Creatine supplementation in the aging population: effects on skeletal muscle, bone and brain

Amino Acids. 2016 Aug;48(8):1793-805. doi: 10.1007/s00726-016-2239-7. Epub 2016 Apr 23.


This narrative review aims to summarize the recent findings on the adjuvant application of creatine supplementation in the management of age-related deficits in skeletal muscle, bone and brain metabolism in older individuals. Most studies suggest that creatine supplementation can improve lean mass and muscle function in older populations. Importantly, creatine in conjunction with resistance training can result in greater adaptations in skeletal muscle than training alone. The beneficial effect of creatine upon lean mass and muscle function appears to be applicable to older individuals regardless of sex, fitness or health status, although studies with very old (>90 years old) and severely frail individuals remain scarce. Furthermore, there is evidence that creatine may affect the bone remodeling process; however, the effects of creatine on bone accretion are inconsistent. Additional human clinical trials are needed using larger sample sizes, longer durations of resistance training (>52 weeks), and further evaluation of bone mineral, bone geometry and microarchitecture properties. Finally, a number of studies suggest that creatine supplementation improves cognitive processing under resting and various stressed conditions. However, few data are available on older adults, and the findings are discordant. Future studies should focus on older adults and possibly frail elders or those who have already experienced an age-associated cognitive decline.

Keywords: Bone, skeletal muscle, brain; Dietary supplement; Elderly; Exercise.

Publication types

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

MeSH terms

  • Aged, 80 and over
  • Aging / drug effects
  • Aging / metabolism*
  • Bone and Bones / metabolism*
  • Brain / metabolism*
  • Creatine* / metabolism
  • Creatine* / pharmacology
  • Dietary Supplements*
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Muscle, Skeletal / metabolism*
  • Physical Endurance / drug effects
  • Physical Endurance / physiology


  • Creatine