a special program of the National Emergency Medicine Association (NEMA)

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Week: 602.3 

Guest: Dr. Mark Juhn, sports medicine physician, Univ. of Washington 

Topic: Creatine supplementation 

Host/Producer: Steve Girard  

NEMA: Looking into creatine's effects...coming up... 

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NEMA: Creatine, one of the most successful athletic performance enhancing supplements, is now under scrutiny. The substance helps energy stores that allow repeat explosive exercises...but most athletes at all levels are taking it to increase muscle mass. Dr. Mark Juhn of the University of Washington says there are reports of increased cramping, muscle tears, and other problems... 

JUHN: Well this is the hypothesis, is that a because of the increase in water retention in muscle tissue that could lead to a dysfunction of your muscle. Simply meaning a cramp or a tear etc. This is all speculative, and the research unfortunately, not allot of research has been undertaken in studying side effects of creatine.  

NEMA: And many people remember the steroid problems of the 80Õs...which were found to have some lethal side effects... 

JUHN: Well, this is exactly what worries me. There is an old athlete mentality of, "if a little is good...more is better". And a certainly we have had reports of high blood pressure, of some kidney trouble. We have had reports of gastrointestinal trouble and these are all things that I do not think can be taken lightly. 

NEMA: Creatine has many positive tests behind it. We'll talk soon with a proponent...Dr. Richard Kreider of the University of Memphis. I'm Steve Girard at the Heart of the Matter.