|Creatine, the anti-wheelchair supplement?|
Their results are, as the headline of today's SuppVersity article suggests, quite intriguing to say the least.
You will be aware that the gym is where the anti-sarcopenic (=anti-age-induced muscle loss) magic happens. You will also have read that creatine supplementation can enhance these benefits (learn more | Moon. 2013). And you will have heard that creatine will - next to its beneficial effects on muscle - also have neuro- and atheroprotective effects in the elderly (Wyss. 2002).
Is creatine dangerous for my grandpa? If your grandpa has normal kidney function, it is very unlikely that he will experience any of the very few confirmed adverse effects confirmed , and thus may be both a safe and economical treatment option for elderly. While gastrointestinal disturbances and muscle cramps have been reported occasionally in healthy individuals, the effects are anecdotal. Similarly, the alleged cases of liver and kidney dysfunction have not been observed in any well controlled studies on the adverse effects of exogenous creatine supplemen- tation (Poortmans. 2000). To minimize even the small risk of side effects I would still recommend to stick to 3-5g of creatine monohydrate (preferable tested for purity, like CreaPure) per day.In view of the previously raised question, whether even creatine alone could produce significant anti-sarcopenic effects, however, other studies are more relevant:
As Ann Moon and her colleagues rightly point out the Gualano study clearly suggests that supplementation alone may be beneficial in reducing muscle loss, even without exercise. Similar benefits have been observed by Goltshalk et al (2002 & 2008). The corresponding study in which the researchers observed significant improvements in dynamic leg strength does yet have to replicated to know for sure whether the effects that would occur with creatine alone would be significant, as well.
"More recently, Gualano et al (2014) divided participants into four groups: a group taking creatine, a resistance trained group, a group supplementing creatine alongside training, as well as a placebo group.
Figure 2: Increased bench press and leg press strength in response to one week supplementation w/ 0.3g/kg creatine monohydrate in thirty 58–71 year old women (Gotshalk. 2008).
They demonstrated upper limb strength being significantly increased when creatine supplementation was added to resistance training in comparison to all other groups, and interestingly, it was reported that the number of subjects suffering from sarcopenia were reduced in the creatine supplementation groups, with and without exercise, in comparison to placebo groups" (Moon. 2015)
- Gotshalk, Lincoln A., et al. "Creatine supplementation improves muscular performance in older men." Medicine and science in sports and exercise 34.3 (2002): 537-543.
- Gotshalk, Lincoln A., et al. "Creatine supplementation improves muscular performance in older women." European journal of applied physiology 102.2 (2008): 223-231.
- Gualano, Bruno, et al. "Creatine supplementation and resistance training in vulnerable older women: A randomized double-blind placebo-controlled clinical trial." Experimental gerontology 53 (2014): 7-15.
- Moon, Anna, et al. "Creatine supplementation: can it improve quality of life in the elderly without associated resistance training?." Current aging science 6.3 (2013): 251-257.
- Moon, A., et al. "Creatine Supplementation in the Elderly: is Resistance Training Really Needed." J Nutr Health Sci 2.1 (2015): 103.
- Wyss, Markus, and Andreas Schulze. "Health implications of creatine: can oral creatine supplementation protect against neurological and atherosclerotic disease?." Neuroscience 112.2 (2002): 243-260.