A popular exercise supplement could ward off the effects of long COVID, scientists claim.
Over-the-counter amino acid creatine, essential for brain and muscle health, is used to improve exercise performance and build muscle.
But now scientists believe it could help people struggling with the effects of long COVID also known as post-COVID-19 fatigue syndrome.
Within three months of regularly taking creatine, participants reported a reduction in general tiredness.
Within six months they reported a significant drop-off in symptoms such as loss of taste, breathing difficulties, body aches, headaches and difficulties concentrating.
The trial, reported in the journal Food Science & Nutrition, was carried out by the University of Novi Sad, in Serbia.
They looked at 12 people suffering with long COVID. Six were given a placebo and six 4g creatine supplements daily for six months.
They were followed up at three months and six months with those taking creatine having a significant increase in levels in leg muscles and across the brain.
Dr. Sergej Ostojic said: “Creatine induced a significant reduction in general fatigue after three months of intake compared to baseline values, while the scores for reduced motivation worsened after six months in the placebo group.
“This is the first human study known to the authors that evaluated the efficacy and safety of supplemental creatine for fatigue, tissue bioenergetics and patient-reported outcomes in patients with post-COVID-19 fatigue syndrome.
“We found that creatine outcompetes placebo to improve brain and skeletal muscle creatine levels after the medium-term intervention and reduces several features
of post-COVID-10 fatigue syndrome, including lung and body pain and poor concentration.
“Creatine induced no major side effects and might be thus recommended as a safe and effective intervention to tackle post-COVID-19 fatigue syndrome.
“Taking creatine for 6 months appears to improve tissue bioenergetics and attenuate clinical features of post-COVID-19 fatigue syndrome, possibly due to its energy-replenishing and neuroprotective activity.
“Endorsing creatine might be of great importance in tackling this prevalent condition, but additional studies are warranted to confirm our findings in various post-COVID-19 cohorts.”
Produced in association with SWNS Talker
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