Tags: creatine | depression | drug

Creatine Pumps up Depression Treatments

Wednesday, 08 August 2012 11:27 AM

The muscle-building supplement creatine has been found to have a surprisingly beneficial effect on women with major clinical depression – vastly improving their response to antidepressants and the quality of recovery.
In a first-of-its-kind study, researchers from three South Korean universities and the University of Utah found depressed women who took daily antidepressants with 5 grams of creatine responded twice as fast and recovered at twice the rate of those who took the drugs alone.
The findings, published in the American Journal of Psychiatry, suggest that taking creatine under a doctor's supervision could provide a relatively inexpensive way for women – particularly those who haven't responded well to so-called selective serotonin reuptake inhibitor antidepressants – to pump up their treatment.
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"If we can get people to feel better more quickly, they're more likely to stay with treatment and, ultimately, have better outcomes," said lead researcher Dr. Perry F. Renshaw, a professor of psychiatry at the University of Utah.
Creatine is an amino acid made in the liver, kidneys, and pancreas. It also is found in meat and fish. Inside the body it is converted into phosphocreatine and, during high-intensity exercise, becomes ATP, an important energy source for cells. It is a popular supplement among bodybuilders and athletes trying to add muscle mass or improve athletic ability.
How creatine works against depression is unclear, but Renshaw and his colleagues suggest that its ability to boost energy for cells may be a factor.
The new study involved 52 depressed South Korean women, ages 19-65, who were taking the antidepressant Lexapro (escitalopram) during the trial. About half the women also received creatine with the Lexapro. After eight weeks, researchers found the women receiving the combo treatment had significantly higher improvements than those on Lexapro alone, based on a standard measure of the severity of depressive symptoms. About half of those in the creatine group also showed no signs of depression – twice as many as the Lexapro-only group. There were no significant adverse side effects associated with creatine.
"Getting people to feel better faster is the Holy Grail of treating depression," said Renshaw.
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The muscle-building supplement boosts the effectiveness of antidepressants and speeds recovery.
Wednesday, 08 August 2012 11:27 AM
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