icon_folder.gif   Conference Reports for NATAP  
  7th International Workshop on
Adverse Drug Reactions and Lipodystrophy in HIV
November 13-17, 2005
Dublin, Ireland
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Mixed Results With Creatine During Exercise in People With HIV
  Exclusive report for NATAP
Lipodystrophy Workshop
Dublin, November 16, 2005
Creatine monohydrate increased muscle size more than placebo in sedentary HIV-infected men who started resistance exercises. But it did not boost strength when compared with placebo, and it raised triglycerides.
Giorgos Sakkas and coworkers and the University of California, San Francisco randomized 40 nonexercising HIV-infected men to take a creatine look-alike pill or creatine itself, starting with 20 g daily for 5 days, then cutting back to 4.8 g daily for the rest of the study. Creatine has gained popularity because it purportedly boosts intracellular phosphocreatine, a major energy source during high-intensity exercise like weight lifting.
After taking creatine or placebo for 2 weeks, the men started a supervised resistance training routine with three workouts a week for 12 weeks. The men’s age averaged 44 years and their body mass index averaged 23.7 kg/m2. Seventeen men taking creatine and 13 taking placebo finished the study.
Strength measured by one maximum repetition in eight muscle groups and by maximum voluntary contraction of the tibialis anterior (calf) muscle improved 44% in the creatine group and 42% in the placebo group, a nonsignificant difference. Nor did intracellular metabolite gains differ between the groups. But men taking creatine had a significant jump in triglycerides, a risk factor for heart disease.
Lean body mass index (essentially, muscle) rose in both groups, but significantly more with creatine (2.3 versus 0.9 kg, P = 0.01). Thigh muscle cross-sectional area also increased more with creatine, but not significantly more than with placebo (12.2 versus 9.3 cm2, P = 0.34).
Sakkas spelled out his findings at the Lipodystrophy Workshop in Dublin.
G.K. Sakkas, K. Mulligan, MI. DeSilva, et al. Creatine supplementation fails to augment the benefits derived from resistance exercise training in patients with HIV infection. 7th International Workshop on Adverse Drug Reactions and Lipodystrophy in HIV. November 13-16, 2005. Dublin. Abstract 6.