Creatine & Aggression : Part 3

Is There Evidence for Creatine Causing Aggressive Behavior?

  1. How Might Creatine Use Give Rise to Aggression?
  2. Personal Accounts of Aggression / Mood Swings Following Creatine Use
  3. Possible Correlation Between Brain Creatine Levels and Aggressive Behavior
  4. Scientific Studies Showing an Effect of Creatine Consumption on Mood

Possible Link Between Brain Phosphocreatine Levels and Aggressive Behavior

Earlier studies examined the possibility that the levels of creatine (more precisely, phosphocreatine) in the brain might alter mood. These studies found a correlation between aggressive behavior and levels of creatine kinase in mice (reference 1) and men (reference 2). Since, creatine kinase is the enzyme that converts creatine into phosphocreatine within cells, these results suggested that naturally high (unsupplemented) levels of phosphocreatine give rise to states of heightened aggression.

Selected Scientific References

Evidence for a relationship between phosphocreatine levels and aggressive behavior

Elevations in creatine kinase are associated with states of aggression in mice (reference 1) and humans (reference 2).
Reference 1: Matte, A. C. (1975) Effect of isolation induced aggression in mice on serum creatine kinase. Psychopharmacologia, Volume 42 (2), pages 209–210.

Reference 2: Hillbrand, M. et al. (1998) Creatine kinase elevations and aggressive behavior in hospitalized forensic patients. Psychiatric Quarterly, Volume 69 (1), pages 69-82.

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Although these early studies might be interpreted to indicate that elevated levels of phosphocreatine in the brain somehow lead to aggressive behavior, it is difficult to draw any definitive conclusions about these results. First, the brain is a very complicated structure, subject to multiple levels of feedback regulation and intercommunication. Therefore, a change in a single biochemical pathway will profoundly influence several metabolites. Secondly, cause and effect is not resolved in this situation; it is not clear whether aggressive behavior stimulated endogenous creatine synthesis (inducing the production of creatine kinase), or, on the other hand, if aggressive behavior was a downstream consequence of elevated creatine synthesis from the onset. In other words, which came first the creatine (chicken) or the aggression (egg)?

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