Monday, February 17, 2014

Fibromyalgia and Creatine Supplementation

I've read about a study in Reuters Health a while ago, which I wand to comment on. Some people thought that creatine supplementation could be beneficial in fibromyagia patients. My opinion has always been that it might be only beneficial for the people producing and selling it. To improve strength is a good idea, but like in body building you don't improve with supplement but with training. Fibromyalgia patients don't need body building, they only need to bring the muscles to normal. Creatine is sold widely to body builders.
C.R. Alves and colleagues published the following study: "Creatine Supplementation in Fibromyalgia: A Randomized, Double-Blind, Placebo-Controlled Trial". The study lasted 16 weeks with numbers being low (N=15 for creatine and N=13 for placebo). The authors found some improvements in strength as measured by chest and leg presses, but we aren't told anything about other muscles. They didn't find any differences in pain, cognition, aerobic fitness, sleep, or quality of life. The authors concluded that "creatine supplementation may be useful to improve muscle function in patients with fibromyalgia."
Reuters Health already commented on the study. Dr. Dan Goldenberg has been quoted: "I would encourage people to do strengthening exercise rather than to use a supplement to strengthen." He wouldn't recommend creatine supplementation to his patients. And they quoted Pam Stewart, chairwoman of the non-profit Fibromyalgia UK: "I don't think patients are going to gain much at all (from the study); false hope perhaps."
If you're suffering from fibromyalgia, don't feel disappointed, there are ways out of the disease, but supplementation isn't a shortcut but a dead end.


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