Dr.Kumar Pati,uSA


Creatine is a non-protein amino acid found in animals and, in much lesser amounts, plants.  Creatine is synthesized in the kidney, liver, and pancreas from the amino acids l-arginine, glycine and i-methionine.  Following its biosynthesis, creatine is transported to skeletal muscle, the heart, brain and other tissues.  Most of the creatine is metabolized in these tissues to produce phosphocreatine, which is a major energy storage form in the body.


Creatine supplements are often used by athletes, bodybuilders, wrestlers and others who wish to gain muscle mass.  Typical consumption of supplement form will provide 2 to 3 times the amount of creatine that can be obtained from a very-high protein diet.  The Mao Clinic states that creatine has been associated with asthmatic symptoms and warns against consumption by persons with known allergies.  While there was once some concern that creatine supplementation could affect hydration status and heat tolerance, thus leading to muscle cramping and diarrhea, recent studies have shown these concens to be inconclusive.


There are reports of kidney damage with creatine use, such as interstitial nephritis;  patients with kidney disease should avoid use of this supplement.  In similar manner, liver function may be altered, and caution is advised in those with underlying liver disease although studies have shown little or no adverse impact on kidney or liver function from oral creatine supplementation.


Creatine is not recommended for use during pregnancy or mother’s breastfeeding due to a lack of scientific information.   Pasteurized cow’s milk contains higher levels of creatine than human milk.


Few studies have been conducted to determine the interaction between creatine and other nutritional supplements, herbs, and drugs.  However, caffeine appears to interfere with any beneficial effects gained from creatine supplementation.


There are currently no studies indicating the consumption of creatine monohydrate causes any serious adverse side effects.  However, some people may experience slight stomach and digestive discomfort like gas, bloating, or possibly diarrhea for a few weeks when initiating the use of creatine supplements.  These digestive symptoms and stomach problems may be eradicated by lowering the amount of intake of creatine monohydrate.  Since creatine supplementation causes the muscles to retain water, some people may experience slight weight gain of as many as five pounds in the first few weeks.  Signs of dehydration are also common when creatine supplements are added to one’s diet.


The typical form of creatine available is creatine monohydrate powder.  The common dosage for those using  creatine to see immediate performance enhancements during high-intensity activities will seek a loading dose, which is20 gramsor0.3 gramsper kilogram of weight in divided doses four times a day for two to five days.  A maintenance dose, of no more than2 gramsdaily or0.03 gramsper kilogram of weight, is used to follow after the loading dose.   Those who use creatine supplements should  take them with adequate amounts of water, six to eight glasses per day is suggested.


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