Is creatine supplementation safe during pregnancy?

    Last Updated: April 17, 2024

    No human studies to date have evaluated the safety of supplementation with creatine in women during pregnancy. However, studies in rodents suggest that supplemental creatine may not only be safe, but may also have positive effects on birth outcomes.

    For example, in one study conducted in mice, maternal supplementation with creatine from the midpoint of pregnancy until birth increased the creatine content of the placenta (+105%) and of some of the fetal tissues, including the brain (+3.6%), heart (+14%), kidney (+22%), and liver (+37%).[1] The increased concentration of creatine in the brain of the fetus before birth may protect the fetus from damage associated with low oxygen availability, such as during a Cesarean section.[2] Protective effects have also been observed in the offspring’s diaphragm (through preserved muscle fiber size),[3] kidneys,[4] and neural tissue (due to less oxidation in the brain and less cellular apoptosis).[5]

    Importantly, maternal supplementation with creatine (again, in mice) does not seem to affect the creatine transporter or the enzymes responsible for creatine synthesis in the newborn, which suggests that the capacity for creatine synthesis in the newborn mouse is not altered.[6]

    References

    1. ^Zoe Ireland, Hayley Dickinson, Rod Snow, David W WalkerMaternal creatine: does it reach the fetus and improve survival after an acute hypoxic episode in the spiny mouse (Acomys cahirinus)?Am J Obstet Gynecol.(2008 Apr)
    2. ^Adcock KH, Nedelcu J, Loenneker T, Martin E, Wallimann T, Wagner BPNeuroprotection of creatine supplementation in neonatal rats with transient cerebral hypoxia-ischemia.Dev Neurosci.(2002)
    3. ^Cannata DJ, Ireland Z, Dickinson H, Snow RJ, Russell AP, West JM, Walker DWMaternal creatine supplementation from mid-pregnancy protects the diaphragm of the newborn spiny mouse from intrapartum hypoxia-induced damage.Pediatr Res.(2010-Nov)
    4. ^Ellery SJ, Ireland Z, Kett MM, Snow R, Walker DW, Dickinson HCreatine pretreatment prevents birth asphyxia-induced injury of the newborn spiny mouse kidney.Pediatr Res.(2013-Feb)
    5. ^Ireland Z, Castillo-Melendez M, Dickinson H, Snow R, Walker DWA maternal diet supplemented with creatine from mid-pregnancy protects the newborn spiny mouse brain from birth hypoxia.Neuroscience.(2011-Oct-27)
    6. ^Dickinson H, Ireland ZJ, Larosa DA, O'Connell BA, Ellery S, Snow R, Walker DWMaternal dietary creatine supplementation does not alter the capacity for creatine synthesis in the newborn spiny mouse.Reprod Sci.(2013-Sep)