Benefits of exercise and creatine in later life studied

Posted: March 16, 2015 2:00 p.m.

Dr. Darren Candow, associate professor and associate dean of Graduate Studies and Research in the Faculty of Kinesiology and Health Studies.
Dr. Darren Candow, associate professor and associate dean of Graduate Studies and Research in the Faculty of Kinesiology and Health Studies. Photo: U of R Photography

New research at the University of Regina finds that women over the age of 50 might be able to stay more active and healthier than earlier thought.

The researchers have found that weight training combined with creatine supplementation – a compound found in red meat and seafood - preserves bone mass in post-menopausal women.
 
“Our findings have enormous potential for the aging population and the health care system,” says Dr. Darren Candow, associate professor and associate dean of Graduate Studies and Research in the Faculty of Kinesiology and Health Studies. “The simple combination of creatine and weight training, three times per week, for one year preserved bone mass and increased upper body strength.”
 
Dr. Candow’s findings, in collaboration with Dr. Phil Chilibeck at the University of Saskatchewan, have been published in the peer reviewed journal Medicine & Science in Sports & Exercise. It’s the official Journal of the American College of Sports Medicine.

“This study is important as there have been some studies in rats and mice that suggested creatine may enhance bone function,” explains Dr. Mark Tarnopolsky, Director of the Neuromuscular and Neurometabolic Clinic at McMaster University’s Medical Centre in Hamilton, Ontario.
“But this is the first clinical trial to show this in an at-risk human population.”

Bone fractures and related ailments are estimated to cost the Canadian health care system more than $3 billion annually, according to Osteoporosis Canada. Dr. Candow’s research has the potential for cost savings but more importantly, a higher quality of life for our aging population.
 
“These beneficial effects may improve the ability to perform tasks of daily living, decrease the incidence of chronic diseases such osteoporosis and sarcopenia, and improve functionality,” says Dr. Candow whose five -year clinical trial is funded  by the Canadian Institutes of Health Research (CIHR). Based on the findings, Dr. Candow and his team are now following up with further trials.
 
The Faculty of Kinesiology is home to renowned researchers and research projects. For more information please visit: http://www.uregina.ca/kinesiology/research/index.html