Creatine: Integral Part of Skeletal Muscle

Creatine is such an integral part of skeletal muscle that its name is derived from the Greek word for flesh, or kreas, from where it was originally isolated nearly one hundred and seventy years ago (1835).

The man credited with this discovery was the French scientist and philosopher, Michel Eugene Chevreul.

Shortly afterwards (1847) the German scientist, Justus von Liebig, helped promote a commercially available extract of meat that he claimed would help the body perform extra work. The secret ingredient in Liebig’s “Fleisch Extrakt” was creatine.

Athletes and weight lifters use creatine because they feel that it increases their muscle mass, gives extra energy, and allows them to train longer and harder. Many body builders swear by creatine.

Creatine is also thought to play an important role in the nervous system, where it provides the energy for proper nervous system functioning as well as for recovery from trauma and disease.

About half of the creatine in our bodies is made from other amino acids in the liver, kidney and pancreas, while the other half comes from foods we eat. Wild game is considered to be the richest source of creatine, but lean red meat and fish (particularly herring, salmon, and tuna) are also good sources.

Optimum Nutrition Creatine Powder is micronized to stay suspended in solution longer. It supports muscle strength and recovery and is made of Pure Creatine Monohydrate.

Research suggests that creatine may have value for athletes, especially endurance athletes such as runners or recreational athletes. Proven potential for developing strength shows it the way of giving an elite athlete an edge of a few seconds or a small amount of additional strength.

Creatine is a naturally occurring amino acid (protein building block) that’s found in meat and fish, and also made by the human body in the liver, kidneys, and pancreas.

Creatine and Heart Disease

A preliminary clinical study suggests that creatine supplements may help lower levels of triglycerides (fats in the blood) in men and women with abnormally high concentrations of triglycerides.

In a few clinical studies of people with congestive heart failure, those who took creatine (in addition to standard medical care) saw improvement in the amount of exercise they could do before becoming fatigued, compared to those who took placebo. Getting tired easily is one of the major symptoms of congestive heart failure. One clinical study of 20 people with congestive heart failure found that short-term creatine supplementation in addition to standard medication lead to an increase in body weight and an improvement of muscle strength.

Creatine has also been reported to help lower levels of homocysteine. Homocysteine is a marker of potential heart disease, including heart attack and stroke. (Source: University of Maryland Medical Center)

Creatine is being observed for potential benefits in other diseases such as Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease (COPD), Muscular dystrophy and Parkinson’s disease.

Noteable Notes

  • Additional research is needed on taking creatine.
  • Most research has been on the effects of creatine on college age men in excellent health.
  • Not every person responds the same way to creatine supplements. For example, people who tend to have naturally high stores of creatine in their muscles don’t get an energy-boosting effect from extra creatine.

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