Creatine supplementation affects kidney function?

importancia-creatinaSince Harris et al. (1992) found in their study that creatine supplementation (20g per day for 7 days) increased by 20% muscle creatine, much has inquired about this food supplement in sports performance. Currently there are positive reports regarding activities to intermittent high intensity and short duration as part of the study Terjung et al. (2000).

        Such supplementation may be beneficial as in certain neuromuscular affections (FERRANTE et al., 2000; PEARLMAN, FIELDING, 2006), chronic degenerative diseases (BENDER, 2006) and glucose tolerance (GUALANO et al., 2007). On the other hand also generates a lot of mistrust due to chance to cause kidney problems.

       Many doubts revolve around the use of creatine, because case studies reported deleterious effects on renal function as longitudinal studies although they have methodological flaws report the safety of this. (GUALANO et al., 2008).

       The first report which led to believe negative effects of creatine supplementation was when Pritchard and Claura nephrologists did a case study in 1998 and three days after all Europe was already alarming readers indicating that was directly related to kidney dysfunction, liver dysfunction and could even lead to death, relating to the death of 3 Greco-Roman wrestlers, which was later denied the relationship by the local police, where it was identified that only one of these three made use of creatine (POORTAMANS et al., 2000) .

       Supported in this first finding and disseminating sensationalist media, several countries have banned the sale of this substance, however, the International Olympic Committee (IOC) did not interfere considers creatine as a food supplement and not a drug.

      It is common to many health professionals strongly criticized the use of creatine using a simple theory and has its logic: creatine and spontaneously converted to creatinine, which and excreted by the kidneys. Excess creatinine by supplementation cause a renal overload (GUALANO et al., 2008).


Due to lack of accurate scientific basis, some suggestions are necessary:

In case of people who already have some renal dysfunction is interesting avoid creatine consumption, which in this case tends to increase the chances of complications.

It is suggested quantities of 5g per day, were not found in the literature reports secure larger amounts.

The practice of intense physical exercise can be the perfect match for this supplement, because in findings of Gualano et al. (2006) Practical 70% of VO2 max, 3 times per week for 40 minutes showed improvements in renal capacity.

Populations such as the elderly, children, diabetics and pregnant women were not analyzed in studies. No suggestion should be taken as absolute truth.

Image reference: Seligalinks

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