Efficacy of beta-hydroxy-beta-methylbutyrate supplementation in maintenance hemodialysis patients

Fitschen, P.J.; Biruete, A.; Jeong, J.; Wilund, K.R.

Hemodialysis International. International Symposium on Home Hemodialysis 21(1): 107-116


ISSN/ISBN: 1492-7535
PMID: 27302563
DOI: 10.1111/hdi.12440
Accession: 057740305

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Maintenance hemodialysis (MHD) patients suffer from a number of co-morbidities including declines in muscle mass and physical function. Beta-hydroxy-beta-methylbutyrate (HMB) is a metabolite of the amino acid leucine that has been shown to improve lean mass and physical function in elderly and clinical populations, but had not been studied in MHD patients. The purpose of this study was to investigate the efficacy of HMB in this population. We performed a double-blind, placebo-controlled, randomized trial to assess the effects of daily HMB supplementation on co-morbidities in MHD patients. MHD patients were recruited and assigned to either daily supplementation with HMB (n = 16) or placebo (n = 17) for 6 months. Measurements of body composition, bone density, strength, physical function, fall risk, quality of life, and blood parameters were measured at baseline and 6 months. Blood was drawn at baseline, 3, and 6 months to measure compliance. No significant effects of HMB on body composition, bone density, strength, physical function, fall risk, quality of life, or blood parameters were observed. On analysis of plasma HMB concentrations, 5 of 16 patients (31%) in the HMB group were found to be noncompliant at 3 or 6 months. Therefore, we performed a per-protocol analysis with compliant participants only and observed no significant differences in our outcomes of interest. These results do not support the efficacy of HMB to attenuate co-morbid conditions in MHD patients. Moreover, this highlights the need for future interventions targeted at reducing pill burden and improving pill compliance in this population.