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Lean Mass

Lean Mass is overall body mass after Fat Mass has been subtracted. It consists of organs, bone, the brain, water and contractile muscle; since changes in the first three do not occur often, changes in lean mass are assumed to either be muscle tissue, glycogen (energy storage) or water.

Research analysis lead by Kamal Patel
All content reviewed by Examine.com Team. Published:
Last Updated:

Human Effect Matrix

The Human Effect Matrix looks at human studies (it excludes animal and in vitro studies) to tell you what supplements affect lean mass
Grade Level of Evidence
Robust research conducted with repeated double-blind clinical trials
Multiple studies where at least two are double-blind and placebo controlled
Single double-blind study or multiple cohort studies
Uncontrolled or observational studies only
Level of Evidence
? The amount of high quality evidence. The more evidence, the more we can trust the results.
Outcome Magnitude of effect
? The direction and size of the supplement's impact on each outcome. Some supplements can have an increasing effect, others have a decreasing effect, and others have no effect.
Consistency of research results
? Scientific research does not always agree. HIGH or VERY HIGH means that most of the scientific research agrees.
grade-a Conjugated Linoleic Acid Minor Moderate See all 13 studies
Some evidence that CLA can preserve lean mass during fat loss in an obese cohort of patients, but even in this subgroup the results are highly unreliable.
grade-a Creatine Minor Very High See all 20 studies
Does appear to have inherent lean mass building properties, but a large amount of research is confounded with water weight gains (difficult to assess potency).
grade-b Colostrum Minor Moderate See all 5 studies
Colostrum, inherently due to being a dietary protein, appears to promote lean mass accrual. This is comparable to a similar dose of whey protein as the growth factors in colostrum do not appear to provide an additional benefit.
grade-b Whey Protein  
grade-b Chromium  
grade-b Dehydroepiandrosterone  
grade-b HMB  
grade-c Arginine  
grade-c Beta-Alanine  
grade-c Coleus forskohlii  
grade-c L-Carnitine  
grade-c Leucic Acid  
grade-c Vitamin D  
grade-c Arachidonic acid  
grade-c D-Aspartic Acid  
grade-c Ecdysteroids  
grade-c Fenugreek  
grade-c Fish Oil  
grade-c Glutamine  
grade-c Hoodia gordonii  
grade-c Leucine  
grade-c Licorice  
grade-c Punicic Acid  
grade-c Tribulus terrestris  
grade-c Trimethylglycine  
grade-c Ursolic Acid  
grade-c Velvet Antler  
grade-c Yohimbine  
grade-d Eurycoma Longifolia Jack  
grade-d Safflower Oil  
grade-d Ashwagandha  
grade-d Cocoa Extract  
grade-d Mangifera indica  
grade-d Vitamin C  

All comparative evidence is now gathered in our ​A-to-Z Supplement Reference.

The evidence for each separate supplement is still freely available ​here.