Does Creatine Monohydrate Improve Blood Sugar Control?
Listening to the news recently, there’s a tremendous amount of buzz surrounding type 2 diabetes. Currently, statistics from the Center for Disease Control and Prevention(CDC) suggest that one in ten Americans has type 2 diabetes. A new report from the CDC notes that by 2050, a staggering one in three Americans will have type 2 diabetes in current trends continue.
The projected increase in the incidence of type 2 diabetes is largely tied to the rising obesity epidemic. Concern has been raised that the combination of the aging population along with the increased incidence of type 2 diabetes could bankrupt the Canadian healthcare system due to the enormous costs associated with treating this condition.
In the same report from the CDC, they cite statistics that a 58% reduction in the onset of type 2 diabetes can be achieved by a 5-7% weight reduction along with just 150 minutes of exercise per week.
A recent study published in the journal, Medicine and Science in Sports and Exercise (Gualano et al, 2010), investigated whether or not creatine supplementation has a beneficial effect on blood sugar control in patients with type 2 diabetes who engage in an exercise program.
The study included 25 participants who were randomized to take 5 mg/d of creatine or placebo for 12 weeks while they engaged in an exercise training program.
The primary outcome measure of this study was glycosylated hemoglobin (HbA1C). This is a test that doctors routinely order on patients with diabetes to measure the effectiveness of their long-term blood sugar control
The study found that creatine supplementation significantly reduced HbA1C levels:
HBA1c was significantly reduced in the creatine group when compared to the placebo group (CR PRE: 7.4±0.7, POST: 6.4±0.4; PL PRE: 7.5±0.6, POST: 7.6±0.7; p=0.004; difference: -1.1%, 95% confidence interval: -1.9 to -0.4).
The study authors concluded that creatine supplementation along with routine exercise significantly improved glycemic control in patients with type 2 diabetes (compared to exercise + placebo).
Gualano B, de Salles Painneli V, Roschel H, Artioli GG, Junior MN, Lúcia de Sá Pinto A, Rossi da Silva ME, Cunha MR, Otaduy MC, da Costa Leite C, Ferreira JC, Pereira RM, Brum PC, Bonfá E, Lancha AH Junior. Creatine in Type 2 Diabetes: A Randomized, Double-Blind, Placebo-Controlled Trial. Med Sci Sports Exerc. 2010 Sep 24.