Previous research has shown that creatine supplementation increases bone mass. But a recent trial in postmenopausal women found that creatine had little effect on bone mineral density. It did, however, improve aspects of bone quality.
Researchers studied the effects of creatine monohydrate supplementation on the bone health of 237 postmenopausal women. Half of the participants took creatine (0.14 grams per kilogram of body weight of creatine, ~10 grams for a 160-pound female) daily for two years, while the other half took a placebo. All the participants engaged in a walking and resistance training exercise program. The researchers measured the women’s bone mineral density and other aspects of bone before and after the two-year intervention.
They found that the creatine supplements had no significant effects on the women’s bone mineral density of the femoral neck, total hip, or lumbar spine compared to the placebo. However, creatine did improve aspects of their bone quality. Women who took creatine showed improvements in the section modulus (how resistant the bone is to bending and breaking) and the buckling ratio (how well the bone can withstand compression and maintain its shape without collapsing) at the narrow part of the femoral neck.
Creatine is a nitrogen-containing compound that is produced in the liver and kidneys and is stored in the brain and muscles. It plays essential roles in the recycling of ATP and is widely used as a dietary supplement to build and maintain muscle mass.
These findings suggest that supplemental creatine in conjunction with exercise did not affect bone mineral density in postmenopausal women, but it did improve certain aspects of bone quality. However, robust data support resistance training as a means to build bone mass. Learn more in this episode featuring Dr. Brad Schoenfeld.
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