Can This Product Slow Aging?
Written by Walter Young

What is it? Creatine is a combination of three amino acids, arginine, glycine, and methionine. We actually manufacture it in our own bodies; in the liver and the kidneys; muscle tissue acts as a storage container. Creatine is largely responsible for the creation of ATP, the energy that drives our muscles initially. While we create it ourselves, it is also available in meat products, so, for vegetarian/vegan athletes it is recommended to supplement. However, it has been shown that supplementation across the board is a good idea for anyone involved in high energy sports.

What it is not? It is not a steroid, but it helps increase the workload capacity, can help in repair and new growth, it draws water into the cell creating improved volume (you look bigger) and increases potential for growth.  These are the reasons why it is commonly used in fitness circles. BUT… Research shows that creatine has some anti-aging effects in tissues other than muscle, throughout the body.

What does this mean for the aging athlete?

Well, as we know sarcopenia (the loss of muscle tissue as part of the aging process) can be put off better with creatine, increased protein intake and a resistance exercise program. Some studies have shown that the creatine on its own can help.

Creatine has been shown to reduce lipofuscin thought to be one of the aging or "wear-and-tear" residues found in internal organs. This is linked to aging through free radical (remember them) stress. Creatine helps keep the cells in better shape, less harmed by free radicals.

It also allows for better mitochondrial health. This means that as cells age and die, the cleanup and removal of broken material such as proteins (autophagy) is better. The whole system is maintained at a higher level.

Some organs of the body, the heart, the brain and muscle tissue need higher levels of ATP production due to high energy consumption, creatine supplementation helps with this.

Speaking of the brain, tests have shown that creatine can help improve symptoms of not only age-related diseases such as Parkinson’s, Alzheimer’s, and Huntington’s, but has shown some results with strokes and traumatic brain and spinal cord injuries.

In aging adults, not affected by these issues, use of Creatine in doses of 5 grams four times daily show improvement with memory and cognition. Heart health is shown to improve with use and to lower blood glucose levels, as well.

Simply put, as we age our ability to move and store energy extracted from food begins to fail, harmful by-products increase because we aren’t able to remove them as efficiently as we used to. This allows for a greater breakdown, more by-products and so on.

Finally, there is growing evidence that Creatine can help with bone mass density. When it is combined with exercise and strength training, creatine has been shown effective.

Creatine improves our chances. Research is in beginning phases only. Still, I think it is worth considering as an addition to your arsenal of age-defying tools.

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