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JOURNAL: Royal Society Journal Proceedings
AUTHORS: Dr. Caroline Rae
ABSTRACT: Researchers from the University of Sydney and Macquarie University in Australia have found that the popular sports endurance supplement creatine, which is found in muscle tissue, boosts memory and intelligence.
COMMENTARY: In a double-blind study, forty-five vegetarian adults received 5 grams creatine per day or a placebo for six weeks, followed by a six week period during which no supplement was given, after which followed another six week period during which each group received the regimen not previously received.
Participants completed tests for memory and intelligence at the study's onset, at the end of the first six weeks, and at the end of the final six week treatment period. It was found that creatine supplementation improved brain function, similar to improvements previously discovered for creatine in the heart and other muscle tissue.
Lead researcher Dr. Caroline Rae explained, "The level of creatine supplementation chosen was 5 grams per day as this is a level that has previously been shown to increase brain creatine levels. This level is comparable to that taken to boost sports fitness.
Vegetarians or vegans were chosen for the study as carnivores and omnivores obtain a variable level of creatine depending on the amount and type of meat they eat - although to reach the level of supplementation in this experiment would involve eating around 2 kilograms of meat a day!" She added, "The results were clear with both our experimental groups and in both test scenarios: creatine supplementation gave a significant measurable boost to brain power.
These findings underline a dynamic and significant role of brain energy capacity in influencing brain performance. Increasing the energy available for computation increases the power of the brain and this is reflected directly in improved general ability."