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Dangers of creatine?

MrChewiebitums

MrChewiebitums

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I was trolling RX muscle and someone posted this, with the same WTF idea that i am posting it.
What do you think?
My thought was unless they make references to a scientific study its all bullshit, which is why i never read health magazines that occasionally come with the newspapers.


Dangers of Creatine - Bad Effects of Creatine

Creatine is nitrogenous organic acid occurring naturally in all vertebrates. Creatine helps to supply energy to muscle and nerve cells. The body manufactures stores and uses creatine for pursuits which require bursts of energy like running at a high speed. An average person weigh 150 lbs has the ability to manufacture around 120 grams of creatine, and uses up around 2 grams of creatine in daily pursuits. Creatine can be classified as a dietary health supplement, as one can consume, theoretically, enough creatine rich food like red meat, to substitute supplementation.
Though creatine is a protein which occurs naturally in the body, and has been classified by manufacturers and sellers as devoid of side effects, increasing creatine content within the body is not entirely free of short and long term problems which the user might suffer from.

Creatine has been known to cause mild to serious side effects among users. Its use may lead to cramps, stomach upsets and vomiting. Also, due to its property, Creatine absorbs water from cells which results in increasing the water mass of muscles, leading to dehydration, and obesity. Physicians are of the opinion that due to this dehydration, users may suffer from mood swings, increased anger and depression. In fact users have claimed that depression levels dropped among them when they stopped taking creatine. Users are thus advised to drink lots of water to stop dehydration.

Among serious side effects creatine causes kidney, and gastrointestinal disorders. Users have also reported increased anxiety, acne, male breast formation (Gynecomastia), and a reduction in penis size and hair loss. Gastrointestinal complications have been commonly reported among users of creatine supplements. Moreover, scientific studies have proved that increase in body mass from creatine use can be attributed to water retention by muscle.
Creatine use among health freaks is still under a lot of debate. Critics have claimed that the Loading Phase involves a lot of creatine intake, which the body is unable to process. This leads to excretion, and thus wastage of creatine. Moreover research on the benefits of creatine has been limited both in terms of number of research reports and duration of research questions as to how creatine affects teenaged users, elders and pregnant or lactating mothers have remained unanswered due to lack of conclusive research in this field. It is important to note here that not all creatine supplements have obtained the FDA approval. FDA approval to Creatine is termed as "loose" by many industry experts, since though creatine is approved, a lot of marketers add more chemicals to pure creatine to lessen side effects and increase effectiveness. For example, one seller alleges that its product does not get converted to creatinine in the human stomach, a compound which is nullify all expected benefits from ingesting creatine. The company claims that it does this by addition of chemicals to prevent conversion of creatine into creatinine. The effects of such additives on the human body haven't been studied. Users are thus advised to always consult a doctor before taking creatine.

Dangers of Creatine - Side Effects of Creatine
 
M

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Mood swings with creatine? Wow.
 
MrChewiebitums

MrChewiebitums

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ye thought i`d throw it on here anyways, i was pretty sure it was all BS
 
tim290280

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I was trolling RX muscle and someone posted this, with the same WTF idea that i am posting it.
What do you think?
My thought was unless they make references to a scientific study its all bullshit, which is why i never read health magazines that occasionally come with the newspapers.


Dangers of Creatine - Bad Effects of Creatine

Creatine is nitrogenous organic acid occurring naturally in all vertebrates. Creatine helps to supply energy to muscle and nerve cells. The body manufactures stores and uses creatine for pursuits which require bursts of energy like running at a high speed. An average person weigh 150 lbs has the ability to manufacture around 120 grams of creatine, and uses up around 2 grams of creatine in daily pursuits. Creatine can be classified as a dietary health supplement, as one can consume, theoretically, enough creatine rich food like red meat, to substitute supplementation.
Though creatine is a protein which occurs naturally in the body, and has been classified by manufacturers and sellers as devoid of side effects, increasing creatine content within the body is not entirely free of short and long term problems which the user might suffer from.
Some of this is just misleading.

