GAA loading for improved brain creatine
This study conducted a secondary analysis of previously completed guanidinoacetic acid (GAA) loading trials categorizing participants into responders and non-responders using cut-off points for an increase in the location-specific levels of brain creatine (e.g. thalamus, cerebellum, white and grey matter). A total of 19 healthy men (mean age = 24.8 years) who were supplemented with 3 g/d of GAA for 4 weeks, with total brain creatine evaluated using 1.5 T magnetic resonance spectroscopy (MRS) were included in this report. An average elevation in total creatine content after 28-day GAA loading was 17.3% in the cerebellum (95% confidence interval [CI] from 9.7 to 24.9), 12.1% in the white matter (95% CI from 5.1 to 19.1), and 8.9% in the grey matter (95% CI from 5.2 to 12.6), while total creatine actually dropped in the thalamus at a follow-up for 9.1% (95% CI from 6.8 to 11.4). The prevalence of responders was the highest for the cerebellum (73.6%), followed by the white matter (47.3%) and the grey matter (42.1%), while only two individuals (10.5%) experienced a relevant rise in the thalamus creatine content at 28-day follow-up (P < 0.001). This aftermath evaluation of previously published data suggests a relatively favorable (and location-specific) response rate to short-term GAA loading in healthy young men. A somewhat contrasting location-dependent pattern for GAA and creatine to positively affect brain creatine may be of great interest to the scientific community by dispensing different interventions to tackle poor bioenergetics in distinct brain regions.