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Creatine as a myostatin inhibitor / blocker

As trials continue in the medical world on Myostatin (Myostatin inhibits muscle growth, as part of the bodies battle for homeostasis)  inhibitors the sports world waits with their arrival of myostatin blockers: these new  substances  sabotage the protein myostatin in muscle tissue, and thereby boost muscle growth potentail. According to a human study, the results of which will appear soon in Molecular and Cellular Endocrinology, a supplement that works in exactly this way has been available for years. If we’re to believe this study, good old creatine is a myostatin blocker.

The study by sports scientists at Arak University in Iran, set out to understand exactly how creatine works. A lot of scientists regard creatine as little more than a energy cell that provides muscle cells with energy and fluid so what like a battery. That’s why you gain a couple of kilos of muscle tissue if you take a course of creatine. Your strength increases in the gym as well, but the effect is temporary. If you stop taking the creatine then the positive effects disappear. But there’s a small group of researchers who say that creatine does much more. They say creatine also stimulates the manufacture of muscle tissues.

The researcher was undertaken on 27 male students, 8 were the control group.

The remaining 19 students trained for 8 weeks using resistance weight training. The subjects  went to the gym three times a week,  they did 6 basic exercises that covered all the major muscle groups: bench-press, lat-pulldown, biceps curl, leg press, knee extension and leg curl. The students trained at 60-70 percent of their 1RM, and did three sets of each exercise,  rest was for no longer than 2 minutes between sets.

Ten  of the subjects who trained took creatine. For the first week they took a daily 0.3 g creatine per kilo bodyweight, and in the remaining weeks they took a daily 0.05 g creatine per kilogram bodyweight. Probably it is no suprise that the test subjects who trained became more muscular and stronger, and that the creatine supplement enhanced the effect.

The subjects were measured the concentration of myostatin in their blood. Resistance training reduced the concentration. Resitance training using creatine reduces the concentration even further.


The subjects were measured by the researchers for the concentration of the protein growth and differentiation factor-associated serum protein-1 [GASP-1].This protein neutralises myostatin. There’s a patent in which researchers describe how synthetic versions of can cause muscle growth. [United States Patent 7,192,717] Whatever, the production of GASP-1 increased as a result of resistance training and it increased even more in the subjects who combined resistance training and creatine supplementation.

The conclusion of the research was that creatine doesn’t just pump up the muscles temporarily by storing energy as proposed by many. But that creatine is a real anabolic, responsible for increased muscle protein production. "Decreasing myostatin and inhibiting its function by GASP-1 may play an important role in increasing muscle strength and mass by resistance training", they write. "Supplementation with creatine resulted in greater increases in muscle mass and strength, and these improvements were accompanied by more decreased myostatin levels."

Mol Cell Endocrinol. 2010 Apr 12;317(1-2):25-30.