Creatine has been known to cause mild to serious side effects among users. Its use may lead to cramps,
Yes, but overrated.
stomach upsets and vomiting.
Depends on type.
Also, due to its property, Creatine absorbs water from cells which results in increasing the water mass of muscles, leading to dehydration,
Overrated.
and obesity.
Bullshit.
Physicians are of the opinion that due to this dehydration, users may suffer from mood swings, increased anger and depression.
This is specious reasoning to say that creatine will cause this. Dehydration can cause all sorts of things and it is unlikely you'd get dehydrated that easily that these things would become an issue.
In fact users have claimed that depression levels dropped among them when they stopped taking creatine. Users are thus advised to drink lots of water to stop dehydration.
This needs a reference to be a trustworthy claim considering the specious reasoning.
Among serious side effects creatine causes kidney, and gastrointestinal disorders.
This is overstated and generally unrelated to supplementation.
Users have also reported increased anxiety, acne, male breast formation (Gynecomastia), and a reduction in penis size and hair loss.
Bullshit. Aside from the lack of mechanism for this causation (as far as I have read, I would appreciate anyone's input) I haven't seen any papers that state this.
Gastrointestinal complications have been commonly reported among users of creatine supplements. Moreover, scientific studies have proved that increase in body mass from creatine use can be attributed to water retention by muscle.
Half-truth.
Creatine use among health freaks is still under a lot of debate. Critics have claimed that the Loading Phase involves a lot of creatine intake, which the body is unable to process. This leads to excretion, and thus wastage of creatine.
Duh.
Moreover research on the benefits of creatine has been limited both in terms of number of research reports and duration of research questions as to how creatine affects teenaged users, elders and pregnant or lactating mothers have remained unanswered due to lack of conclusive research in this field.
I think I'll question the efficacy and safety of the most researched sports supplement, if not compound in modern science, that makes sense!!
It is important to note here that not all creatine supplements have obtained the FDA approval. FDA approval to Creatine is termed as "loose" by many industry experts, since though creatine is approved, a lot of marketers add more chemicals to pure creatine to lessen side effects and increase effectiveness. For example, one seller alleges that its product does not get converted to creatinine in the human stomach, a compound which is nullify all expected benefits from ingesting creatine. The company claims that it does this by addition of chemicals to prevent conversion of creatine into creatinine. The effects of such additives on the human body haven't been studied. Users are thus advised to always consult a doctor before taking creatine.
The highlighted section is ironic given the opening paragraph. :rofl3:

Creatine - I'm taking it. I was anti-supplement when I started taking it, I was swayed by the science.
 
Johnny5

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Reduce penis size?! We need science in here pronto.
 
tim290280

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johnny5 said:
Reduce penis size?! We need science in here pronto.
Thanks for never reading.:shakefist:

Journal of Sports Sciences, 2004, 22, 95–113
Dietary supplements
RON J. MAUGHAN,* DOUG S. KING and TREVOR LEA

Full article here:
http://www.sportsoracle.com/uploads/2601.pdf

Section of relevance:
Creatine
Creatine has been used by many successful athletes,
particularly in track and field athletics, but in many
other sports as well. Some indication of the extent of its
use comes from the fact that the estimated sales of
creatine to athletes in the USA alone in 1997 amounted
to over 300,000 kg. This represents a remarkable
growth, as its use first became popular in sport after
the 1992 Olympic Games in Barcelona. What distinguishes
creatine from most other purported ergogenic
aids is that it seems to be effective in improving
performance. More significantly, perhaps, its use is
not prohibited by the governing bodies of sport and,
although long-term safety studies have not been undertaken,
there appear to be no harmful side-effects even
when very large doses are taken, at least in the
quantities that are necessary to produce an ergogenic
effect. There are many excellent reviews of the effects of
creatine supplementation, but the picture changes
rapidly as new information emerges in this topical area.
Greenhaff (2000) and Williams et al. (1999) have
provided recent overviews.
The highest tissue concentrations of creatine are
found in skeletal muscle, and approximately two-thirds
of the total is in the form of creatine phosphate.
Creatine phosphate is capable of rapid regeneration of
ATP within the cell cytoplasm, but a limited amount is
available. Increasing muscle creatine phosphate should
Dietary supplements 101
increase the available energy supply. Creatine occurs
naturally in the diet, being present in meat: 1 kg of fresh
steak contains about 5 g of creatine. The normal daily
intake is less than 1 g, but the estimated daily
requirement for the average individual is about 2 g.

