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Another benefit of creatine may be to reduce the cellular damage that can occur during exercise according to a recent paper published in Life Sciences. Thirty-four athletes were randomized into a creatine (20 g/day) or placebo group. After 5 days of supplementation, subjects performed a 30 km run. Blood samples were taken before and 24 hours after the race to analyze markers of cell membrane damage (creatine kinase and lactate dehydrogenase) and inflammation (prostaglandin E2 and tumor necrosis factor- alpha). All markers of cell damage and inflammation were significantly increased after the race in the placebo group. Creatine supplementation led to a lower response in inflammatory markers and completely prevented the increase in lactate dehydrogenase. The study indicates that creatine loading offers protection against the cellular stress response associated with exercise and could enhance recovery.

Santos RV, Bassit RA, Caperuto EC, Costa Rosa LF. The effect of creatine supplementation upon inflammatory and muscle soreness markers after a 30km race. Life Sci. 2004 Sep 3;75(16):1917-24.