Despite being one of the most analysed and studied nutritional supplements in history, questions about the effect of long term creatine dosing on vital organs have remained, due to its high nitrogen content.

A study by researchers at the University of Sao Paulo in Brazil, provides some additional evidence that creatine is safe. Healthy subjects consuming a high protein diet, and training regularly with weights were subject to a three month randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled trial.

Subjects receiving creatine took 20 grams per day for five days, and then 5 grams per day for the duration of the 12 weeks, following a typical loading - maintenance protocol. Blood and urine samples were collected daily to assess kidney function, and comparisons were made between the creatine group and placebo group, as well as between baseline and at the end of 12 weeks for individual participants.No significant differences were observed between the creatine group and the placebo group, and creatine clearance, serum and urinary urea, electrolytes, proteinuria and albuminuria remained virtually unchanged throughout the study. The researchers concluded that the 12 week creatine supplementation protocol did not affect kidney function, and the data reinforces the safety of creatine supplementation for healthy trainers consuming a high protein diet.


Lugares R, Leme M, de Salles Painelli V, Murai I, et al. Does long-term creatine supplementation impair kidney function in resistance-trained individuals consuming a high protein diet? Journal of the International Society of Sports Nutrition 10:26 doi 10.1186/1550-2783-10-26 May 2013

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