Creatine Supplementation Improved Muscle Function in Fibromyalgia

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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