This directly contradicts the above article
The body has a limited capacity to synthesize creatine in
the liver, kidney and pancreas and in other tissues, but
the primary site of synthesis in humans is the kidney.
This supplies the amount required in excess of the
dietary intake, and is also the only way in which
vegetarians can meet their requirement. Synthesis
occurs from amino acid precursors (arginine and
glycine), but the synthetic pathway is suppressed when
dietary creatine intake is high.
The first study to systematically investigate the effects
of supplementation of large amounts of creatine was
that of Harris et al. (1992). In a comprehensive study,
they showed that ingestion of small amounts of creatine
(1 g or less) had a negligible effect on the circulating
creatine concentration, whereas feeding higher doses
(5 g) resulted in an approximately 15-fold increase.
Repeated feeding of 5-g doses every 2 h maintained the
plasma concentration at about 1 mmol  l71 over an 8-h
period. Repeated feeding of creatine (5 g four times a
day) over 4–5 days resulted in a marked increase in the
total creatine content of the quadriceps femoris muscle.
An increase in muscle creatine content was apparent
within 2 days of starting this regimen, and the increase
was greatest in those with a low initial concentration; in
some cases, an increase of 50% was observed.
Approximately 20% of the increase in total muscle
creatine content is accounted for by creatine phosphate.
Co-ingestion of creatine and carbohydrate, which
results in high circulating insulin, may increase the
storage of creatine in muscle (Green et al., 1996a,b).
Most authors who have reviewed the published
literature have concluded that the available evidence
supports a beneficial effect of creatine on performance
in short-term high-intensity exercise (Greenhaff, 2000).
Of three recently published meta-analyses, two have
concluded that creatine supplementation has positive
effects on strength, power and lean body mass (Branch,
2003; Nissen and Sharp, 2003), while the other (Misic
and Kelley, 2002) concluded that there was no effect.
The reasons for this discrepancy are not entirely clear.
Effects are seen in particular in the later stages of
multiple short efforts with limited recovery, but
improvements are sometimes seen in single sprints
lasting less than 30 s. There is little information on the
effects of creatine supplementation on the performance
of more prolonged exercise, but there is little reason to
suspect a positive effect.
The mechanism by which creatine supplementation
might improve performance is not entirely clear,
although it is clear that this effect is related to
increased muscle creatine phosphate. The rate of
creatine phosphate resynthesis after intense exercise
is enhanced after high-dose creatine supplementation
(Greenhaff et al., 1994). This allows faster recovery
after sprints as well as allowing more work to be done
during each subsequent high-intensity effort. These
effects will allow a greater amount of work to be done
in training and should therefore result in a greater
training response, although it is possible that by
maintaining the energy charge better during training,
the response will be less. This is especially important
in that the muscle creatine content remains high for
weeks or even months after only a few days of highdose
dietary creatine supplementation (Hultman et al.,
1996).
Many studies and much anecdotal evidence support
the suggestion that acute supplementation with creatine
is associated with a prompt gain in body mass. This
typically amounts to about 1–2 kg over a supplementation
period of 4–5 days, but may be more than this. In
reviewing those studies where changes in body mass
were reported, Branch (2003) reported 43 studies in
which body mass increased and 24 where no change
was seen; there was a statistically significant effect size
for both body mass and lean body mass. Another recent
meta-analysis puts the increases in muscle size and
strength in perspective. Nissen and Sharp (2003)
reported that creatine supplementation increases lean
mass and strength by 0.35% and 1.09% per week in
excess of the changes observed with resistance training
alone, but again effect sizes for the increased lean mass
and strength were small (0.26 and 0.36, respectively).
The rapid increases in body mass may be accounted
for by water retention. Increasing the creatine content
of muscle by 80–100 mmol  kg71 will increase intracellular
osmolality, leading to water retention. Hultman
et al. (1996) found a reduction in urinary output during
supplementation, which tends to confirm this. The
increased intramuscular osmolality due to creatine
itself, however, is not likely to be sufficient to account
for all of this water retention. It has been suggested that
co-ingestion of creatine and carbohydrate, which results
in high circulating insulin (Green et al., 1996a,b), may
stimulate glycogen synthesis, which will further increase
the water content of muscle. There is some preliminary
evidence for a stimulation of protein synthesis in
response to creatine supplementation (Ziegenfuss et
al., 1997), but further experimentation is required. It is
unlikely that major effects on muscle protein content
can be achieved within 4–5 days, so the reported gains
in muscle strength within the same time-scale are
difficult to explain.
The effects of the long-term use of large doses of
creatine are unknown and its use may pose a health risk.
There is concern about possible adverse effects on renal
102 Maughan et al.
function, in particular in individuals with impaired
renal capacity. Studies on the response to long-term
creatine use are in progress but results are not yet
available. There have, however, been no reports of
adverse effects in any of the studies published in the
literature. One study that specifically examined renal
function in individuals supplementing with creatine
found no reason to believe that renal complications
were likely (Poortmans et al., 1997). Anecdotal reports
of an increased prevalence of muscle cramps in athletes
taking creatine supplements have been circulating for
some time, but there is no substance to these stories. It
is likely that any injury suffered by an athlete will be
ascribed to an easily identifiable change in habit, such as
the introduction of a new supplement.
Uninformed comment ascribed the deaths of three
American collegiate wrestlers in December 1999 to
creatine use, but this was not substantiated at the
formal inquiries conducted. Given the increase in
body mass that often accompanies supplementation,
it is possible that athletes who must reduce body
mass acutely to qualify for a particular weight
category might face particular problems. It is not
unusual in some sports for body mass to be reduced
by as much as 10% in the few days before
competition: if the mass loss necessary to make the
qualifying weight is 1–2 kg more than anticipated,
the measures required to achieve the target mass will
be unusually severe and may provoke serious and
potentially fatal complications related to dehydration
and hyperthermia.
It is usually recommended that athletes take 20 g
creatine  day71 for 4–5 days (a loading dose)
followed by 1–2 g  day71 (maintenance dose). The
muscle may be saturated with creatine when a dose
as small as 10 g  day71 is consumed for 3–4 days if
this is taken together with sufficient carbohydrate to
stimulate a marked elevation in circulating insulin.
Many athletes, however, work on the principle that
more is better and may greatly exceed these
amounts. Even with very large doses, however, the
possibility of adverse effects is remote. Creatine is a
small water-soluble molecule easily cleared by the
kidney, and the additional nitrogen load resulting
from supplementation is small. The same concerns
about renal damage have been raised in the context
of protein supplementation among strength athletes
and bodybuilders: these athletes may consume up to
3–4 g protein  kg71 BM day71 over very long
periods (Burke and Inge, 1994), but there is no
evidence that the theoretical problems of clearance of
the extra solute load are real.
Although there is no reason to suppose that there are
any risks to health associated with the long-term use of
high doses of creatine, the studies quoted above that
have used high doses (in the order of 20–30 g  day71)
have been of relatively short duration (5–14 days), and
long-term safety studies have not been performed.
Studies are currently under way to determine some of
the effects of long-term creatine supplementation; their
results will become available in due course. This leaves
the ethical question of whether the use of creatine
should be disallowed on the grounds of its ergogenic
effect, as is the case with other normal dietary
components such as caffeine. As more information
emerges, this issue will be resolved and the governing
bodies of sport will make a decision.
 
