Recent Research Indicates Common Supplement May Alleviate Long COVID Symptoms

by Amir Hussein
Creatine and Long COVID

Creatine, a compound naturally present in muscle cells, is instrumental in generating cellular energy during brief periods of high-intensity physical exertion. The use of creatine supplements has been extensively studied within the field of exercise science and has been proven to improve athletic capabilities consistently.

Also known as an amino acid vital for both muscle and brain function, creatine is commonly ingested as a supplement to amplify physical performance and encourage muscle development.

A novel clinical study, appearing in the scholarly publication Food Science & Nutrition, posits that dietary intake of creatine may also benefit individuals suffering from post-COVID-19 fatigue syndrome, colloquially known as long COVID.

In this study, a total of 12 individuals diagnosed with post-COVID-19 fatigue syndrome were randomly assigned to receive either a placebo or a daily dosage of 4 grams of creatine monohydrate for a duration of six months. The consumption of creatine led to a marked elevation in creatine concentrations in leg muscles as well as brain tissue, as observed in both the 3-month and 6-month follow-up evaluations.

Furthermore, the supplementation of creatine resulted in a significant decrease in overall fatigue after three months and led to noteworthy improvements in multiple symptoms related to post-COVID-19 fatigue syndrome. These symptoms included taste loss, respiratory issues, bodily discomfort, headaches, and focus difficulties, as assessed at the six-month follow-up.

Sergej M. Ostojic, MD, PhD, from the University of Novi Sad in Serbia and the study’s corresponding author, stated, “Promoting the use of creatine could play a critical role in addressing this widespread medical condition. However, further research is required to corroborate our results across different post-COVID-19 population samples.”

Reference: “Impacts of Half-Year Creatine Supplementation on Clinician and Patient-Reported Outcomes, Along with Tissue Creatine Levels in Patients Suffering from Post-COVID-19 Fatigue Syndrome” by Jelena Slankamenac, Marijana Ranisavljev, Nikola Todorovic, Jelena Ostojic, Valdemar Stajer, and Sergej M. Ostojic, published on September 20, 2023, in Food Science & Nutrition. DOI: 10.1002/fsn3.3597.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) about Creatine and Long COVID

What is the main finding of the recent research published in Food Science & Nutrition?

The main finding is that dietary creatine supplementation could alleviate symptoms associated with long COVID. The study showed marked improvements in fatigue and other symptoms related to post-COVID-19 fatigue syndrome after six months of creatine monohydrate intake.

What is creatine and why is it commonly used?

Creatine is a naturally occurring compound found in muscle cells that plays a critical role in producing cellular energy during brief, high-intensity activities. It is commonly used as a supplement to improve athletic performance and encourage muscle growth.

How was the study conducted?

The study involved 12 individuals diagnosed with post-COVID-19 fatigue syndrome. They were randomly assigned to take either a placebo or 4 grams of creatine monohydrate daily for six months. Creatine levels in leg muscles and the brain were measured at 3-month and 6-month follow-ups.

What symptoms related to long COVID did creatine supplementation improve?

The study found that creatine supplementation led to significant improvements in multiple symptoms of long COVID, including loss of taste, breathing difficulties, body aches, headaches, and concentration problems.

Who was the corresponding author of the study and where is he affiliated?

The corresponding author of the study is Sergej M. Ostojic, MD, PhD. He is affiliated with the University of Novi Sad in Serbia.

What are the implications of the study?

The implications are that creatine supplementation could be a potential intervention for alleviating symptoms of long COVID. However, the study’s authors emphasize that further research is necessary to confirm these findings across different cohorts of post-COVID-19 patients.

What is the DOI reference for the study?

The DOI reference for the study is 10.1002/fsn3.3597, and it was published on September 20, 2023.

Are additional studies required to confirm these findings?

Yes, the corresponding author, Sergej M. Ostojic, stated that additional research is warranted to corroborate the findings and to assess their applicability across various post-COVID-19 population samples.

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John Smith October 6, 2023 - 10:31 am

Wow, this is groundbreaking stuff! Never thought creatine could do more than just pump muscles. If this holds up, could be a game changer for long COVID sufferers.

Karen White October 6, 2023 - 6:51 pm

So you’re telling me the same supplement my son takes for football might help with COVID aftermath? thats wild!

Robert Brown October 6, 2023 - 11:26 pm

Sergej Ostojic’s been doing some solid work for a while. Excited to see where this research leads. But, like the article says, more studies are needed.

Tim Johnson October 7, 2023 - 1:30 am

I’m a bit skeptical. Its a small sample size after all, just 12 people. Let’s see more research and then we can talk.

Emily Davis October 7, 2023 - 2:56 am

interesting read. Anyone know if creatine has side effects though? Wouldn’t want to jump in without knowing the full picture.


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