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Question: Where Is Research On Creatine Being Conducted And How Do I Access Current Information?

I have a sixteen year old son who weighs 170 pounds, is 5'9" tall and has been lifting weights and working out every day after school under the supervision of the coaching staff. He has made tremendous progress towards his goal. Other kids in the weight room are pushing the use of creatine. I accessed your reports a few weeks ago, talked with him about your information, and decided it was not appropriate for him mainly because of a lack of long term research. He has come back to us requesting that we take a look at it again. My question: where is research on creatine being conducted and how do I access current information? I appreciate your help on this as I need more information for discussion with my son.

Answer #1

In scanning the web to find articles on creatine, I found details on some research done on creatine on the EAS web site. It also has a link at the bottom of the page to other research articles on creatine. One word of warning. I work for a medical manufacturing company and am well aware that research can be more or less made to produce whatever results you want (within certain realistic boundaries). Accordingly, I am somewhat skeptical about the results of the research given by EAS because it was sponsored by a company that advocates the use of creatine. From the research I've seen thus far, one thing is clear: if you use creatine you need to cycle off of it on a regularly scheduled basis. (I currently use creatine and am re-evaluating my continued use of it). Good luck with your research.

As a side note: I'm planning on speaking with several Urologists and Internists regarding their opinions on the long-term effects of creatine (particularly on the kidneys, which seems to be the biggest area of concern). If I get any anecdotal information I will pass it along.

You also may want to look at the "Ask Dr. Weil" site. It has a couple of articles on creatine.

Answer #2

In reply to your inquiry regarding creatine usage as it pertains to your son, the reason that you have not been able to find any credible long-term research on the side effects of this supplement is simply because there is not any. The simple fact is that creatine has not been around quite long enough as of yet to have been the subject of any long-term research. Although there is credible, objective research out there, the vast majority of the literature is packed with anecdotal claims that don't have very strong scientific foundations. These mostly consist of scenarios where an individual takes creatine and reports an increase in physical performance. Whether these increases are due to the creatine or to other factors is often not delineated due to a lack of scientific method. Be that as it may, one credible source for objective information is a researcher named Paul Greenhauf. He is considered the foremost authority on this subject, so pop his name into your search engine and see what you come up with.

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