Creatine monohydrate increases bone mineral density in young Sprague-Dawley rats

Med Sci Sports Exerc. 2007 May;39(5):816-20. doi: 10.1249/mss.0b013e318031fac4.


Introduction: Creatine kinase, found in osteoblasts, is an enzyme that is upregulated in response to interventions that enhance bone mass accretion. Creatine monohydrate supplementation can increase fat-free mass in young healthy men and women and can reduce markers of bone breakdown in boys with Duchenne muscular dystrophy.

Purpose: The objective of this study was to determine the influence of supplementation with creatine monohydrate on bone structure and function in growing rats, to establish a therapeutic model.

Materials and methods: Creatine monohydrate (2% w.w.) (CR; N = 16) or standard rat chow (CON; N = 16) was fed to Sprague-Dawley rats beginning at 5 wk of age, for 8 wk. Bone mineral density (BMD) and content (BMC) were assessed using dual-energy x-ray absorptiometry at the beginning and end of the protocol. The rats were sacrificed, and one femur was removed for the determination of mechanical properties.

Results: The CR-treated rats showed greater lumbar BMD and femoral bending load at failure compared with the CON rats (P < 0.05).

Conclusions: Together, these data suggest that creatine monohydrate potentially has a beneficial influence on bone function and structure; further investigation is warranted into its effect on bone functional properties and its effects in disorders associated with bone loss.

Publication types

  • Comparative Study
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Absorptiometry, Photon
  • Animals
  • Bone Density / drug effects*
  • Creatine / pharmacology*
  • Dietary Supplements
  • Male
  • Ontario
  • Rats
  • Rats, Sprague-Dawley


  • Creatine