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This study examined the effect of vegetarianism on skeletal muscle total creatine (TCr) content and creatine transporter (CreaT) gene expression, prior to and during 5 d of Cr supplementation (CrS). In a double-blind, crossover design, 7 vegetarians (VEG) and nonvegetarians (NVEG) were assigned Cr or placebo supplements for 5 d and after 5 wk, received the alternative treatment. Muscle sampling occurred before, and after 1 and 5 d of treatment ingestion. Basal muscle TCr content was lower (P < 0.05) in VEG compared with NVEG. Muscle TCr increased (P < 0.05) throughout the Cr trial in both groups but was greater (P < 0.05) in VEG compared with NVEG, at days 1 and 5. CreaT gene expression was not different between VEG and NVEG. The results indicate that VEG have a lower muscle TCr content and an increased capacity to load Cr into muscle following CrS. Muscle CreaT gene expression does not appear to be affected by vegetarianism.
The authors are with the School of Health Sciences, Deakin University, Burwood, VIC 3125, Australia.