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The Potential Role Of Creatine In Vascular Health

Holly Clarke, Robert C. Hickner, Michael J. Ormsbee

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Creatine is an organic compound, consumed exogenously in the diet and synthesized endogenously via an intricate inter-organ process. Functioning in conjunction with creatine kinase, creatine has long been known for its pivotal role in cellular energy provision and energy shuttling. In addition to the abundance of evidence supporting the ergogenic benefits of creatine supplementation, recent evidence suggests a far broader application for creatine within various myopathies, neurodegenerative diseases, and other pathologies. Furthermore, creatine has been found to exhibit non-energy related properties, contributing as a possible direct and in-direct antioxidant and eliciting anti-inflammatory effects. In spite of the new clinical success of supplemental creatine, there is little scientific insight into the potential effects of creatine on cardiovascular disease (CVD), the leading cause of mortality. Taking into consideration the non-energy related actions of creatine, highlighted in this review, it can be speculated that creatine supplementation may serve as an adjuvant therapy for the management of vascular health in at-risk populations. This review, therefore, not only aims to summarize the current literature surrounding creatine and vascular health, but to also shed light onto the potential mechanisms in which creatine may be able to serve as a beneficial supplement capable of imparting vascular-protective properties and promoting vascular health.