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J Anim Physiol Anim Nutr (Berl). 2015 Jun;99(3):405-17. doi: 10.1111/jpn.12234. Epub 2014 Aug 7.

Dietary supplementation of β-hydroxy-β-methylbutyrate in animals - a review.

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Department of Physiological Sciences, Faculty of Veterinary Medicine, Warsaw University of Life Science - SGGW, Warsaw, Poland.


The leucine metabolite β-hydroxy-β-methylbutyrate (HMB) has been studied by many researchers over the last two decades. In particular, the utility of HMB supplementation in animals has been shown in numerous studies, which have demonstrated enhanced body weight gain and carcass yield in slaughter animals; positive immunostimulatory effect; decreased mortality; attenuation of sarcopenia in elderly animals; and potential use in pathological conditions such as glucocorticoid-induced muscle loss. The aim of this study was to summarize the body of research on HMB supplementation in animals and to examine possible mechanisms of HMB action. Furthermore, while the safety of HMB supplementation in animals is well documented, studies demonstrating efficacy are less clear. The possible reasons for differences in these findings will also be examined.


apoptosis; cholesterol; immunomodulation; meat efficiency; proteolysis; β-hydroxy-β-methylbutyrate

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