tim290280

tim290280

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This one is a negative article, yet they still can't demonise creatine.

Popular Ergogenic Drugs and Supplements in Young Athletes
Ryan Calfee and Paul Fadale
Pediatrics 2006;117;e577-e589

Full text here:
Popular Ergogenic Drugs and Supplements in Young Athletes -- Calfee and Fadale 117 (3): e577 -- Pediatrics

CREATINE
Physiology
Creatine is formed from glycine, arginine, and methionine
and is naturally produced by the liver, kidneys, and
pancreas. After production, creatine is transported to
muscle, heart, and brain, with 95% of bodily stores
remaining in muscle. Creatine is also naturally present
in the diet, mainly in meat and fish. The daily requirement
of creatine is 2 g, with this amount provided half
from endogenous production and half from normal diet.
74 Muscle creatine stores are in a balanced equilibrium
with creatine and phosphocreatine interconverted via
creatine kinase. Phosphocreatine provides energy to the
muscle via its dephosphorylation, which donates a phosphate
to adenosine diphosphate producing adenosine
triphosphate (Fig 2). Aerobic recovery time then allows
for the restoration of phosphocreatine.9 Phosphocreatine
availability is considered the limiting factor in short,
high-intensity activities, as it provides muscle with the
major energy source over the first 10 seconds of anaerobic
activity after free adenosine triphosphate is consumed
in the first 1 second of action (Fig 3).75,76
Investigations into the tissue level effects of oral creatine
seem to show several changes. Supplementation
can cause an 20% increase in muscle phosphocreatine
stores, quicken the replenishment of phosphocreatine
during recovery, and buffer lactic acid as hydrogen ions
are consumed during the dephosphorylation of phosphocreatine,
which potentially delays fatigue onset (Fig
2).77–79

