Anti-inflammatory and anticatabolic effects of short-term beta-hydroxy-beta-methylbutyrate supplementation on chronic obstructive pulmonary disease patients in intensive care unit

Asia Pac J Clin Nutr. 2006;15(4):544-50.


Elevated inflammatory markers and muscle wasting were common in chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) patients. The purpose of this study was to investigate the effect of 7-day beta-hydroxy-beta-methylbutyrate (HMB) supplementation on inflammation, protein metabolism, and pulmonary function in COPD patients in an intensive care unit. Thirty-four COPD patients who required mechanical ventilators were randomly assigned to HMB (n=18) or control (n=16) groups. The HMB group received HMB 3 g/d for 7 days. White blood cell count, C-reactive protein, and creatinine were significantly lower, while cholesterol and total protein were significantly higher after HMB supplementation. The body weight remained unchanged in both groups. Ten subjects (55.6%) in the HMB group and 4 subjects (25.0%) in the control group had improved pulmonary function, indicated by their ventilator modes. This short-term study suggests that HMB supplementation may have anti-inflammatory and anticatabolic effect and improve pulmonary function in COPD patients in an intensive care unit setting.

Publication types

  • Randomized Controlled Trial
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Aged
  • Anti-Inflammatory Agents / therapeutic use*
  • C-Reactive Protein / metabolism
  • Cholesterol / blood
  • Creatinine / blood
  • Dietary Supplements
  • Energy Metabolism / drug effects*
  • Energy Metabolism / physiology
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Intensive Care Units
  • Leukocyte Count
  • Lung / drug effects*
  • Lung / physiology
  • Male
  • Muscle, Skeletal / drug effects
  • Muscle, Skeletal / metabolism
  • Pulmonary Disease, Chronic Obstructive / drug therapy*
  • Respiratory Function Tests
  • Treatment Outcome
  • Valerates / therapeutic use*


  • Anti-Inflammatory Agents
  • Valerates
  • beta-hydroxyisovaleric acid
  • C-Reactive Protein
  • Cholesterol
  • Creatinine