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Creatine For Anti-Aging? A New Study Promises To Change Your Mind About This Supplement
You may have heard of using creatine to help build muscle. But did you know it can actually protect your DNA from damage and mutation? Astounding new evidence supports using creatine for anti-aging benefits!
A recent study shows that not only does creatine fight muscle loss, but it can improve brain function and may even help with inflammation, one systemic cause of aging. In fact, it may also help with fatigue, muscle atrophy, and even such diseases as Parkinsonís disease or Huntingtonís disease. It may also help with brain pathology or mitochondrial disorders.
First, letís take a look at the process of aging. Aging is caused by oxidants (free radicals) in the body. These molecules are very unstable and cause reactions and damage with every type of tissue they come into contact with. As time goes on, the free radicals cause cellular and DNA damage through the entire body. Eventually the tissues, of skin, eyes, brain, lungs, liver, kidneys and virtually every other organ become ineffective and the organs begin to malfunction. Cancers may also develop due to the DNA damage from free radicals.
The only way to combat the damage caused by these free radicals is to introduce anti oxidants into your system though supplementation and eating fresh healthy foods. These anti oxidants seek out the free radicals and react with them, turning them into harmless compounds.
DNA damage is associated with a wide variety of disorders including cardiovascular disease, a wide variety of tumors affecting the head, neck, breast, kidney, colon and lungs. In the study, two dishes containing DNA were exposed to oxidizers that destroy the DNA and break the molecules down. In one of the dishes the researchers added creatine. After sitting over night, they found the DNA without creatine added was almost completely destroyed. In the dish that contained creatine, the DNA was almost completely preserved!
After doing much more research, it seems that creatine actually binds to DNA and destroys the oxidizers as they attempt to destroy the DNA strands. This is especially good news as it is very difficult to get most antioxidants to bind to the mitochondrial DNA.
Creatine is a wonderful supplement as is the most widely used exercise supplement in the world.
As we age, creatine can be an important part of protecting our tissues from oxidative damage. Creatine is also very good at preventing muscle wasting as we age.
Of course, this has benefit to younger adults in that as they get older, they may not have the muscle wasting their older peers now suffer from. And of course, because sarcopenia (muscle wasting) can very possibly be forestalled with creatine supplementation, itís much easier to prevent it from happening at all than it is to try to correct it after it does.
In fact, supplementation with as little as five grams of creatine in 28 healthy adults also involved in resistance training showed significant improvement in the extension strength, ankle strength, intramuscular creatine levels, and strength in general. Of course, what this translates to is that not only is fat loss stimulated, but this in general leads to greater strength and flexibility; as we age, we do not have to lose function and in fact can even gain function with proper exercise and creatine supplementation.
One possible contraindication is its use in those with kidney disease. Some have suggested that excessive intake of creatine can increase levels of creatinine, a byproduct of creatine that is most often present in those with kidney disease. It is not known whether creatine itself is harmful in those with kidney disease and actually affects kidney function, or whether it simply raises creatinine metabolites.
Nonetheless, for healthy adults, supplementation with up to 5 g of creatine a day has been shown to have no ill effects whatsoever thus far. Given its significant benefit, healthy adults can probably supplement very safely with creatine to prevent a wide range of aging related issues including DNA damage and muscle wasting. Used along with a healthy diet and an exercise program, creatine can be a pillar of your program to promote long-term health.
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