- Indications with possible efficacy:
Enhancement of athletic performances (popular use)
- Indications with no proof of efficacy:
Congestive heart failure
- Indications with no proof of efficacy:
Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis
- Risk of Drug Interactions: Low
- Adverse Effects: Rare
This product is considered a dietary supplement. Creatine is an amino acid, a constituent of proteins. It is mainly stored in muscles as creatine phosphate.
Some believe that an increase in muscle concentrations of creatine phosphate improves the level of energy during brief, high-intensity activities.
Creatine is found in red meat, milk and fish. Each day, we ingest about 1 to 2 grams. It can be synthesized in the body from arginine, glycine and methionine.
Direction of use
- Enhancement of athletic performances:
Creatine is an energy source readily available for muscle contraction. The individuals most likely to benefit from the use of this product are those with a low dietary intake of creatine, such as vegetarians, and athletes that have not yet reached a high level of training. It is ineffective when used for increasing endurance or for improving performance in highly trained athletes. Creatine is mostly useful for brief, high-intensity activities, such as sprint, weight lifting or hockey.
Used doses: Loading dose of 20 to 30 grams daily (in divided doses) over a period of 3 to 7 days, and a maintenance dose of 2 to 3 grams is taken each day. If the loading dose is omitted, the beneficial effects will appear less rapidly.
- Congestive heart failure:
Will improve only exercise tolerance. Results obtain only during clinical trials.
- Parkinson's disease:
Could slow the progession of the disease if used during early phase.
Used doses: 10 grams per day.
- Adverse events
Creatine is well-tolerated and does not appear to be associated with any serious toxicity when used in appropriate doses in healthy adults. There have been reports of diarrhea, nausea, dehydration and muscular cramps associated with its use. People who use creatine should drink liberally (at least 1,8 liter daily). Long-term effects of creatine use are still undetermined.
Creatine should be avoided by people with pre-existing renal disease or diabetes. There was one report of acute renal toxicity in an individual who had taken 20 grams of creatine daily for 4 weeks. Use with precaution if liver disease.
No interaction with drugs are known to occur with this product. However we suggest to be careful with renal toxic drugs and avoid if possible the use of cafeine.
- Pregnancy and lactation
Since there are no safety data available concerning its use during pregnancy and breast-feeding, pregnant and lactating women should not take creatine.
- Creatine is metabolized to creatinine, a substance used as a marker of the renal function. People who use creatine could have higher blood creatinine levels which could be falsely interpreted as renal impairment. Creatine use should always be disclosed to health-care professionals.
- It is not known whether taking creatine can interfere with the body's natural ability to synthesize it.
- Creatine may cause gain weight of 0.5 to 1.6 kg, mainly because water retention.
- Pharmacist's Letter, CE Booklet: Nonherbal Dietary Supplement, 1998
- Natural Medicines Comprehensive Database, Therapeutic Research Faculty, 2010
- Lininger S. et Al. The Natural Pharmacy, Prima Health, 1998
- Passeportsanté.net. Créatine. www.passeportsante.net
- Herbal Companion to AHFS DI, American Society of Health-System Pharmacists, 2001
- Barnes CL et Kushner JM. Use of Creatine and Androstenedione to Enhance Athletic Performance. US Pharmacist, August 2003
- Natural Therapeutics Pocket Guide, 2000-2001
- The Review of Natural Products, 6th edition, 2010
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