Objective. The effect of creatine supplementation upon plasma levels of pro-inflammatory cytokines: Interleukin (IL) 1β and IL-6, Tumor Necrosis Factor α (TNFα), and Interferon α (INFα) and Prostaglandin E2 (PGE2) after a half-ironman competition were investigated.
Methods. Eleven triathletes, each with at least three years experience of participation in this sport were randomly divided between the control and experimental groups. During 5 days prior to competition, the control group (n = 6) was supplemented with carbohydrate (20 g · d−1) whereas the experimental group (n = 5) received creatine (20 g · d−1) in a double-blind trial. Blood samples were collected 48 h before and 24 and 48 h after competition and were used for the measurement of cytokines and PGE2.
Results. Forty-eight hours prior to competition there was no difference between groups in the plasma concentrations (pg · ml−1, mean ± SEM) of IL-6 (7.08 ± 0.63), TNFα (76.50 ± 5.60), INFα (18.32 ± 1.20), IL-1β (23.42 ± 5.52), and PGE2 (39.71 ± 3.8). Twenty-four and 48 h after competition plasma levels of TNFα, INFα, IL-1β and PGE2 were significantly increased (P < 0.05) in both groups. However, the increases in these were markedly reduced following creatine supplementation. An increase in plasma IL-6 was observed only after 24 h and, in this case, there was no difference between the two groups.
Conclusion. Creatine supplementation before a long distance triathlon competition may reduce the inflammatory response induced by this form of strenuous of exercise.
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