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Effects of β-hydroxy β-methylbutryate (HMB) supplementation on testosterone and cortisol concentration of athletes: A systematic review and meta-analysis of randomized controlled trials
  • Liu Gang
Liu Gang
Hunan University of Technology
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Background: β-hydroxy β-methylbutryate (HMB) is a metabolite of leucine amino acid and it has several ergogenic benefits. Previous studies also showed that it may affect beneficially the testosterone and cortisol concentration in athletes. Due to the contradiction results between studies, we aimed to conduct this meta-analysis to assess the HMB supplementation effect on testosterone and cortisol in trained athletes. Methods: Scopus, Medline and Google scholar were systematically searched up to August 2020. The Cochrane Collaboration tool for evaluating the risk of bias was applied for assessing the studies quality. Random effects model, weighted mean difference (WMD), and 95% confidence interval (CI) were used for estimating the overall effect. Between-study heterogeneity was evaluated applying the chi-squared and I2 statistic. Results: Seven articles were included in the meta-analysis. Although, the meta-analysis generally showed that HMB consumption did not have any effect on the cortisol and testosterone concentration (P > 0.05), but subgroup analysis based on the exercise type, showed a significant decrease in the cortisol concentration in resistance training exercises (WMD= -3.30; 95% CI: -5.50, -1.10; P= 0.003) and a significant increase in the testosterone concentration in aerobic and anaerobic combined sports (WMD= 1.56; 95% CI: 0.07, 3.05; P= 0.040). Conclusion: The results indicate that HMB supplementation in athletes can reduce the concentration of cortisol in resistance exercises and increase the concentration of testosterone in aerobic and anaerobic combined exercises. Nevertheless, more studies are required to confirm these results.