Creatine Supplementation a Potential Treatment for ALS

Dietary supplementation with creatine may be a new therapeutic option for patients with amyotrophic lateral sclerosis(ALS), if experimental findings hold true. In a mouse model of the disorder, creatine proved more effective than the drug riluzole in extending survival. Survival was extended by 13 days with 1% creatine and 26 days with 2% creatine, which is better than the improvement with riluzole, which extends survival by 13 days in this model," the scientists report. Creatine supplementation also resulted in a dose-dependent improvement in motor performance and protected mice from loss of both motor neurons and substantia nigra neurons at 120 days of age.

Nature Medicine March 1999;5:347-350.

COMMENT: Creatine seems to be a useful supplement for weight training. It provides fuel to the muscle so one can engage in the vigorous overtraining of the muscle to produce the muscle building effect. Clearly this supplement is beneficial if you follow the principles of high intensity low repetition (HI/LR) training. I have recently started weight training after thirty years of running and avoiding weights. The HI/LR program along with the creatine allows me to gain significant muscle mass in two15 minute work outs per week. It is interesting to note that this safe supplement also has some benefit for ALS which is a terribly devastating disease without many useful treatments.

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