French Minister Warns Athletes About Creatine-Cancer Link
PARIS--In late January, French Sports Minister Marie-George Buffet warned athletes against using creatine because it has been "unequivocally" linked to cancer-causing effects. An article circulated by the Associated Press reported that in a statement, Buffet said, "The alleged virtues of creatine with regard to muscle building, improvement of speed and development of endurance are totally unfounded." She went on to cite reports from the French food safety agency, AFSSA (www.afssa.fr).
However, the data in question came to light last year and seemed to be based more on assumption than on fact. The creatine-cancer report, authored by Martin Husch, stated creatine use "constitutes a [cancer] risk that has not been sufficiently evaluated, particularly in the long term."
At the time, the supplement industry was up in arms about this rogue opinion. "It's interesting that in one paragraph of the report researchers said there are no long-term studies showing the effects of creatine in regard to safety," said Conrad Earnest, Ph.D., an exercise physiologist for the Cooper Institute for Aerobics Research who read a translated version of the report. "There are four papers in scientific journals that show that creatine analogs will actually inhibit the rate of tumor growth in animal models," Earnest stated. "If anything, creatine may be anti-carcinogenic as opposed to pro-carcinogenic."