Posted by: Bruce | 2007/06/07

Creatine Dangers

Hi Dr van Heerden, thank you for the great service you provide!
My question is what are the long term dangers of taking creatine over many years (5yrs +). If the recommended minimim doses are adhered to (5g/day) & correct cycling (rest periods) followed,can it still be theoretically toxic (& dangerous) to the kidneys, liver, heart, brain,testes etc? Can it compromise one's health further down the line, particularly middle aged people worrying about irreversible side affects manifesting themselves yrs after they have ceases using creatine & as they move into old age? Do you by any chance know what Dr Tim Noakes's veiws on creatine dangers are?

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Our expert says:
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Dear Bruce
Thank you for the great compliment - I am having a good day with all you dear Readers being so positive about my service. Although creatine was originally viewed with concern that it would cause damage, the more recent approach has been to permit serious athletes to use this substance to 'bulk-up' provided they stick to the prescribed doses and have rest periods in between. Creatine is not really advisable for people who are not top athletes, but I am aware of the fact that it is used very extensively. I am also not sure that the long-term effects would be in say 10 or 20 years down the line, because the use of creatine has only been around for a relatively short time. Probably it would not be harmful years later as creatine does occur naturally in most protein foods, so our bodies can metabolise this compound. I have the 8th Edition of Prof Tim Noake's book 'Lore of Running' which was published in 1991, in which he does not mention creatine, probably because it was not yet being used at that stage. You can contact Prof Tim Noakes at the UCT Sports Centre - phone UCT and ask for the number or to be put through.
Hope you get more info on this interesting subject (you can always let me know what the Prof say, I would appreciate it)
Best regards

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