Creatine is a naturally occurring acid in our bodies. Most of us think people take creatine to help build muscles and improve athletic performance. Creatine does help our cells make ATP (adenosine triphosphate). ATP provides the intercellular energy required for us to function.
Creatine is found in protein-rich foods. Without it, you would have to work much harder to gain muscle mass and strength. With more muscle mass, it is easier to lose weight. But, most of us don’t know the other benefits of creatine.
Longevity scientists have found that creatine extends the lives of laboratory animals by almost ten percent. Lipofuscin is a good indicator of aging. It accumulates in our brains as we age. Further studies found that creatine is very useful countering the accumulation of lipofuscin and reduce the risk of contracting age-related diseases. When the brain’s energy supply is disrupted for extended periods of time, lipofuscin increases. Creatine keeps the energy supply flowing normally.
Alzheimer’s disease has several causes. One cause is the dysfunction of the mitochondria providing energy to the brain. Creatine has been shown to lower lipofuscin levels and protect against the beta-amyloid protein which is well known in the progression of Alzheimer’s disease.
Lipofuscin is found in patients with Parkinson’s disease. Parkinson’s disease affects movement control. Cellular energy supply and waste management are underlying causes of the progression of this disease. Creatine improves both the energy supply and the waste management functions of the cells. It also enhances neuron protection which is essential if combatting this disease.
Huntington’s disease is another neurogenerative disease of the brain. Like other brain disorders, lipofuscin accumulates as this disease progresses. Again, if we can maintain control of the energy sources in our cells (mitochondria), we can maintain better control of our health.
Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis (ALS) is referred to as Lou Gehrig’s disease. It is a neurodegenerative disease that affects muscle control. Many patients die because of respiratory muscle failure. Mitochondrial dysfunction is prominent in ALS patients. Human studies using creatine have shown to be very beneficial in the treatment of ALS.
When the blood supply to the brain is restricted, it is possible to experience a stroke. In the areas where blood supply is restricted scientists have found large accumulations of lipofuscin. Human studies are currently underway to support the success of creatine in animal studies to reduce the risk of strokes.
Creatine has been used as a supplement for many years to build and strengthen muscles. The information shared in this article is from the July 2014 publication of Life Extension magazine. If you or a loved one is suffering from a neurodegenerative disease, please consult your physician before arbitrarily incorporating creatine as a medical treatment.
If you are healthy and want to remain that way at the end of your life, talk to your physician about it before venturing out on your own.