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Diet and Nutrition

Side Effects of Celltech

05/30/1999

Question:

Celltech is a product promoted as a scientifically designed volumizing agent. It is also stated to be a powerful glycemic creatinine formulated for enlargng size amd muscle strength. Please send me any info regarding side effects associated with supplemental use of this type product. Thanks

Answer:

Creatine, naturally found in meat and fish, is being recommended by some to enhance performance in athletes who do short bursts of high-intensity exercise such as sprinters, rowers, wrestlers, weigh lifters, etc. (Creatinine is the end product of creatine metabolism). To date, it has not been proven beneficial to athletes involved in endurance sports.

A recent article in the Journal of the American Dietetic Association (May 1999 issue) has some of the answers you are looking for. It is titled "Oral creatine supplementation in male collegiate athletes: A survey of dosing habits and side effects" by M. Juhn, DO, J. O`Kane, MD and D. Vinci, DrPH, RD. The primary side effects reported by the athletes in this study included: diarrhea, muscle cramping, unwanted weight gain, and dehydration. Aside from these, it is important to realize that there may be unknown risks from long-term use. More studies need to be done to discover what these side effects may be. So far, studies have only looked at college males, therefore, data is needed for females and people of varying ages.

Another concern is self-prescribing supplements. Many people have the philosophy that if some is good, more must be better. They then take more than the recommended dose of creatine. This may increase the risk of more serious adverse effects, be more costly, and is totally unnecessary. It is interesting to note that muscular development has a genetic upper limit. Creatine can help people reach their goal, but will not increase muscle size beyond this limit.

The bottom line: be cautious and be sure to check with your doctor and dietitian before using any supplement.

For more information on creatine, refer to the website below.

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Response by:

Jane   Korsberg, MS, RD, LD Jane Korsberg, MS, RD, LD
Senior Instructor of Nutrition
School of Medicine
Case Western Reserve University