Dangers of Creatine
Creatine has become a popular nutritional supplement among school student athletes. These young men are using this suppliment without realising its possible benefits and hazards. Most students who take, do so in hopes of improving their athletic performance, their appearance or their endurance and body building. The effectiveness of this suppliment remains unproven.
Creatine is naturally produced by the liver, kidney and pancreas and plays a role in muscle contraction. When taken as a supplement, creatine can cause water retention and cramping.Two youngsters are known to have suffered kidney failure in the last 3 years after taking creatine.
French researchers report in the Journal of Neurology, Neurosurgery and Psychiatry – A stroke in a young body builder who took pills sold as energy supplements suggests that these pills may cause stroke. The risk may be greatest when the supplements are used in combination, the researchers suggest.
The sports community should be alert to the danger of such supplements as MaHuang extract and creatine, which are popular among athletes in a number of countries.
The safety of long-term creatine use is uncertain. A recent case report in the Lancet (April 25, 1998) describes a young man whose kidney problems worsened when he took creatine. There have also been three fatalities among college wrestlers using creatine. Whether the supplement contributed to the deaths remains unclear.
Instead of taking creatine, youngsters should go in for a program of weight training, which can safely improve performance by 30% to 40%.