Is It Time for a Requiem for Creatine Supplementation-Induced Kidney Failure? A Narrative Review

Nutrients. 2023 Mar 18;15(6):1466. doi: 10.3390/nu15061466.


Creatine has become one of the most popular dietary supplements among a wide range of healthy and clinical populations. However, its potential adverse effects on kidney health are still a matter of concern. This is a narrative review of the effects of creatine supplementation on kidney function. Despite a few case reports and animal studies suggesting that creatine may impair kidney function, clinical trials with controlled designs do not support this claim. Creatine supplementation may increase serum creatinine (Crn) concentration for some individuals, but it does not necessarily indicate kidney dysfunction, as creatine is spontaneously converted into Crn. Based on studies assessing kidney function using reliable methods, creatine supplements have been shown to be safe for human consumption. Further studies with people who have pre-existing kidney disease remain necessary.

Keywords: dietary supplement; glomerular filtration rate; kidney disease; phosphorylcreatine; renal function.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Creatine* / adverse effects
  • Creatinine
  • Dietary Supplements / adverse effects
  • Glomerular Filtration Rate
  • Humans
  • Kidney
  • Renal Insufficiency* / chemically induced


  • Creatine
  • Creatinine

Grants and funding

This research received no external funding.