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The Effect of 12 Weeks of β-Hydroxy-β-Methyl-Butyrate Supplementation after Liver Transplantation: A Pilot Randomized Controlled Study

Lattanzi, Barbara, Giusto, Michela, Albanese, Carlina, Mennini, Gianluca, D’Ambrosio, Daria, Farcomeni, Alessio, Ginanni Corradini, Stefano, Rossi, Massimo, Merli, Manuela
Nutrients 2019 v.11 no.9
adverse effects, anthropometric measurements, body composition, diet, dual-energy X-ray absorptiometry, liver transplant, males, patients, physical activity, sarcopenia, skeletal muscle
Sarcopenia is a frequent complication in liver transplant (LT) recipients. β-hydroxy-β-methyl-butyrate (HMB) has the potential to increase muscle-performance and tropism. Our study aims at evaluating the effect on muscle mass and functioning, and the safety of 12 weeks of HMB supplementation in patients after LT. This is a pilot, randomized study. Male patients undergoing LT were randomly assigned to the HMB or control group. A diet interview, anthropometry and body composition by dual energy X-ray absorptiometry (DEXA) were performed at enrollment (T0), after 12 weeks (T1) and after 12 months (T12). Twenty-two liver transplant male patients were enrolled in the study: 12 in the HMB group and 10 as the control group. At enrollment, demographic, clinical and nutritional data were similar. According to the appendicular skeletal muscle index, sarcopenia was present in 50% of patients. The appendix skeletal muscle mass index (ASMI) showed a significant increase at T1 and T12 in HMB patients, but not in controls. The mid-arm muscle-circumference and hand grip strength also increased at T1 and T12 versus T0 only in the HMB group. No side effects were reported in either group. The study showed a positive effect of HMB in the recovery of muscle mass and strength after LT. HMB supplement in patients after LT was safe and well tolerated.