Creatine helps muscular dystrophy

Researchers have found that creatine boosts muscle strength and stamina and prevents joint stiffness in boys with muscular dystrophy — a genetic disease of progressive muscle weakness. Creatine is an amino acid that occurs naturally in the body and provides energy. It is widely used by athletes for muscle building and strengthening.

In this study, 15 boys with muscular dystrophy received either 3 grams of creatine per day or a placebo for 3 months. Later, the treatment groups were reversed. The researchers found that muscle strength increased by 13% after supplementing with creatine, and the length of time to muscle exhaustion was boosted by 76%. Both strength and time to exhaustion remained unchanged in the placebo groups. They also found that joint stiffness increased by 24% after three months of placebo, but did not increase during creatine treatment.

The researchers conclude that creatine appears to improve muscle strength and stamina in boys with muscular dystrophy, and that further larger studies are warranted.

Source: Muscle & Nerve 2003;27:604–10