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Creatine Supplementation Improved Muscle Function in Fibromyalgia

  [ 2 votes ]   [ 4 Comments ] • April 8, 2013

Editor's Note: Creatine is a nitrogen-containing organic acid produced in the body from amino acids.  It supports muscle function by working as a reserve energy supply in muscle cells and helping to maintain adenosine triphosphate (ATP) levels.  Muscular contractions are powered by the breakdown of ATP to ADP (adenosine diphosphate). When all the ATP is broken down, creatine phosphate in a muscle donates a phosphate group to ADP and rebuilds ATP, thus promoting further energy reactions.


Creatine supplementation in fibromyalgia: A double-blind, randomized, placebo-controlled trial.
– Source: Arthritis Care & Research, April 1, 2013

By Christiano R. R. Alves, et al.


OBJECTIVE: To investigate the efficacy and safety of creatine supplementation in fibromyalgia patients.

METHODS: A 16-week, double-blind, randomized, parallel-group, placebo-controlled trial was conducted. Fibromyalgia patients were randomly assigned to receive either creatine monohydrate or placebo in a double-blind fashion. The patients were evaluated at baseline and after 16 weeks. Muscle function, aerobic conditioning, cognitive function, quality of sleep, quality of life, kidney function, and adverse events were assessed. Muscle phosphorylcreatine content was measured through phosphorus magnetic resonance spectroscopy.

RESULTS: After the intervention,

  • the creatine group presented higher muscle phosphorylcreatine content when compared with the placebo group (+80.3% vs. -2.7%, respectively; p = 0.04).

  • Furthermore, the creatine group presented greater muscle strength than the placebo group in the leg-press and chest-press exercises (creatine: +9.8% and +1.2% vs. placebo: -0.5% and -7.2%, respectively; p = 0.02 and p = 0.002).

  • Isometric strength was greater in the creatine group than in the placebo group (+6.4% and -3.2%, respectively, p = 0.007).

  • However, no general changes were observed in aerobic conditioning, pain, cognitive function, quality of sleep, and quality of life.

  • Food intake remained unaltered and no side effects were reported.

CONCLUSION: Creatine supplementation increased intramuscular phosphorylcreatine content and improved lower- and upper-body muscle function, with minor changes in other fibromyalgia features. These findings introduce creatine supplementation as a useful dietary intervention to improve muscle function in fibromyalgia patients.

Arthritis Care & Research, April 1, 2013. By Christiano R. R. Alves, Bianca M. Santiago, Fernanda R. Lima, Maria C. G. Otaduy, Ana Luisa Calich, Aline C. C. Tritto, Ana Lúcia de Sá Pinto, Hamilton Roschel, Cláudia C. Leite, Fabiana B. Benatti, Eloisa Bonfa and Bruno Gualano. University of Sao Paulo, School of Physical Education and Sports, Rua Professor Mello Moraes, 65 - Sao Paulo - SP - Brazil.

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Article Comments Post a Comment

Posted by: roge
Apr 8, 2013
so no change in pain , sleep quality and quality of life so what use is their in creatine supplementation then - another useless study
Reply Reply

Posted by: neoplus1
Apr 8, 2013
No mention about fatigue either.


Posted by: roge
Apr 8, 2013
ok yes some increased strength but that is not the main issue of those with fm - our strength for the most is ok, it is the PAIN that we get after using our muscles and tendons and again the study said pain was not changed so again this study really has little to no beneft


Posted by: Kelly Latta
Apr 9, 2013
Patients need to check with their physician before adding this supplement.

Because many patients take far too many NSAIDS in an effort to control their pain they may be at risk for kidney disease. Kidney disease is asymptomatic until it is too late to save the patient and creatine is not recommended for such patients. If you take NSAIDS often make sure a test is done on kidney function before starting this supplement. Patients with diabetes may also be at risk.

As for who it works for it is quite possible there are subgroups of fibromyalgia patients which scientists have yet to find markers for - and like other forms of arthritis the same treatments do not work for every kind of arthritis. As well, not all creatine supplements are of equal quality and some may not have the amount of ingredient claimed. If one brand doesn't work for you, you may wish to try another before concluding that the supplement does not work for a you.
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