Methyl donors and GAA balance serum homocysteine
Guanidinoacetic acid (GAA) is the natural biosynthetic precursor of creatine, in a metabolic reaction that requires only a methyl group transfer. The use of GAA as a food additive for restoring creatine load in human tissues is rather unexplored and data on efficacy and safety are limited. In particular, an increase in serum homocysteine after GAA administration can be regarded as critical and should be prevented. The present study evaluated the effects of orally administered GAA with and without methyl group donors on serum and urine creatine concentrations, and the occurrence of adverse events during an intervention in healthy human subjects. A total of twenty male and female volunteers were randomised in a double-blind design to receive either GAA (2.4 g/d) or GAA with methyl donors (2.4 g/d of GAA and 1.6 g/d of betaine HCl, 5 μg/d of vitamin B12, 10 mg/d of vitamin B6 and 600 μg/d of folic acid) by oral administration for 8 weeks. Serum and urine creatine increased significantly from before to after administration in both groups (P< 0.001). The proportion of participants who reported minor adverse events was 33.3 % in the GAA group, and 10.0 % in the GAA with methyl donors group (P= 0.30). Hyperhomocysteinaemia was found in 55.6 % of participants supplemented with GAA, while no participant experienced hyperhomocysteinaemia in the group supplemented with GAA and methyl donors (P= 0.01). In summary, both interventions strongly influenced creatine metabolism, resulting in a significant increase in fasting serum creatine. The concomitant supplementation of methyl donors along with GAA largely precluded the elevation of serum homocysteine caused by GAA administration alone.
Ostojic SM, Niess B, Stojanovic M, Obrenovic M. Co-administration of methyl donors along with guanidinoacetic acid reduces the incidence of hyperhomocysteinaemia compared with guanidinoacetic acid administration alone. Br J Nutr. 2013 Sep 14;110(5):865-70. doi: 10.1017/S0007114512005879. Epub 2013 Jan 28. PMID: 23351309.