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World J Rheumatol. Nov 12, 2014; 4(3): 22-34
Published online Nov 12, 2014. doi: 10.5499/wjr.v4.i3.22
Oral creatine supplementation: A potential adjunct therapy for rheumatoid arthritis patients
Thomas J Wilkinson, Thomas D O’Brien, Andrew B Lemmey
Thomas J Wilkinson, Thomas D O’Brien, Andrew B Lemmey, School of Sport, Health and Exercise Sciences, Bangor University, Wales LL57 2PZ, United Kingdom
Thomas D O’Brien, Research Institute for Sport and Exercise Sciences, Liverpool John Moores University, England L3 3AF, United Kingdom
Author contributions: Wilkinson TJ gathered literature information and drafted manuscript; O’Brien TD and Lemmey AB advised on search methodology and critically revised the manuscript.
Correspondence to: Andrew B Lemmey, Professor, School of Sport, Health and Exercise Sciences, Bangor University, George Building, Normal Site, Holyhead Road, Wales LL57 2PZ, United Kingdom.
Telephone: +44-1248-383932
Received: June 28, 2014
Revised: September 19, 2014
Accepted: October 1, 2014
Published online: November 12, 2014
Core Tip

Core tip: Creatine supplementation primarily improves physical function by enhancing the re-synthesis of adenosine triphosphate via increased stores of phosphocreatine in the muscle. Through this pathway it provides greater levels of energy during physical activity and improves recovery. Creatine also augments muscle protein synthesis, thereby increasing muscle mass. These dual effects increase strength, reduce fatigue, and thereby improve function. In patients with conditions such as rheumatoid arthritis that are characterised by muscle loss and subsequent reductions in strength and physical function, creatine offers a potential therapeutic intervention for augmenting muscle mass and function that is safe, easy and inexpensive to administer.