That creatine is the not just the most powerful, but also the best researched performance enhancing supplement on the market is something most people are aware of. Recent research from the laboratories of the venerable Oxford University does now point to yet another, maybe potentially lifesaving effect of increased muscular creatine stores (Lygate. 2012): they offer protection from acute myocardial infarction!
Despite the fact that this particular study used a rodent model in which the creatine levels in skeletal and heart muscle were naturally increased. Similar elevations of intramuscular creatine stores have been observed in humans after short loading phases, or long-term chronic creatine supplementation, as well. In that, the results Lygate et al. published in the August issue of Cardiovascular Research complement the recent findings of Tokarska-Schlattner et. al. who observed, for the first time, how creatine which is stored inside the muscle in form of the high energy substrate phosphocreatine interacts with the phospholipids of the cell membrane to stabilize them and protects them from oxidative stress, as it occurs not just during myocardial infarctions, but also (obviously to a lesser degree) during strenuous workouts (Tokarska-Schlattner. 2012).
Although it is not known, whether the researchers were supplementing with creatine, while they were working on their experiments and papers, the ingestion of a couple of grams of this powerful ergogenic certainly would not have hampered their progress. After all, Rea et al. have shown in 2003, already, that 6 weeks of creatine supplementation (5g/day) won’t just increase your sports, but your cognitive performance, as well (working memory and intelligence; Rae. 2003).
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Lygate CA, Bohl S, Ten Hove M, Faller KM, Ostrowski PJ, Zervou S, Medway DJ, Aksentijevic D, Sebag-Montefiore L, Wallis J, Clarke K, Watkins H, Schneider JE, Neubauer S. Moderate elevation of intracellular creatine by targeting the creatine transporter protects mice from acute myocardial infarction. Cardiovasc Res. 2012 Aug 21.
Tokarska-Schlattner M, Epand RF, Meiler F, Zandomeneghi G, Neumann D, Widmer HR, Meier BH, Epand RM, Saks V, Wallimann T, Schlattner U. Phosphocreatine interacts with phospholipids, affects membrane properties and exerts membrane-protective effects. PLoS One. 2012;7(8):e43178.
Rae C, Digney AL, McEwan SR, Bates TC. Oral creatine monohydrate supplementation improves brain performance: a double-blind, placebo-controlled, cross-over trial. Proc Biol Sci. 2003 Oct 22;270(1529):2147-50.