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Creatine may be helpful for people with chronic fatigue syndrome
In the first human study of its kind, published in the June 2004 issue of the Journal of Applied Physiology, researchers from Temple University in Philadelphia established an association between creatine and increased metabolic energy. The discovery may be of use in the exploration of the physical basis of chronic fatigue syndrome (CFS), a condition involving extreme physical and mental fatigue.
Eight men and eight women received creatine or a placebo four times per day for a five day period before performing a brief and/or an exhaustive exercise session. Skeletal muscle phosphocreatine, free creatine, phosphocreatine to creatine ratio, adenosine diphosphate and pH were measured at the end of the sessions, and phosphocreatine resynthesis rates during recovery were determined. Lead author and assistant professor of occupational therapy at Temple University, Sinclair Smith, ScD, commented on the results: "We found that creatine affects mitochondria - the parts of the cells that produce energy for all biological functioning - in normal human subjects. Now that we have established this baseline evidence, we are looking at the link between creatine and energy production in CFS patients. Many physicians still don't believe that CFS exists, making it important to investigate possible physiologic differences and to determine if we can impact metabolic function in CFS patients."
Dr Smith added, “In addition to improving muscle metabolic function, recent studies show that creatine supplementation may improve nervous system function as well. Given that cognitive fatigue is a frequent symptom of CFS, we thought that creatine may enhance both muscle and neural metabolic status in people with CFS.”
Chronic Fatigue Syndrome
Chronic fatigue syndrome (CFS) is defined as debilitating fatigue with associated symptoms lasting for at least 6 months. CFS primarily affects women ages 25-45. In the United States alone, as many as 800,000 people may be affected by CFS. Although there are no FDA-approved treatments for CFS, through the management and treatment of symptoms, the prognosis for patients is usually good.
Even though the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) officially recognized CFS in 1988, it remains a controversial issue. Some physicians believe the illness to be psychosomatic, although others remain open-minded. Fortunately, most physicians are determined to help their patients who experience the debilitating symptoms of this illness.
A comprehensive approach to CFS would address several key areas based on the results of laboratory tests, including:
- Immune support (antiviral): ginseng, echinacea, essential fatty acids
- Supplements involved in energy metabolism: coQ10, NADH, L-carnitine, and magnesium
- Adrenal support: DHEA, licorice, and sodium
- Stress: glutamine and Adapton
- Brain hormones and neurotransmitters: tyrosine
- Homocysteine metabolism: B6, B12, folic acid, and SAMe
- Antioxidants: glutathione, N-acetyl-cysteine, and alpha-lipoic acid
- Fatigue: ginseng and maté
- Digestive support: digestive enzymes
Coenzyme Q10 has long been prescribed for CFS patients. CoQ10 is a potent antioxidant that aids in metabolic reactions including the process of forming ATP (adenosine triphosphate), the molecule the body uses for energy. Virtually every cell in the body contains coQ10. It is concentrated in the mitochondria, the area of the cells where energy is produced.
At the 37th Annual Meeting of the American College of Nutrition, Southeastern Institute of Biomedical Research in 1996, W. Judy presented a study of 20 female patients with CFS who required bed rest following mild exercise and 20 healthy controls: 80% of the CFS patients were found to be deficient in coQ10, which further decreased following mild exercise or over the course of normal daytime activity. After 3 months of CoQ10 supplementation (100 mg/day), the exercise tolerance (400 kg-meters of work) of the CFS patients more than doubled. All patients had improved: 90% had reduction and/or disappearance of clinical symptoms, and 85% had decreased postexercise fatigue (Judy 1996).
Creatine is a nonprotein amino acid found in human tissue that is synthesized from the amino acids L-arginine, glycine, and L-methionine. Synthesized creatine is metabolized into phophocreatine, an important storage form used by the brain, heart and skeletal muscle.
Creatine monohydrate is a high-energy substrate that assists in muscle contraction, including the heart muscle. Adenosine triphosphate or ATP is the body’s essential energy compound, enhancing energy levels. Creatine helps to maintain higher levels of ATP, which, by absorbing hydrogen ions released into muscles during exercise, maximizes physical performance and reduces exercise fatigue. Creatine monohydrate has become popular with athletes, but it may also be beneficial for people who are nutritionally deficient, have conditions associated with low cellular energy, and those concerned with the muscular integrity of their heart.
Micronized (broken down into tiny particles) for easy absorption, these creatine capsules supply 500 mg of creatine monohydrate.
Super CoQ10 with Tocotrienols
CoQ10 is an essential component of the respiratory cycle of the cell that takes place in the mitochondria and generates ATP, the cell’s energy currency.
Orally administered coQ10 goes directly to the mitochondria where it works to regulate the oxidation of fats and sugars into energy—an important function since the natural production of coQ10 declines with advancing age. When the body has an ample amount of coQ10 the mitochondria can work most efficiently throughout the entire body, in cells everywhere, including the most densely populated area, the heart.
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