Dietary supplement creatine protects against traumatic brain injury

Ann Neurol. 2000 Nov;48(5):723-9.


Creatine, one of the most common food supplements used by individuals at almost every level of athleticism, promote gains in performance, strength, and fat-free mass. Recent experimental findings have demonstrated that creatine affords significant neuroprotection against ischemic and oxidative insults. The present experiments investigated the possible effect of creatine dietary supplementation on brain tissue damage after experimental traumatic brain injury. Results demonstrate that chronic administration of creatine ameliorated the extent of cortical damage by as much as 36% in mice and 50% in rats. Protection seems to be related to creatine-induced maintenance of mitochondrial bioenergetics. Mitochondrial membrane potential was significantly increased, intramitochondrial levels of reactive oxygen species and calcium were significantly decreased, and adenosine triphosphate levels were maintained. Induction of mitochondrial permeability transition was significantly inhibited in animals fed creatine. This food supplement may provide clues to the mechanisms responsible for neuronal loss after traumatic brain injury and may find use as a neuroprotective agent against acute and delayed neurodegenerative processes.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, P.H.S.

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Brain / drug effects*
  • Brain Injuries / diet therapy
  • Brain Injuries / drug therapy*
  • Creatine / therapeutic use*
  • Dietary Supplements
  • Male
  • Rats
  • Rats, Sprague-Dawley


  • Creatine