Tuesday, October 8, 2013

Latest evidence that Creatine is safe to the kidneys. By Vic Veeraj Goyaram

Supplement Science Series 

Latest Evidence that Creatine is Safe to the Kidneys
By Vic Veeraj Goyaram

My brother, if there's a supplement which attracted the most negative publicity over the years it has to be Creatine.  Everyone became an expert in Creatine safety and that includes people who never did a single exercise in their life, let alone never even lifted. Parents are fine giving pocket money to their kids to go clubbing (which includes lots of booze) on Friday night but give their kids tremendous brainwash when the latter ask for Creatine money. What is happening to this world? Nevertheless, Creatine stood the test of time and it will soon be 20 years since it hit the shelves of supplement stores. In this article we report one more scientific study which backs Creatine's safety. 

Latest study on Creatine safety
In a recent study conducted by Sao Paolo, Brazil researchers (Lugaresi et al., 2013), participants "who lift" were given Creatine for 12 weeks in addition to their resistance training and high protein diet (>1.2g/kg bodyweight/ day). The Creatine was administered using a loading (20g/ day for 5 days) and maintenance (5g/ day) protocol. Renal (kidney) function was then assessed compared to a placebo.

What's nice about this study?
The researchers did something really nice in this research study: they used a new method to assess kidney function. Usually, scientists and medical professionals use serum (blood) Creatinine as a measure of kidney function. Remember that Creatinine is a waste product derived from the body's use of Creatine. For example, if blood Creatinine is high then this indicates that the kidneys are not working properly. However, Creatinine levels is usually high in people who exercise and take Creatine supplements and this has led to many cases of false diagnosis of kidney problems. God knows how many people have got the shock of the false news that their kidneys were about to give up. 

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The researchers found that Creatine is safe
The researchers found that Creatine supplementation did not negatively affect kidney function. They found that the body does well under Creatine supplementation even in the presence of a fairly high intake of protein. For the science enthusiasts among you, I have included the results from this study below. 
Cr-EDTA clearance is a new measure of kidney function
The latter is not affected by Creatine supplementation
Blood parameters are also not affected under Creatine supplementation
The take-home message
  • Creatine is safe to use by people with normal kidney function.
  • Creatine may be harmful in people with impaired kidney function, as numerous studies have shown.
  • It may be good to have your kidney health tested before using Creatine. Speak to a doctor who understands your bodybuilding needs or a pathologist to interpret your results.
If there is anything regarding this paper and Creatine safety that you would like to discuss with me then feel free to send me an email at vicgoyaram@gmail.com. 

Lugaresi R, Leme M, de SP, V, Murai IH, Roschel H, Sapienza MT, Lancha Junior AH and Gualano B. Does long-term creatine supplementation impair kidney function in resistance-trained individuals consuming a high-protein diet? J Int Soc Sports Nutr 10: 26, 2013.

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My Bio: I am a Mauritian originally from Roche Bois, Port Louis and now based in Cape Town, South Africa where I am busy with my postgraduate studies in molecular biology of exercise. My research, supervised by Prof. Edward Ojuka, looks at the influence of nutrition and exercise in gene expression in muscle, research which is relevant and applicable to exercising individuals, sports persons and diabetic individuals. The knowledge that I share with you stems from my 18 years of experience in bodybuilding and 8 years (and counting) of university education in the field. I have also published work in the American Journal of Physiology: Endocrinology and Metabolism (2013), International Journal of Sport Nutrition and Exercise Metabolism (2013) and co-authored two book chapters on exercise and diabetes. I also presented my research work at the 2012 International Sports and Exercise Nutrition Conference (UK). I am grateful to each and everyone at the UCT Research Unit for Exercise Science and Sports Medicine. "Knowledge without sharing is worth nothing"
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