Creatine supplementation in women with fibromyalgia increased intramuscular phosphorylcreatine content and improved muscle function, according to recent study results.
“Creatine supplementation may increase lower- and upper-body muscle function, but it had only a minor effect on general symptoms of fibromyalgia,” researcher Bruno Gualano, PhD, of the University of Sao Paulo, Brazil, told Healio.com.
In a 16-week, double blind trial, Gualano and colleagues studied 28 women with fibromyalgia from March 2011 to July 2012 at the School of Medicine, University of Sao Paolo. Fifteen patients were randomly assigned 20 g creatine monohydrate for 5 days divided into four equal doses, followed by 5 g daily as a single dose throughout the trial. Thirteen patients were assigned placebo. Patients’ drug therapy was stable throughout the trial. Muscle function, aerobic conditioning, cognitive function, quality of sleep, quality of life, kidney function and adverse events were measured at baseline and after 16 weeks. Phosphorous magnetic resonance spectroscopy measured muscle phosphorylcreatine.
At the end of the trial, patients receiving creatine displayed greater muscle phosphorylcreatine content compared with placebo patients (+80.3% vs. –2.7%; P=.04). Patients taking creatine also presented greater muscle strength in leg-press (+9.8% vs. –.05%; P=.02) and chest-press exercises (+1.2% vs. –7.2%; P=.002), along with greater isometric strength (+6.4 vs. –3.2%; P=.007).
Aerobic conditioning, cognitive function, quality of sleep and quality of life had generally not changed during the trial. Patients’ food intake remained the same, and no side effects were reported.
“To our knowledge, this is the first randomized controlled trial to investigate the efficacy and safety of creatine supplementation in patients with fibromyalgia,” the researchers reported.
“These findings reveal the potential of creatine supplementation as a useful dietary intervention to improve muscle function in fibromyalgia patients.”