Tuesday, January 24, 2017

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While Beta-hydroxy-beta-methylbutyrate (HMB) is commonly supplemented to maintain muscle in elderly and clinical populations, previous data also showed long-term HMB supplementation prevents age-related dendritic shrinkage and improves cognitive flexibility and working memory performance in rats.


Beta-hydroxy-beta-methylbutyrate (HMB)


This new study aim was to explore the cognitive effects by assessing visuospatial learning and memory with the Morris water maze.

Female rats were ovariectomized at 11 months of age to model human menopause. At 12 months of age, male and female rats received relatively short- or long-term (1- or 7-month) dietary HMB (450mg/kg/dose) supplementation twice a day prior to testing. Spatial reference learning and memory was assessed across four days in the water maze with four trials daily and a probe trial on the last day.

Consistent with previous work, there were age-related deficits in water maze performance in both sexes. However, these deficits were ameliorated in HMB-treated males during training and in both sexes during probe trial performance. Thus, HMB supplementation prevented the age-related decrement in water maze performance, especially in male rats.


Kougias DG, Hankosky ER, Gulley JM, Juraska JM. Beta-hydroxy-beta-methylbutyrate (HMB) ameliorates age-related deficits in water maze performance, especially in male rats. Physiol Behav. 2016 Dec 27;170:93-99.


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