10. Is creatine safe for women, children or the elderly?
11. Creatine risks and side effects?
12. Long-term consequences of creatine use?
13. Does creatine cause cancer?
14. Can creatine help those with Muscular Dystrophy?
Recently, there has been a lot of talk about creatine causing cancer. This concern initially arose from the fact that certain carcinogenic agents (AIAs) are produced in meats when exposed to high temperatures. The connection between creatine and cancer stems from the fact that meats with higher creatine content produce more of these cancer causing agents WHEN COOKED. The French agency for food safety, AFSSA (Agence Française de Sécurité Sanitaire des Aliments), thus alleged that creatine supplementation, since it increases our muscle creatine content, increases our chances of developing cancer. It remains to be clearly demonstrated, however, that these same cancer causing agents are produced within the human body. In other words, in a person that isn’t cooked! Moreover, some experiments performed on isolated tumor cell lines maintained in tissue culture have demonstrated just the opposite. That is, creatine had either no effect, or even suppressed tumor cell growth.
There are also theoretical reasons to believe that creatine supplementation should actually suppress tumor growth. These were explained in a recent issue of the Creatine Newsletter (Issue 30) and extend from the fact that creatine in cohorts with certain B vitamins (folate, B6 and B12) protect our genes from spontaneous breaks and mutations. An excerpt from this newsletter is shown in the box below:
Most importantly, creatine supplementation will fortify those aspects of folic acid that improve whole-body methylation status:
(1) First, creatine supplementation, by way of alleviating the need for creatine synthesis, further reduces serum homocysteine levels;
(2) Secondly, creatine enhances cellular energy metabolism, thereby making the cell more immune to cytotoxic damage resulting from energy deficiency (also see our Creatine Clinical Trials page). In brief, the combination of creatine and folic acid (and vitamin B12) should reduce the risk of developing certain types of cancer as well as slow the natural aging process. This details of how to correctly combine creatine supplementation with essential B vitamins is thoroughly discussed in my creatine guide.
Finally, creatine and cancer was the topic of a recent interview of Dr. Markus Wyss, world renowned creatine expert.
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