Creatine monohydrate enhances strength and body composition in Duchenne muscular dystrophy
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OBJECTIVE: To determine whether creatine monohydrate (CrM) supplementation increases strength and fat-free mass (FFM) in boys with Duchenne muscular dystrophy (DD). METHODS: Thirty boys with DD (50% were taking corticosteroids) completed a double-blind, randomized, cross-over trial with 4 months of CrM (about 0.10 g/kg/day), 6-week wash-out, and 4 months of placebo. Measurements were completed of pulmonary function, compound manual muscle and handgrip strength, functional tasks, activity of daily living, body composition, serum creatine kinase and gamma-glutamyl transferase activity and creatinine, urinary markers of myofibrillar protein breakdown (3-methylhistidine), DNA oxidative stress (8-hydroxy-2-deoxyguanosine [8-OH-2-dG]), and bone degradation (N-telopeptides). RESULTS: During the CrM treatment phase, there was an increase in handgrip strength in the dominant hand and FFM (p < 0.05), with a trend toward a loss of global muscle strength (p = 0.056) only for the placebo phase, with no improvements in functional tasks or activities of daily living. Corticosteroid use, but not CrM treatment, was associated with a lower 8-OH-2-dG/creatinine (p < 0.05), and CrM treatment was associated with a reduction in N-telopeptides (p < 0.05). CONCLUSIONS: Four months of CrM supplementation led to increases in FFM and handgrip strength in the dominant hand and a reduction in a marker of bone breakdown and was well tolerated in children with DD.
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