Is Creatine Worth Trying?
Creatine is an amino acid that has numerous uses in the body, from treating muscle atrophy to Parkinson's disease. However, more research is needed to determine its benefits. While Creatine has been used for decades as a fuel source for muscles, the evidence supporting its usefulness is not entirely convincing. A few studies have failed to show any significant improvements in endurance or aerobic performance, despite their high placebo and high doses. So, is it worth trying?
Creatine is an amino acid.
Creatine is a nitrogenous organic compound essential for energy metabolism and cell function. It is formed naturally in the body and is charged with ATP and creatine kinase to produce the high-energy product phosphocreatine. Creatine is predominantly found in skeletal and cardiac muscle, smooth muscle, nervous tissue, and brain in the human body. Smaller amounts are also found in the kidney, leukocytes, and erythrocytes.
It is a fuel source.
As a source of energy for muscles during high-intensity exercise, Creatine is necessary to boost athletic performance. It is believed that Creatine increases phosphocreatine stores in power, increasing the amount of work done per unit of time. In addition, Creatine increases cell signaling and aids in the repair of damaged and new muscle. Moreover, Creatine raises the water content of muscle cells, creating a "cell volumization" effect. This effect may help explain the reasons for increased muscle growth.
It is used to treat gyrate atrophy.
Some of the evidence behind the use of Creatine to treat gyrate atrophy is scientific, but the exact mechanism is not entirely understood. Scientists believe that the choroid is affected by a deficiency in the amino acid ornithine, a product of improper amino acid metabolism. They also think that arginine deficiency may also be a contributing factor in this condition.
It is used to treat Parkinson's disease.
This study is a significant step toward developing a treatment for Parkinson's disease. As of now, no cure for the disease has been shown to slow its progression, and no other neurotransmitter is known to have the ability to inhibit Parkinson's progression. However, the findings are exciting nonetheless. A clinical trial would have to be more prominent to confirm the results of the NINDS study.
It is used to treat McArdle's syndrome.
Approximately one million people suffer from McArdle's syndrome, a rare disorder affecting glycogen storage in the muscle cells. The disease is also known as glycogen storage disease type 5. In the absence of this substance, the muscles use simple sugar, and glucose, for energy. Usually, the body sends a large amount of glucose to the blood, where it is absorbed. The body then expends this glucose through urine.
It is available over the counter.
A popular dietary supplement, Creatine, is available over the counter and does not require a prescription. This amino acid promotes muscle strength and endurance. Creatine is similar to the natural compound creatine phosphate, which is a component of the energy-building system in muscle cells. The substance can also be found naturally in meat and fish. A study in mice with ALS found that animals given 5-10 grams of Creatine per day tended to live longer and were less prone to muscle cramps. For this reason, creatine supplements are readily available over the counter and should be taken as directed.