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Am J Kidney Dis. 2010 Mar;55(3):e7-9. doi: 10.1053/j.ajkd.2009.10.053. Epub 2010 Jan 8.

Effect of short-term high-dose creatine supplementation on measured GFR in a young man with a single kidney.

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Laboratory of Nutrition and Metabolism Applied to Exercise, School of Physical Education and Sport, University of São Paulo, São Paulo, Brazil.


It currently is unknown whether creatine supplementation is safe for people with or at risk of kidney disease. We report on the short-term effects of creatine supplementation on kidney function in a young man with a single kidney and mildly decreased glomerular filtration rate (GFR). A 20-year-old man who had undergone unilateral nephrectomy and presented with mildly decreased GFR without kidney damage underwent a trial with 35 days of creatine supplementation (20 g/d for 5 days followed by 5 g/d for the next 30 days) and had his kidney function monitored. After the intervention, (51)Cr-EDTA clearance (pre, 81.6 mL/min/1.73 m(2); post, 82.0 mL/min/1.73 m(2)), proteinuria (protein excretion: pre, 130 mg/d; post, 120 mg/d), and electrolyte levels were unchanged. Albuminuria, serum urea level, and estimated creatinine clearance were decreased (pre, 4.6 mg/d; post, 2.9 mg/d; pre, 37 mg/d; post, 28 mg/dL; and pre, 88 mL/min/1.73 m(2); post, 71 mL/min/1.73 m(2), respectively), whereas serum creatinine level was slightly increased (pre, 1.03 mg/dL; post, 1.27 mg/dL), falsely suggesting kidney function impairment. This prospective report suggests that short-term creatine supplementation may not affect kidney function in an individual with a single kidney, mild decreased GFR, and ingesting a high-protein diet (ie, 2.8 g/kg/d). This finding has great relevance considering that creatine-induced kidney disease has been a growing concern, even for healthy people.

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