More on the Insulin Creatine Connection

Creatine monohydrate supplements have become popular with athletes because they can confer strength gains. Studies suggest that creatine monohydrate absorption and uptake are dependent on the function of the insulin system. In this regard insulin may be required for the effective uptake of creatine to skeletal muscle cells. Studies have investigated this relationship in humans and observed a significant contribution of the insulin system to creatine accumulation in skeletal muscle. For example, in one study researchers found that insulin increased the amount of creatine that was found in skeletal muscle. However, the insulin could only elicit this effect at levels above the normal range for insulin release. They concluded that insulin had this effect by increasing the transport of creatine through a sodium dependent transporter on the cell membrane. If insulin is required for the uptake of creatine, it stands to reason that creatine may stimulate the release of insulin itself, something that has been reported in other studies. 

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Steenge, G. R., Lambourne, J., Casey, A., Macdonald, I. A. and Greenhaff, P. L. 1998. Stimulatory effect of insulin on creatine accumulation in human skeletal muscle. American Journal of Physiology-Endocrinology And Metabolism. 275(6): E974-E979

About Robert Barrington

Robert Barrington is a writer, nutritionist, lecturer and philosopher.
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