guimarães-Ferreira L, Nachbar RT and Vitzel KF were scholar fellowship of CAPES.

Conflict of interest

The authors declare they have no conflict of interest.

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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag 2011

Authors and Affiliations

  • Carlos Hermano da Justa Pinheiro
    • 1
  • Frederico Gerlinger-Romero
    • 1
  • Lucas Guimarães-Ferreira
    • 1
  • Alcione Lescano de Souza-Jr
    • 1
  • Kaio Fernando Vitzel
    • 1
  • Renato Tadeu Nachbar
    • 1
  • Maria Tereza Nunes
    • 1
  • Rui Curi
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of Physiology and Biophysics, room 105, Institute of Biomedical ScienceUniversity of São PauloSão PauloBrazil

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