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Pharmazie. 2006 Mar;61(3):218-22.

Creatine supplementation improves muscle strength in patients with congestive heart failure.

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Klinik für Innere Medizin I, Friedrich-Schiller-Universitaet, Jena, Germany.



Both, cardiac and skeletal muscle creatine levels are depressed in patients with congestive heart failure (CHF). Oral supplementation of creatine (Cr) could increase physical performance in healthy volunteers. We therefore hypothesized that oral creatine supplementation improves skeletal muscle strength, quality of live and symptom-limited performance in patients with CHF.


In a double-blind, placebo-controlled and crossover-designed study, 20 patients suffering from congestive heart failure more than 6 months and a peak oxygen uptake (peak VO2) below 20 ml/min/kg received 4 x 5 g Cr daily vs. placebo for 6 weeks and were crossed over for the following 6 weeks. Peak VO2, VO2 at the anaerobic threshold (VO2AT), ejection fraction (EF), distance in 6-minute-walk-test (6 min W), and muscle strength (Modified Sphygmomanometer (MS)) were determined at baseline, after 6, and after 12 weeks. Dyspnoea after 6-minute-walk-test was measured using the Borg Scale. Quality of live was assessed with the Minnesota Living with Heart Failure Questionnaire (MLHFQ).


13 of 20 Patients finished the study. After 6 weeks of creatine supplementation there was a significant increase in body weight and muscle strength compared to baseline and placebo (p < 0.05). However, there was no significant change in peak VO2, VO2AT, walking distance, quality of life assessment and EF.


Short-term creatine supplementation inaddition to standard medication in patients with CHF leads to an increase in body weight and an improvement of muscle strength. This effect is restricted to the time of supplementation.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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