Thursday, May 13, 2010

Can creatine slow the aging process? by Jerry Brainum

Most people know that creatine is one of the most popular and effective bodybuilding supplements. Creatine differs from many other sports supplements offered on the market because it has an extensive and solid scientific data base. Studies show that creatine is an effective ergogenic  aid for 80% of those who use it.But creatine is far more than just a sports supplement. Various published studies show that it may provide therapeutic effects for a wide variety of pathological conditions, including neurological illness involving the brain. Recent research even suggests that creatine may play a role in helping to slow down the aging process.
    How would creatine affect the aging process? Calcium is an essential and important mineral, but it tends to build up in the brain with age. Excess calcium ions in the brain promote a cascade in the brain's neurons that results in the death of the neurons. Creatine helps to increase the brain's energy stores in the form of ATP. This increased ATP, in turn, powers calcium pumps that prevent the excess deposition of calcium in neurons, and thus prevent their premature death. As we age, the brain's innate antioxidant defense system becomes less efficient. This is a serious problem because the brain is largely composed of fat, which is susceptible to oxidation. Increased oxidation in the brain is associated with such degenerative diseases as Alzheimer's and Parkinson's diseases.In the brain, creatine provides antioxidant activity, particularly in the portions of the cells where energy is produced, the mitochondria. In doing so, creatine lowers excess oxidative activity, preserving mitochondria, which also results in a protective effect against the destruction of neurons. Studies in which creatine was given to aged mice show definite anti-aging effects, along with a significant increase in lifespan.
While it would be premature to label creatine an "anti-aging" substance in humans, continuing research will likely further clarify creatine's role in helping to blunt some of the ravages of aging, particularly in the brain.

©,2012 Jerry Brainum. Any reprinting in any type of media, including electronic and foreign is expressly prohibited

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The Applied Ergogenics blog is a collection of articles written and published by Jerry Brainum over the past 20 years. These articles have appeared in Muscle and Fitness, Ironman, and other magazines. Many of the posts on the blog are original articles, having appeared here for the first time. For Jerry’s most recent articles, which are far more in depth than anything that appears on this blog site, please subscribe to his Applied Metabolics Newsletter, at This newsletter, which is more correctly referred to as a monthly e-book, since its average length is 35 to 40 pages, contains the latest findings about nutrition, exercise science, fat-loss, anti-aging, ergogenic aids, food supplements, and other topics. For 33 cents a day you get the benefit of Jerry’s 53 years of writing and intense study of all matters pertaining to fitness,health, bodybuilding, and disease prevention.


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