Plasma GAA altered by oral creatine supplementation
Although creatine is one of the most widely used nutritional supplements for athletes as well as for patients with neuromuscular disorders, the effects of oral creatine supplementation on endogenous creatine synthesis in humans remains largely unexplored. The aim of the present study was to investigate the metabolic consequences of a frequently used, long-term creatine ingestion protocol on the circulating creatine synthesis precursor molecules, guanidinoacetate and arginine, and their related guanidino compounds. For this purpose, 16 healthy young volunteers were randomly divided to ingest in a double-blind fashion either creatine monohydrate or placebo (maltodextrine) at a dosage of 20 g/day for the first week (loading phase) and 5 g/day for 19 subsequent wk (maintenance phase). Fasting plasma samples were taken at baseline and at 1, 10, and 20 wk of supplementation, and guanidino compounds were determined. Plasma guanidinoacetate levels were reduced by 50% after creatine loading and remained approximately 30% reduced throughout the maintenance phase. Several circulating guanidino compound levels were significantly altered after creatine loading but not during the maintenance phase: homoarginine (+35%), alpha-keto-delta-guanidinovaleric acid (+45%), and argininic acid (+75%) were increased, whereas guanidinosuccinate was reduced (-25%). The decrease in circulating guanidinoacetate levels suggests that exogenous supply of creatine chronically inhibits endogenous synthesis at the transamidinase step in humans, supporting earlier animal studies showing a powerful repressive effect of creatine on l-arginine:glycine amidinotransferase. Furthermore, these data suggest that this leads to enhanced utilization of arginine as a substrate for secondary pathways.
Derave W, Marescau B, Vanden Eede E, Eijnde BO, De Deyn PP, Hespel P. Plasma guanidino compounds are altered by oral creatine supplementation in healthy humans. J Appl Physiol (1985). 2004;97(3):852-857. doi:10.1152/japplphysiol.00206.2004