The role of creatine in the development and activation of immune responses

Eric C. Bredahl, Joan M. Eckerson, Steven M. Tracy, Thomas L. McDonald, Kristen M. Drescher

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

11 Scopus citations


The use of dietary supplements has become increasingly common over the past 20 years. Whereas supplements were formerly used mainly by elite athletes, age and fitness status no longer dictates who uses these substances. Indeed, many nutritional supplements are recommended by health care professionals to their patients. Creatine (CR) is a widely used dietary supplement that has been well-studied for its effects on performance and health. CR also aids in recovery from strenuous bouts of exercise by reducing inflammation. Although CR is considered to be very safe in recommended doses, a caveat is that a preponderance of the studies have focused upon young athletic individuals; thus there is limited knowledge regarding the effects of CR on children or the elderly. In this review, we examine the potential of CR to impact the host outside of the musculoskeletal system, specifically, the immune system, and discuss the available data demonstrating that CR can impact both innate and adaptive immune responses, together with how the effects on the immune system might be exploited to enhance human health.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number751
Pages (from-to)1-17
Number of pages17
Issue number3
StatePublished - Mar 2021


  • Adaptive immunity
  • Cytotoxic T cells
  • Inflammation
  • Innate immunity
  • Macrophage polarization
  • Nutritional supplements
  • Toll-like receptors

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Food Science
  • Nutrition and Dietetics


Dive into the research topics of 'The role of creatine in the development and activation of immune responses'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this