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Holly Elizabeth Clarke1, Michael J. Ormsbee, FACSM1,2, Neda S. Akhavan1, Taylor A. Behl1, Diana L. Williams1, Cesar A. Meza1, Do-Houn Kim1,3, Robert C. Hickner, FACSM1,2. 1Florida State University, Tallahassee, FL. 2University of KwaZulu-Natal, KwaZulu-Natal. 3Albany State University, Albany, GA.

BACKGROUND: Cardiovascular disease (CVD) remains the leading cause of mortality in the United States, and the process of aging remains the primary unmodifiable risk factor and independent predictor of CVD events across the lifespan. Nutraceuticals can provide vascular health benefits to reduce CVD risk, and emerging evidence suggests that creatine supplementation may also serve as a therapeutic aid. Although the metabolic properties of creatine are well known, recent research has exposed a much broader application for creatine in clinical populations when acting as an antioxidant and anti-inflammatory agent. Despite these known benefits, however, there is scarce information on the application of creatine to improve vascular health in older adults. Thus, the purpose of this study was to determine the effects of 4 weeks of creatine monohydrate (CM) supplementation on vascular endothelial function in older adults. METHODS: Twelve healthy older adults (M = 6, W = 6; Mean ± SD: 58 ± 3 years) consumed CM and a placebo for 4 weeks in a randomized, double-blind, crossover design. Both pre- and post- supplementation, participants underwent doppler-ultrasound measurements of flow-mediated dilation to determine macrovascular endothelial function, measured as flow-mediated dilation response (FMD%), absolute change in diameter (Δ mm), and normalized FMD% (FMD%/SSAUC). Results were analyzed for interactions and main effects by 2x2 Repeated Measures ANOVA, with significance accepted as p < 0.05. RESULTS: Following CM supplementation there were significant improvements in FMD% (Pre: 7.68 ± 2.25 %, Post: 8.9 ± 1.99 %; p < .005), Δ mm (Pre: 0.33 ± 0.12 mm, Post: 0.38 ± 0.12 mm; p < .05), and normalized FMD% (Pre: 2.57E-04 ± 1.03E-04 %/SSAUC, Post: 3.42E-04 ± 1.69E-04 %/SSAUC; p < .05), in comparison to placebo supplementation. CONCLUSIONS: Our findings indicate that 4 weeks of CM supplementation elicit improvements in macrovascular endothelial function in older adults. Considering the correlation between improved FMD% and decreases in CVD events, these results highlight the potential for creatine to serve as a beneficial vascular nutraceutical. Further research is needed to determine the mechanism by which creatine elicits these vascular benefits in older adults. FUNDING: This project was funded by the ACSM Foundation Doctoral Student Research Grant. Supplements were provided by Dymatize Nutrition ®.

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