The binding capacity of calcium β-hydroxy-β-methylbutyrate (calcium HMB), compared to other binders, was investigated in an in vitro study. Fifty milli-equivalents of either calcium HMB, calcium acetate, calcium carbonate, aluminum hydroxide gel or non-gel aluminum hydroxide was added to a phosphate solution, titrated (HC1 or NaOH), shaken and centrifuged to four different pH levels at 37 °C (simulating the gastrointestinal milieu). The difference in phosphate concentration between that of the initial and that of the supernatant represented from the bound phosphate in the precipitate. After 4 h at a pH of 6 (representing the intestinal condition after a meal), the binding percentage was: calcium acetate = 95.6%, calcium HMB = 92.6%, calcium carbonate = 46.4%, aluminum hydroxide gel = 33.4% and non-gel aluminum hydroxide = 17.8%. There was no significant difference (p > 0.05) between calcium HMB and calcium acetate. These results suggest that calcium HMB is an efficient phosphate binder in vitro, which may predict its effective role in vivo.

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