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Eat To Grow: I Love Leucine

HMB builds muscle and strength and lowers cholesterol.

HMB is a metabolite of the branched-chain amino acid leucine, and numerous studies have shown that at a daily dose of three grams it appears to effectively inhibit muscle breakdown following intensive weight training. HMB also has lesser known health properties, such as reducing a type of cholesterol carrier circulating in the blood called low-density lipoprotein (LDL). High levels of oxidized LDL are considered a prime risk factor for cardiovascular disease.

HMB appears to lower elevated LDL in people with normal blood cholesterol levels, but does it do the same for those with elevated blood cholesterol? To find out, Brazilian scientists had 12 men between the ages of 50 and 72’all of whom had elevated blood cholesterol and LDL levels’take either placebo capsules or three grams a day of HMB for a month. The men also engaged in exercise during that time, lifting weights two days a week and doing aerobics three times a week.

The results showed that the men using HMB had lower LDL levels along with increased muscular strength and lean mass. Thus, it appears that HMB may be a useful supplement for people who have higher blood LDL levels. IM

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