Wednesday, January 31, 2007

Creatine Helps Muscles Grow Back

Creatine is an organic acid, found naturally in the body, where it helps supply energy to muscle cells, being commonly used as a popular nutritional supplement by body-builders and sprinters to improve muscular performance.

Now, creatine was found to help strengthening muscles in patients with muscular dystrophies.

Countless studies led to the same result: in subjects who practice sports, muscle strength was 8.5 % higher among patients using creatine, compared to sportsmen who did not take this supplement, and the gain of lean body mass was an average of 1.4 pounds (0.56 kg) higher. “Studies show that short- and medium-term creatine treatment improves muscle strength in people with muscular dystrophies and is well-tolerated,” said lead reviewer Dr. Rudolf Kley of Ruhr University Bochum in Germany.


is used by athletes looking for short bursts of intense strength, but it turned more popular after the 1992 Barcelona Olympics, when sprinters, rowers and cyclists recognized their creatine including regimens. “Although creatine has been widely studied as a performance enhancer, it’s still not clear if the supplement makes a difference,” according to Roger Fielding, Ph.D., of Tufts University, who made recently a review of creatine treatments for neuromuscular diseases.

Patients suffering from muscular dystrophies usually have lower-than-normal creatine amounts, associated with increasing progressive muscle weakness as their condition advances.

As creatine increases muscle performance in healthy people, scientists supposed it could also help in treating diseases involving muscle degeneration.

Cochrane researchers made a meta-analysis of 12 studies realized on 266 people suffering from various types of muscular dystrophy. The volunteers took creatine supplements for three weeks to six months.

Muscular dystrophies usually emerge as the proteins that build the muscles themselves are either lacking or impaired. In metabolic myopathies, the compound important for muscle function is damaged.

Creatine seems to be beneficial for many patients with muscular dystrophies, but were not proved efficient in the case of metabolic myopathies.

But by now the results are not very consistent and more research needs to be done.
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