Creatine: Wonder Drug?

The GreatestThere are very few supplements that really work and have good scientific data to show that they do and that they are safe.

Creatine Monohydrate is one of those supplements.

Creatine supplementation increases performance in high intensity exercise, results in lower lactate levels, it’s an antioxidant and it improves recovery time after injury. What can’t this stuff do?

So we know creatine is good for muscles but maybe it’s also good for the brain! There is some evidence that creatine supplementation can influence cognitive function and mood state under certain circumstances. Funding for this type of research is usually limited. Drug companies like to pour their money into research on their own medicines and not into supplements that are widely available and relatively inexpensive.

However, Reuters reports that the National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke, one of the U.S. National Institutes of Health, is launching the trial as the first in a series of publicly-sponsored studies of new Parkinson’s treatments.

The study will recruit 1,720 people with early-stage Parkinson’s disease across North America. Neither patients or doctors alike will know whether they are getting creatine or a placebo. The study should last three to five years.

“This study is an important step toward developing a therapy that could change the course of this devastating disease,”

“The goal is to improve the quality of life for people with Parkinson’s for a longer period of time than is possible with existing therapies.”

said Nation Institute of Health Director Dr. Elias Zerhouni.

Parkinson Brain

Parkinsons is caused by the mysterious destruction of brain cells that produce dopamine, an important neurotransmitter or message-carrying chemical involved in movement.

Drug therapy to replace the dopamine or reduce tremors can help some patients for a while, but symptoms tend to eventually worsen. Experimental treatments that involve the transplant of new cells have also had limited success.

In mice, creatine was shown to prevent the loss of dopamine-producing brain cells.

“One thing we want to get across is that you can’t go to the store, buy small amounts of creatine and think it’s going to improve your Parkinson’s symptoms. We don’t want anyone to think this is a panacea for Parkinson’s,”

said Dr. John Goudreau of Michigan State University, who will run one of the trial sites.

Fair enough, Dr Goudreau but given the creatine is safe and inexpensive why wouldn’t you take some just incase. And there are other benefits to be derived from supplementing with creatine as well.

And if someone is regularly belting you in the head, maybe that’s more reason. Just ask Muhammad Ali.

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