Saturday, September 17, 2011

Creatine and liver fat by Jerry Brainum

Creatine is not only one of the most popular sports supplements, but a rash of new studies shows that it also offers some potent health benefits. This isn't surprising, when you consider the pivotal role that  creatine plays in energy metabolism reactions in the body. But creatine also participates in some health protective effects not necessarily related to energy metabolism. A recent example of this is a new animal study, involving rats who were fed two diets. One diet contained 35% fat content, while the other featured a 71% fat content. A third diet served as a control, and all the diets were liquid. With one of the diets, creatine was added at a dose of 1% of the weight of the rats.The type of creatine used in the study was creatine monohydrate, which is the most common form used by athletes and bodybuilders.
    As expected the high fat (71%) diet induced fatty liver, elevated liver triglycerides, and an increase in oxidation in the liver.The high fat diet also lowered levels of s-adenosylmethionine or SAMi, a protective methylating substance in the liver that also participates in creatine synthesis.All of these negative effects, however, were totally blocked when creatine was added to the high fat diet of the rats. Creatine also normalized several fat oxidation pathways in the liver through interaction with genes.
    This was a rat study, so there is as yet no evidence that similar effects would occur in humans. But since cases of non-alcoholic fatty liver have reached epidemic proportions lately, it would be worth it for someone to produce a study examining whether human subjects diagnosed with fatty liver can be helped by using creatine, and also establishing the effective dose in humans for this purpose. Fatty liver is a serious problem, since it's a percursor for both liver failure and liver cancer.
Deminice, R, et al. Creatine supplementation prevents the accumulation of fat in the livers of rats fed a high-fat diet.J nutr 2011: in press.

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