Gary Moller: [DipPhEd PGDipRehab PGDipSportMed(Otago)FCE Certified, Kordel's and Nutra-Life Certified Natural Health Consultant]. ICL Laboratories registered Hair Tissue Mineral Analysis and Medical Nutrition Consultant.

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Thursday, January 24, 2008

Advice about using creatine for managing Hunitington's Disease

"Hi Gary
We are trying to establish a training regime for my wife who suffers from Huntington’s disease for which Creatine may slow the progress of the disease. We purchase the Balance micronised Creatine powder from you. Do you have access to the tablets XXXX recommends or can you find a site from which we can order. The tablets certainly seem a better way of taking the Creatine.
Regards
Dave"
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Gary Moller comments:
(For details about what Huntington's Disease is, please double-click on the word. For further information and support, please go here: www.huntingtons.org)

The focus for nutrition is to ensure that the nervous system is richly supplied with nutrients which, if in short supply, may compromise its health and function. I will list, in no particular order, those nutrients that might be of benefit:
  1. The Fat soluble vitamins: A, E, D and K. The best source of information is the Weston Price Foundation which, incidentally, has very strong New Zealand connections. One of the best sources of these vitamins is raw full cream grass-fed milk which is the only kind of milk our family consumes. The other source is free range organic egg yolk. To find your local source of raw milk and free range eggs, you might try writing to the people at DietNet.nz. The best source of vitamin D is from sensible sunbathing.
  2. The B group of vitamins. One of the richest sources has to be liver. I recommend a quality natural B supplement such as Kordels Executive Stress.
  3. Lecithin. Lecithin is one of the special chemicals that easily crosses the blood-brain barrier. It is believed that lecithin permeability is necessary for the metabolic processes that occur in all cells but also for the constant regeneration of the phospholipid-rich membranes of the brain. The choline-containing phospholipid is an abundant form of lecithin and vitally important for the biosynthesis of the important neurotransmitter acetylcholine. The best source is Lecithin Oil.
  4. MSM - Methylsulfonly-Methane.
  5. Omega 3 Oils. Fish oil, lecithin, flax oil, garlic oil, evening primrose oil and many more are beneficial for general health, including brain health. Which is best? While fish oil has received the most promotion, I do favour the renewable vegetable sources such as flax and evening primrose oil. Better still: mix your sources - each has its merits.
  6. Creatine and CoEnzyme Q-10. Anything that assists with health and energy in terms of nutrition would have to be of benefit for managing conditions like Huntington's. Creatine and Coenzyme Q-10 are found in the energy pathway systems of all cells and tend to diminish as we age, so taking supplementary amounts makes sense as we get older, or are unwell and lacking in energy. Coenzyme Q-10 is expensive; but the benefits may vastly outweigh the costs over the the long term. I am currently running a "Buy One - Get One Free" promotion right now (About to finish).
  7. Vitamin C and Lysine. What is good for the heart and circulation is good for the brain and nerves!
Creatine powder or creatine tablets?
While your son is enthusiastic about a particular creatine tablet and feels there is a noticeable advantage as compared to the powder, I am not convinced. As any scientist will agree, an experimental sample of one is not all that reliable.

Once in the digestive system, the body makes no distinction between tablet or powder, other than that the tablet will take longer to digest and infuse its contents into the blood stream. While there may be some differences in rate of absorption between types of creatine, I do not think this is significant either once digested and within the body. I am not aware that Creatine's benefits are immediate, the benefits accruing over the days and weeks as levels build within the cells.

The one big difference between powder and the tablets is the cost. Creatine is almost tasteless so why tablet it? Tableting adds enormously to the cost. Compare the cost of a Kilogram of creatine tablets with a Kilogram of the powder and get a shock! Mix the powder with apple juice, sprinkle it on your muesli and away you go! And you do not need to take all that much daily.
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