Dosing
Creatine is recommended to be taken first in a loading
phase, with athletes consuming 5 g 4 times per day for
the first 4 to 6 days. The standard dosing then is 2 g/day
for the next 3 months. Creatine taken in excess of this
amount seems to be excreted via the kidneys.80 A month
of abstinence is standard practice after each use cycle.
The Physician’s Desk Reference notes that athletes
should consume 6 to 8 glasses of water per day while
taking creatine to prevent dehydration.81 Absorption of
oral creatine does vary with diet. Carbohydrate-rich fluids
tend to increase creatine absorption, whereas caffeine
impairs its uptake.82,83

Effects
Creatine supplementation does appear to have athletic
benefits. However, nearly 30% of athletes do not see
benefits with creatine use, thereby falling into a category
of “nonresponders” who are theorized to have already
maximal phosphocreatine stores.9 Most common, performance
effects are seen in increasing strength and
outcomes in short-duration, anaerobic events. Studies
do not show improved endurance performance as expected
given that prolonged muscle activity depends on
aerobic glycolysis.84 In a well-controlled setting, Volek et
al85 performed a double-blinded study that examined 12
weeks of creatine use including standard loading and
maintenance phases in recreational weightlifters. In
those athletes who were taking creatine, significant increases
in fat-free body mass; bench press maximal lift;
peak power production in sets of repeated jump squats;
and biopsied type I, IIA, and IIAB muscle fibers were
demonstrated.

Adverse Effects
Athletes who take creatine commonly experience early
weight gain of 1.6 to 2.4 kg, which can be detrimental in
purely speed-based events. It is also common for athletes
to report minor gastrointestinal discomfort and muscle
cramps, although these generally do not curb use.4 There
have been 2 case reports of renal function compromise.
One was an athlete who had previously diagnosed focal
segmental glomerulosclerosis and experienced a transient
50% loss of glomerular filtration rate, and 1 previously
healthy athlete reported transient interstitial nephritis.
86,87 However, at least 1 study of self-reported use
over several years did not show adverse renal effects.88
Three highly publicized deaths have occurred in college
wrestlers who were known to take creatine, although
official autopsy results indicated that dehydration and
weight loss were at fault, not creatine.81 Additional questions
remain, as there are no data to judge the effects of
supplementation on the other tissues that store creatine
(heart and brain), the effects of chronic use, or the
effects of creatine use in minors.

Legal/Sports Aspects
Creatine remains a legal nutritional supplement today.
Despite at least 1 brand’s name, Teen Advantage, the
American College of Sports Medicine has recommended
explicitly that it is not to be used by anyone who is
younger than 18 years.79 Collegiate teams, including
trainers and coaches, are prohibited from supplying creatine
or other supplements directly to their student athletes.

Incidence
Questioning younger populations, 1 study found 8.2%
of 14- to 18-year-olds using the supplement, with 75%
of those users either unaware of how much creatine
they consumed or taking more than the recommended
amounts.89 Meanwhile, looking at 10- to 18-year-olds,
Metzl et al90 reported that 5.6% of that age group used
creatine, with every grade from 6 to 12 involved. It was
also noted that 12th-graders used creatine much like
their collegiate counterparts, with that grade reporting
44% use. Current estimates of collegiate creatine use
vary from 25% to 78% of athletes.
 
P

Pain

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When I used to supplement creatine 4-5 years ago the only thing I had happen to me was better workouts and the need to urinate more, probably because I was drinking 1-2 gallons of water a day though.
 
S

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I have been using creatine for more than 10 years, I haven't faced any side effects till now. Learn how to use it. Rather than abuse it. Use only prescribed dose it would workout fine.
 

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