Creatine

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Creatine is an amino acid that is found in different types of food, and produced naturally in the liver, kidneys, and pancreas. Creatine is converted into different substances and stored in human muscles to be utilized as an energy source. When people perform exercises such as lifting weights or spring, creatine is converted into phosphocreatine which is then converted into ATP to supply the body with needed energy. Because of this, many body builders and serious athletes supplement with creatine. There is some evidence that creatine may help elevate lean muscle mass and strengthen althetic performance, especially during strenous, high-intensity type workouts. The effects of creatine are not universal, as people who naturally tend towards high amounts of creatine in their muscles do not seem to get the same energy enhancement from supplementing with creatine as those who do not have naturally high amounts of creatine.

Also known as:  Cr, Creatin, Creatina, Créatine, Créatine Anhydre, Creatine Anhydrous, Creatine Citrate, Créatine Citrate, Creatine Ethyl Ester, Créatine Ethyl Ester, Creatine Ethyl Ester HCl, Créatine Ethyl Ester HCl, Creatine Gluconate, Creatine Hydrochloride, Créatine Kré Alkaline, Creatine Malate, Créatine Malate, Creatine Monohydrate, Créatine Monohydrate, Créatine Monohydratée, Creatine Pyroglutamate, Créatine Pyroglutamate, Creatine Pyruvate, Créatine Pyruvate, Dicreatine Malate, Dicréatine Malate, Di-Creatine Malate, Éthyle Ester de Créatine, Glycine, Kreatin, N-(aminoiminométhyl)-N-Méthyl, N-(aminoiminomethyl)-N methyl glycine, N-amidinosarcosine, Kre-Alkalyn Pyruvate, Malate de Tricréatine, C, Phosphocreatine, Phosphocréatine, Tricreatine HCA, Tricréatine HCA, Tricreatine Malate, Tricréatine Malate

Diseases and Conditions

Creatine is possibly effective for improving athletic performance and for treating cerebral creatine deficiency syndromes. Research in trained athletes shows that taking twenty to thirty-five grams of creatine orally daily for three to seven days, sometimes continuing with a lower maintenance dose, improves performance during high-intensity bursts of cycling, sprinting, swimming, or rowing, however, there is also research using similar dose regimens that shows no benefit. Taking four hundred to five hundred milligrams per kilogram of body weight of creatine orally daily for up to twenty-five months increases brain creatine levels and improves movement disorders and seizure frequency but has little effect on intellectual ability in children with GAMT deficiency.

Creatine is possibly ineffective for amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS, Lou Gehrig’s disease). Taking five to ten grams of creatine orally daily for nine to sixteen months has no effect on disease progression, respiratory function decline, or survival in patients with ALS.

More evidence is needed to rate creatine for other uses.

Safety

Creatine is likely safe when consumed orally and appropriately. Creatine supplements may be safe when used in the correct doses among healthy adults for up to 5 years.

It is likely unsafe to consume creatine orally in high doses since it may have adverse impacts on cardiac, renal, and hepatic function.

Children may safely consume creatine and creatine supplements orally and appropriately; at doses of 2-5 grams for up to 6 months.

There is insufficient information on the safety of creatine for pregnant and breastfeeding women; avoid using.

Possible side effects of creatine include the following:

  • Dehydration
  • Fever
  • Heat intolerance
  • Electrolyte imbalance
  • Reduced blood volume
  • Nausea
  • Diarrhea
  • Gastrointestinal pain
  • Muscle cramping

Individuals with bipolar disorder and kidney problems should avoid creatine.

Medication Interactions

Creatine has a moderate interaction with nephrotoxic drugs. There is concern about using creatine with drugs that can be nephrotoxic, because high doses of creatine might adversely affect renal function.

Supplement and Food Interactions

Creatine may have interactions with caffeine and ephedra. There is concern that combining caffeine, ephedra, and creatine might increase the risk of serious adverse effects, like ischemic stroke.

Dosage

The correct dosage of any supplement requires a comprehensive analysis of many factors including your age, sex, health conditions, DNA, andlifestyle. 

The recommended dosage for creatine depends on what it is being used for.

  • For athletic performance, the recommended dosage is fifteen to twenty-five grams of creatine daily for four to seven days to improve cycling performance.
  • For chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), the recommended dosage is five and seven-tenths grams of creatine three times daily for two weeks followed by five and seven-tenths grams of creatine once daily.
  • For congestive heart failure (CHF), the recommended dosage is twenty grams of creatine daily for five to ten days.
  • For depression, the recommended dosage is five grams of creatine daily for eight weeks to enhance response to escitalopram.
  • For diabetes, the recommended dosage is three grams of creatine once or twice daily for five days.
  • For fibromyalgia, the recommended dosage is five grams of creatine four times daily for five days followed by five grams daily for a total of sixteen weeks.
  • For gyrate atrophy of the choroid and retina, the recommended dosage is one and one-half grams of creatine daily for one year.
  • For idiopathic inflammatory myopathies (polymyositis, dermatomyositis), the recommended dosage is twenty grams of creatine daily for eight days followed by three grams daily to a total of six months.
  • For McArdle disease, the recommended dosage is one hundred fifty milligrams per kilogram of creatine daily for five days followed by sixty milligrams per kilogram daily for five weeks.
  • For mitochondrial myopathies, the recommended dosage is five grams of creatine twice daily for fourteen days, then two grams twice daily for seven days.
  • For muscle atrophy, the recommended dosage is five grams of creatine four times daily for seven days.
  • For muscle cramps, the recommended dosage is twelve grams of creatine before each hemodialysis session for four weeks.
  • For muscular dystrophy, the recommended dosage is ten grams of creatine daily for eight weeks.
  • For neurological trauma, the recommended dosage is twenty grams of creatine daily for seven days.
  • For osteoarthritis, the recommended dosage is twenty grams of creatine taken daily for one week, followed by five grams daily thereafter for twelve weeks.
  • For Parkinson's disease, the recommended dosage is five grams of creatine twice daily for twelve to eighteen months.
  • For Rett syndrome, the recommended dosage is two hundred milligrams per kilogram of creatine daily for six months.
  • For rheumatoid arthritis, the recommended dosage is five grams of creatine four times daily for five days followed by half a gram four times daily for sixteen days.
  • For aging skin, it is recommended to use a face-care formulation containing two-tenths percent of creatine, four-tenths percent of guarana extract, and eight percent of glycerol applied to the face daily for six weeks.
  • In children with cerebral creatine deficiency syndromes, the recommended dosage is four hundred to eight hundred milligrams per kilogram body weight of Creatine daily for up to eight years.
  • For muscular dystrophy in children, the recommended dosage is three to five grams of creatine daily for two to four months.
  • For neurological trauma in children, the recommended dosage is four-tenths gram per kilogram of creatine daily as an oral suspension for six months.
  • For Rett syndrome in children, the recommended dosage is two hundred milligrams per kilogram of creatine daily for six months in children three years and older.
  • For juvenile rheumatoid arthritis, it is recommended to use a specific supplement (Kre-Celazine) containing seven hundred fifty milligrams of creatine and fatty acids twice daily for thirty days.

Foods

Creatine is typically found in the diet, most often in red meat and seafood.

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References

  1. https://naturalmedicines.therapeuticresearch.com/databases/food,-herbs-supplements/professional.aspx?productid=873
  2. http://www.umm.edu/health/medical/altmed/supplement/creatine

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