Background & aims: β-hydroxy-β-methylbutyrate (HMB) is purported as a key nutritional supplement for the preservation of muscle mass in health, disease and as an ergogenic aid in exercise. Of the two available forms of HMB (calcium (Ca-HMB) salt or free acid (FA-HMB)) - differences in plasma bioavailability have been reported. We previously reported that ∼3 g oral FA-HMB increased muscle protein synthesis (MPS) and reduced muscle protein breakdown (MPB). The objective of the present study was to quantify muscle protein metabolism responses to oral Ca-HMB.
Methods: Eight healthy young males received a primed constant infusion of 1,2 13C2 leucine and 2H5 phenylalanine to assess MPS (by tracer incorporation in myofibrils) and MPB (via arterio-venous (A-V) dilution) at baseline and following provision of ∼3 g of Ca-HMB; muscle anabolic (MPS) and catabolic (MPB) signalling was assessed via immunoblotting.
Results: Ca-HMB led a significant and rapid (<60 min) peak in plasma HMB concentrations (483.6 ± 14.2 μM, p < 0.0001). This rise in plasma HMB was accompanied by increases in MPS (PA: 0.046 ± 0.004%/h, CaHMB: 0.072 ± 0.004%/h, p < 0001) and suppressions in MPB (PA: 7.6 ± 1.2 μmol Phe per leg min-1, Ca-HMB: 5.2 ± 0.8 μmol Phe per leg min-1, p < 0.01). Increases in the phosphorylation of mTORc1 substrates i.e. p70S6K1 and RPS6 were also observed, with no changes detected in the MPB targets measured.
Conclusions: These findings support the pro-anabolic properties of HMB via mTORc1, and show that despite proposed differences in bioavailability, Ca-HMB provides a comparable stimulation to MPS and suppression of MPB, to FA-HMB, further supporting its use as a pharmaconutrient in the modulation of muscle mass.
Keywords: Anabolism; Protein metabolism; Skeletal muscle; β-Hydroxy-β-methylbutyrate.
Copyright © 2017 The Authors. Published by Elsevier Ltd.. All rights reserved.