In sickness and in health: the widespread application of creatine supplementation

Abstract

There is an extensive and still growing body of the literature supporting the efficacy of creatine (Cr) supplementation. In sports, creatine has been recognized as the most effective nutritional supplement in enhancing exercise tolerance, muscle strength and lean body mass. From a clinical perspective, the application of Cr supplementation is indeed exciting. Evidences of benefits from this supplement have been reported in a broad range of diseases, including myopathies, neurodegenerative disorders, cancer, rheumatic diseases, and type 2 diabetes. In addition, after hundreds of published studies and millions of exposures creatine supplementation maintains an excellent safety profile. Thus, we contend that the widespread application of this supplement may benefit athletes, elderly people and various patient populations. In this narrative review, we aimed to summarize both the ergogenic and therapeutic effects of Cr supplementation. Furthermore, we reviewed the impact of Cr supplementation on kidney function.

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Acknowledgments

We are grateful to Fundação de Amparo à Pesquisa do Estado de São Paulo (FAPESP) for supporting our studies with creatine supplementation (process 2010/18708-1). The authors declare that they have no conflict of interests.

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Gualano, B., Roschel, H., Lancha-Jr., A.H. et al. In sickness and in health: the widespread application of creatine supplementation. Amino Acids 43, 519–529 (2012). https://doi.org/10.1007/s00726-011-1132-7

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Keywords

  • Nutritional supplements
  • Exercise performance
  • Sports
  • Chronic diseases