New class of weight loss drugs represents a huge opportunity for HMB

By Kevin Robinson | Published: 4-Mar-2024

Losing muscle mass as well as fat when dieting can be detrimental to both weight management regimes and overall health; hydroxymethylbutyrate (HMB) helps by reducing muscle loss and tips the scales toward fat loss

GLP-1 receptor agonists are appetite suppressants that are enjoying widespread popularity as weight loss tools. And although consumers want to lose fat, calorie restriction can also result in the unhealthy loss of muscle mass.

That can make maintaining weight loss more difficult and lead to a host of other health and quality of life issues. 

Talking to Shawn Baier (pictured), Vice President of Business Development at the TSI Group, Dr Kevin Robinson discovers that the company’s myHMB product acts as an effective nutritional intervention for more sustainable weight management.

“There is a big opportunity for brands to support consumers’ weight loss objectives,” confirms Shawn: “Studies have shown that adding myHMB can help to preserve muscle mass and tip the scales toward fat loss.”

Mitigating muscle loss during weight loss may prevent bigger problems 

GLP-1 receptor agonists work by dramatically reducing food and energy intake, and by reducing gastric and intestinal motility.

“When food consumption and total calorie intake drop, the resulting weight loss can be from muscle, fat and water,” explains Baier. 

“And once people stop taking GLP-1s, their appetites come back with a vengeance. If they haven’t learned to change their diet and lifestyle, they tend to regain the weight. But, this time, they’ve got an even bigger problem.” 

“Although some of the weight lost may have been muscle mass, the weight that returns comprises even more fat. And without muscle to fuel the metabolism, that fat will be even harder to lose the next time.” 

New class of weight loss drugs represents a huge opportunity for HMB

Baier adds: “Maintaining muscle mass when dieting can lead to more effective and sustainable fat loss. Greater muscle mass can also lead to more strength and energy … and proper body composition. It’s the cornerstone of overall health.” 

myHMB pushes fat utilisation 

Baier explains that myHMB helps to maintain healthy muscle even during dramatic reductions in calorie intake.

“myHMB helps to protect muscle and utilise fat storage by increasing the breakdown of fat stores. Muscle cells then use those fatty acids for energy. Studies show that the longer the body has increased concentrations of myHMB, the more efficient this process becomes.”

TSI’s findings indicate that myHMB

  • helps to maintain lean muscle mass
  • supports fat loss
  • helps with metabolic efficiency
  • supports healthy body composition. 

Published studies also confirm the efficacy of myHMB. For example, combat sports athletes typically lose weight as a precompetition strategy.

A randomised, placebo-controlled study published by the Chinese Journal of Physiology found that myHMB preserved fat-free mass in collegiate boxers. Muscle mass decreased in the placebo group.1

Intermittent fasting is another trending weight loss strategy. A randomised, placebo-controlled trial published in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition found only the “intermittent fasting plus myHMB group” had a significant decrease in fat mass and body fat.2 

Furthermore, in a controlled study of female Judo athletes during calorie restriction, myHMB enhanced fat loss and helped to maintain muscle mass. Performance tended to be better in the myHMB group.

The study was published in the Journal of Exercise Science and Fitness.3

In another randomised, placebo-controlled study that looked at body composition in overweight women (independent of exercise), only the myHMB group had significant decreases in weight, body mass percentage, fat mass, hip circumference and hip skinfold.4

Finally, when assessing decreased intermuscular adipose tissue (IMAT), independent of exercise, a randomised, placebo-controlled study, published in Nutrients, showed that myHMB plus vitamin D decreased IMAT. It also increased leg muscle mass in sedentary women.5 

Awareness of this critical weight loss side-effect is growing 

Some Wall Street analysts predict that global GLP-1 sales for antiobesity may soon exceed $100 billion.6 “Along with that comes a tremendous amount of consumer knowledge that they are losing muscle as well as fat,” comments Baier: “This is a huge opportunity for our industry.”

TSI understands the pivotal role of muscle health and overall wellness, particularly in the context of weight management. “For a growing number of consumers and healthcare professionals, it’s not just about shedding pounds. It’s about building a healthy, functional body to promote long-term health, functionality and quality of life.”



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