The evolving applications of creatine supplementation: Could creatine improve vascular health?

Holly Clarke, Do Houn Kim, Cesar A. Meza, Michael J. Ormsbee, Robert C. Hickner

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

24 Citations (Scopus)
45 Downloads (Pure)


Creatine is a naturally occurring compound, functioning in conjunction with creatine kinase to play a quintessential role in both cellular energy provision and intracellular energy shuttling. An extensive body of literature solidifies the plethora of ergogenic benefits gained following dietary creatine supplementation; however, recent findings have further indicated a potential therapeutic role for creatine in several pathologies such as myopathies, neurodegenerative disorders, metabolic disturbances, chronic kidney disease and inflammatory diseases. Furthermore, creatine has been found to exhibit non-energy-related properties, such as serving as a potential antioxidant and anti-inflammatory. Despite the therapeutic success of creatine supplementation in varying clinical populations, there is scarce information regarding the potential application of creatine for combatting the current leading cause of mortality, cardiovascular disease (CVD). Taking into consideration the broad ergogenic and non-energy-related actions of creatine, we hypothesize that creatine supplementation may be a potential therapeutic strategy for improving vascular health in at-risk populations such as older adults or those with CVD. With an extensive literature search, we have found only four clinical studies that have investigated the direct effect of creatine on vascular health and function. In this review, we aim to give a short background on the pleiotropic applications of creatine, and to then summarize the current literature surrounding creatine and vascular health. Furthermore, we discuss the varying mechanisms by which creatine could benefit vascular health and function, such as the impact of creatine supplementation upon inflammation and oxidative stress.

Original languageEnglish
Article number2834
Pages (from-to)1-23
Number of pages23
Issue number9
Publication statusPublished - Sept 2020
Externally publishedYes


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