The European sports nutrition sector has defended EU-backed creatine after a friend of Elliot Rodger, the Brit who killed six people at the weekend in California, said the 22-year-old was ‘hooked’ on the workout supplement.
A friend of Rodger’s said he detected mood changes in the 22-year-old after he started taking creatine as part of a body-building campaign.
The European Specialist Sports Nutrition Alliance (ESSNA) said the tragic event can not be linked to a nutrient that has won backing in the EU for both efficacy and safety.
“The European Food Safety Authority (EFSA) – which has notoriously strict food safety guidelines – advises that, while high loading doses should be avoided, the consumption of the recommended lower doses are unlikely to pose any risk or adverse side effects,” said ESSNA chair Dr Adam Carey.
“Creatine has a very well-established safety record, and rarely have any athletes reported problems with the substance. It is crucial that people know that creatine is not an anabolic steroid and therefore has no association with what is commonly referred to nowadays as ‘roid rage’, as is implied in this very unfortunate scenario.”
“While some negativity may be due to consumers taking well over their recommended dose, we have yet to encounter a creatine user who has ever complained of serious or damaging effects.”
Creatine is one of the most popular sports supplements in the world. In 2012, more than 40% of athletes in the US National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) reported use of creatine.
After publication the Council for Responsible Nutrition (CRN) in the US issued a statement.
“Following the tragic killings in Santa Barbara last Friday, it’s natural for us all to speculate on what may have contributed to this tragedy," said Duffy MacKay, ND, the group's senior vice president of scientific and regulatory affairs.
"Unfortunately, speculation often results in damaging rumors, one of which we feel compelled to respond to. Some media reports have inappropriately attempted to link the use of creatine to this tragedy. Those reports have been followed by other media stories disputing that possibility, noting that the original source fabricated his relationship to the shooter. We are responding to the science surrounding creatine.
"These are the facts on creatine: Creatine is a popular dietary supplement for athletes, particularly weight lifters and sprinters, because of its ability to extend the time it takes to reach muscle fatigue. Creatine is also one of the most studied sports performance supplements, with more than 70 randomized controlled trials examining its effects. Creatine is not an anabolic steroid, nor is it a hormone. There is no reason to believe that using creatine would lead to psychological changes or side effects, to addiction or dependence, or to other safety risks."
"We extend our sympathies to the families and friends who lost their loved ones, and we regret having to step into the story. We urge the press to more carefully check their facts and more cautiously rely on their sources.”