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Amino Acids. 2008 Aug;35(2):425-31. Epub 2007 Oct 4.

Creatine supplementation reduces plasma levels of pro-inflammatory cytokines and PGE2 after a half-ironman competition.

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Department of Cellular Biology, Institute of Biomedical Sciences, University of São Paulo, São Paulo, Sp, Brazil.



The effect of creatine supplementation upon plasma levels of pro-inflammatory cytokines: Interleukin (IL) 1 beta and IL-6, Tumor Necrosis Factor alpha (TNFalpha), and Interferon alpha (INF alpha) and Prostaglandin E(2) (PGE(2)) after a half-ironman competition were investigated.


Eleven triathletes, each with at least three years experience of participation in this sport were randomly divided between the control and experimental groups. During 5 days prior to competition, the control group (n = 6) was supplemented with carbohydrate (20 g x d(-1)) whereas the experimental group (n = 5) received creatine (20 g x d(-1)) in a double-blind trial. Blood samples were collected 48 h before and 24 and 48 h after competition and were used for the measurement of cytokines and PGE(2).


Forty-eight hours prior to competition there was no difference between groups in the plasma concentrations (pg x ml(-1), mean +/- SEM) of IL-6 (7.08 +/- 0.63), TNFalpha (76.50 +/- 5.60), INF alpha (18.32 +/- 1.20), IL-1 beta (23.42 +/- 5.52), and PGE(2) (39.71 +/- 3.8). Twenty-four and 48 h after competition plasma levels of TNFalpha, INF alpha, IL-1 beta and PGE(2) were significantly increased (P < 0.05) in both groups. However, the increases in these were markedly reduced following creatine supplementation. An increase in plasma IL-6 was observed only after 24 h and, in this case, there was no difference between the two groups.


Creatine supplementation before a long distance triathlon competition may reduce the inflammatory response induced by this form of strenuous of exercise.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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