Mayo Clinic Studies Creatine Use Among Youth Athletes
ROCHESTER, Minn.--In the December Mayo Clinic Proceedings (75: 1257-1263, 2000), researchers studied the prevalence, frequency and patterns of creatine use among high school athletes.
A six-question survey was filled out by 328 students between the ages of 14 and 18 in Minnesota, where the Rochester Mayo Clinic is based. Out of that total, 8.2 percent (26 males and one female) reported using creatine, with 14 students still using creatine at the time of the survey. Of creatine users, 21 were football players and 19 respondents believed creatine improved performance. Side effects, including diarrhea, loss of appetite and muscle cramps, were reported by 20 percent of users. These findings are similar to a survey conducted on 1,100 New York youth and creatine use presented by Jordan Metzl at the combined meetings of the Pediatric Academic Societies and the American Academy of Pediatrics.
Researchers, led by the Mayo Clinic's Jay Smith, M.D., were most concerned that male and female athletes as young as 14 years old used creatine. Also, creatine users may believe that creatine improves performance based on insufficient information passed along by friends. According to the researchers, this is the first formal epidemiological survey of creatine use among high school athletes. The researchers also noted that using a self-reporting format may lead to erroneous or incomplete information; they concluded that a large-scale study is needed. For more information, visit www.mayo.edu/publication/proceedings/prologue.html . For more information on the survey presented in May, call Metzl at (212) 606-1005.