Long-term creatine supplementation is safe in aged patients with Parkinson disease

Nutr Res. 2008 Mar;28(3):172-8. doi: 10.1016/j.nutres.2008.01.001.


The food supplement creatine (Cr) is widely used by athletes as a natural ergogenic compound. It has also been increasingly tested in neurodegenerative diseases as a potential neuroprotective agent. Weight gain is the most common side effect of Cr, but sporadic reports about the impairment of renal function cause the most concerns with regard to its long-term use. Data from randomized controlled trials on renal function in Cr-supplemented patients are scarce and apply mainly to healthy young athletes. We systematically evaluated potential side effects of Cr with a special focus on renal function in aged patients with Parkinson disease as well as its current use in clinical medical research. Sixty patients with Parkinson disease received either oral Cr (n = 40) or placebo (n = 20) with a dose of 4 g/d for a period of 2 years. Possible side effects as indicated by a broad range of laboratory blood and urine tests were evaluated during 6 follow-up study visits. Overall, Cr was well tolerated. Main side effects were gastrointestinal complaints. Although serum creatinine levels increased in Cr patients because of the degradation of Cr, all other markers of tubular or glomerular renal function, especially cystatin C, remained normal, indicating unaltered kidney function. The data in this trial provide a thorough analysis and give a detailed overview about the safety profile of Cr in older age patients.

Publication types

  • Randomized Controlled Trial
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Creatine / administration & dosage
  • Creatine / adverse effects
  • Creatine / therapeutic use*
  • Dietary Supplements
  • Dose-Response Relationship, Drug
  • Female
  • Follow-Up Studies
  • Humans
  • Kidney / drug effects*
  • Kidney / physiology*
  • Kidney Function Tests
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Multivariate Analysis
  • Neuroprotective Agents / administration & dosage
  • Neuroprotective Agents / adverse effects
  • Neuroprotective Agents / therapeutic use*
  • Parkinson Disease / drug therapy*
  • Safety
  • Time Factors
  • Treatment Outcome


  • Neuroprotective Agents
  • Creatine