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Amino Acids

, Volume 48, Issue 8, pp 1983–1991 | Cite as

Creatine supplementation as a possible new therapeutic approach for fatty liver disease: early findings

  • Rafael DeminiceEmail author
  • Gabriela S. de Castro
  • Margaret E. Brosnan
  • John T. Brosnan
Minireview Article
Part of the following topical collections:
  1. Creatine

Abstract

Over the last few years, consistent data have demonstrated that creatine (Cr) supplementation prevents the accumulation of fat in rat liver as well as the progression of fatty liver disease in different situations. Studies have demonstrated that Cr is effective and prevents fatty liver in high-fat and choline-deficient diets and in hepatoma cells in vitro. Because Cr synthesis is responsible for a considerable consumption of hepatic methyl groups, studies have tested the idea that Cr supplementation could modulate phospholipid formation and VLDL secretion. Studies have also demonstrated Cr is able to modulate the expression of key genes related to fatty acid oxidation in hepatocyte cell culture and in rat liver. However, to date, the mechanism by which Cr exerts protective effects against fatty liver is poorly understood. Therefore, the present review aims to summarize the studies involving the therapeutic use of Cr supplementation on fatty liver disease and to explore the mechanisms involved in one-carbon and fatty acid metabolism for the preventive effects of Cr supplementation on fat liver accumulation. Although a small number of studies have been conducted to date, we consider Cr as a new and promising therapeutic strategy to control fat accumulation in the liver as well as the progression of fatty liver disease.

Keywords

NAFLD Fatty liver disease Creatine supplementation Β-oxidation De novo fatty acid synthesis Oxidative stress 

Abbreviations

AMPK

AMP-activated protein kinase

BHMT

Betaine-homocysteine S-methyltransferase

CK

Creatine kinase

DNL

De novo lipogenesis

McA

McArdle

NAFLD

Non-alcoholic fatty liver disease

NASH

Non-alcoholic steatohepatitis

NEFA

Non-esterified fatty acids

PE, PEMT

Phosphatidylethanolamine N-methyltranferase

PL

Phosphatidylcholine

SAH

S-adenosylhomocysteine

SAM

S-adenosylmethionine

TAG

Triacylglycerols

Notes

Acknowledgments

Deminice R is suported by Brazilian Grant from Coordenação de Aperfeiçoamento de Pessoal do Ensino Superior (Capes: 88881.068035/2014-01); de Castro GS is supported by Science without Borders Program—Conselho Nacional de Desenvolvimento Científico e Tecnológico, Brazil (246567/2013-9). Brosnan JT and Brosnan ME are supported by grant #97851 from the Canadian Institutes for Health Research.

Compliance with ethical standards

Conflict of interest

All authors declared that there is no potential conflict of interests regarding this article. Authors declare that this manuscript is a review and did not involve any humans and/or animal research.

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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag Wien 2016

Authors and Affiliations

  • Rafael Deminice
    • 1
    Email author
  • Gabriela S. de Castro
    • 2
  • Margaret E. Brosnan
    • 3
  • John T. Brosnan
    • 3
  1. 1.Department of Physical Education, Faculty of Physical Education and SportState University of LondrinaLondrinaBrazil
  2. 2.Human Development and Health Academic Unit, Faculty of MedicineUniversity of SouthamptonSouthamptonUK
  3. 3.Department of BiochemistryMemorial University of NewfoundlandSt. John’sCanada

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