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

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


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.

Publication types

  • Case Reports
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Creatine / administration & dosage*
  • Creatine / pharmacology
  • Glomerular Filtration Rate / drug effects*
  • Humans
  • Kidney / drug effects
  • Kidney / metabolism
  • Kidney / physiopathology
  • Male
  • Nephrectomy*
  • Time Factors
  • Young Adult


  • Creatine