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Doctors' Answers to "Frequently Asked Questions" - Creatine

These comments are made for the purpose of discussion and should NOT be used as recommendations for or against therapies or other treatments. An individual patient is always advised to consult their own physician.

Creatine Concerns [posted 10/16/98]
Question: My grandson dislocated a hip playing football about 1 1/2 years ago. What are the side effects if any of taking creatine? Would there be any problems of blood flow to the hip? He is seventeen and still growing.

Answer: No medical research to really answer this question currently.

Creatine [posted 8/7/98]
Question: First, and most simply, I am interested in Creatine. I am a 21 year old female dancer who is into light (but serious) weight lifting. I would like to experience the supposed increase in muscle mass and instant energy reported to Creatine, but I am hesitant for lack of information. I am specifically interested in knowing how it is manufactured, the short and long term side effects, and if there is withdrawal (physically or mentally) by discontinuing it's use.

Answer: I think there is minimal/no evidence that creatine has any beneficial effect. However, except for the cost, it is well tolerated.

Creatine Oral Supplements [posted 8/5/98]
Question: I am considering taking creatine oral supplements in order to increase my strength, endurance and muscle mass. I train 4 times a week, walking/running on a treadmill for 30 minutes with maximum heart rate at 170-180 BPM. I do weights for about 1 hour after that. I am 38 years old. I would like to know if it is safe and efficient. I need information about effects on heart, liver, kidneys and carcinogenesis.

Answer: The ones that are safe do not increase muscle bulk, tone, strength. The ones that are potentially toxic can. Avoid these. It's not worth the risk for the short term gain.

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