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17/Oct/2023

Blood tests are a vital tool that doctors use to detect and diagnose a wide range of conditions. From evaluating organ function to monitoring cholesterol levels, these tests give doctors valuable information about a patient’s health. However, the question remains, how often should you have your blood checked? In this post, we will explore the benefits of regular blood testing for prevention versus disease-tracking.

Prevention versus Disease Management

Prevention is the key to good health. Some blood tests can detect early warning signs of diseases like cancer, heart disease, and diabetes, allowing for immediate treatment. For instance, a fasting blood sugar test can detect early stages of diabetes, allowing for lifestyle modification, and dietary change. Likewise, a lipid panel test can detect high cholesterol levels, and routine screenings could help reduce risks related to cardiovascular disease.

CEA

Preventative blood tests are especially important for individuals with a family history of certain conditions. For example, if your family has a history of colon cancer carcinoembryonic antigen (CEA) can be a useful screening tool for colorectal cancer. CEA is a protein that is often found in higher quantities in those with this type of cancer. Regular CEA testing can help detect the disease at an early stage, making treatment more effective and increasing the chances of survival.

PSA

Similarly, some experts recommend regular prostate-specific antigen (PSA) blood tests starting at age 40, especially for men who have a family history of prostate cancer. Prostate-specific antigen (PSA) screening in men as early as 40 years of age could potentially help identify those at risk of developing prostate cancer. Men aged 40-49 years with a baseline PSA level above 1.0 ng/mL have been found to have a significant risk of prostate cancer diagnosis, suggesting the need for more regular monitoring.

Hormones

Hormone screening, particularly of sex hormones such as testosterone in men, and estrogen, progesterone, and testosterone in women, is a critical aspect of healthcare that can provide valuable insights into an individual’s overall health. Starting these screenings as early as in your 20s can help detect hormonal imbalances that could potentially lead to conditions like polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS) in women or low testosterone levels in men. Early detection can enable timely intervention, possibly preventing future health issues such as infertility, osteoporosis, heart disease, or certain types of cancer. Regular hormone screenings can help maintain hormonal balance, which is vital for physical wellbeing, mental health, and sexual health. Consequently, it can dramatically improve the quality of life by ensuring optimal hormonal health throughout one’s lifetime.

Routine Blood Work

Routine blood tests are a vital tool in maintaining optimum health, as they can detect deficiencies or imbalances that could potentially lead to health problems. Key markers such as Vitamin D and B12 levels are essential for bone health and nerve function respectively. Thyroid-Stimulating Hormone (TSH) is crucial for regulating your body’s metabolism while C-Reactive Protein (CRP) is an indicator of inflammation in the body. Liver enzymes, ferritin, and creatinine levels help monitor liver function, iron storage, and kidney function respectively.

Abnormalities in these markers can result in symptoms such as fatigue, weakness, digestive issues, mood changes, and more. Lifestyle factors including diet, physical activity, stress, and substance use can significantly affect these markers. Yearly blood tests can help identify these abnormalities early, allowing for timely intervention.

On the other hand, some diseases require more frequent monitoring and blood testing. For example, individuals with diabetes may need regular blood tests to monitor their glucose levels. Cancer patients, too, may require regular blood tests to monitor disease progression, or to check if cancer has returned even after treatment.

Conclusion:

Keeping track of your health status through blood tests is important for catching early warning signs of disease, but it also involves analyzing disease progress, response to treatment, and overall health. Ultimately, the frequency of blood tests depends on a patient’s risk profile, family history, age, and overall health status. I generally recommend yearly healthy living assessment panels for prevention and more specific testing on a more frequent basis for disease management. It is important to discuss with your doctor to determine a testing plan specific to your needs. In that way, you can ensure optimal health and well-being for a long time.

We use the two top labs in Canada: LifeLabs and Dynacare 
For a list of some tests that we offer as well as pricing CLICK HERE (Many tests are covered by a health insurance plan)

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18/Sep/2023

If you’ve ever experienced a sports injury, car accident, or slip and fall, you know the pain and frustration it can cause. It can take weeks, months, or even years to fully recover from an injury, and sometimes traditional methods such as rest, ice, and medication are not enough. Fortunately, technology has evolved, and there are new treatments available to help accelerate the healing process. One of those treatments is laser therapy. If you’ve ever wondered how laser therapy works for injury recovery, then you’re in the right place. In this blog post, we’ll explore what laser therapy is, how it works, and its benefits.

What is Laser Therapy?

Laser therapy, also known as low-level laser therapy, cold laser, or photobiomodulation therapy, is a non-invasive treatment that uses light energy to stimulate the body’s natural healing process. The therapy involves the use of a low-level laser, which emits light at a specific wavelength that penetrates the skin and targets the affected area. Unlike conventional lasers used in surgery or cosmetic treatments, low-level lasers do not produce heat, so they’re safe and painless.

How does Laser Therapy Work?

Laser therapy works by stimulating the body’s cells to produce more energy. When the light energy from the laser penetrates the skin, it’s absorbed by the cells and converted into cellular energy. This energy is used to repair damaged tissues, reduce inflammation, and alleviate pain. The light energy also activates the production of adenosine triphosphate (ATP), a molecule that’s essential for cellular function. When cells have more ATP, they’re better equipped to carry out their functions and repair damaged tissues.

Benefits of Laser Therapy for Injury Recovery

Laser therapy has a multitude of benefits for injury recovery. The therapy helps to reduce inflammation, which is a common cause of pain and stiffness. By reducing inflammation, laser therapy can improve range of motion, decrease pain, and enhance overall mobility. Additionally, laser therapy stimulates the production of collagen, a protein that’s essential for tissue repair. By increasing collagen production, laser therapy can help speed up the healing process and improve tissue health.

Another benefit of laser therapy is the absence of side effects. Unlike medication or surgery, there are no adverse side effects associated with laser therapy. It’s safe, painless, and non-invasive. Moreover, the treatment is quick and easy, with most sessions lasting between 5-15 minutes. Patients can resume their normal activities immediately after treatment.

Fibromyalgia

Research on Laser for Sport Injury Recovery

Laser therapy has shown considerable promise in treating sports injuries. A study from the International Society for Laser Surgery and Medicine found that Low-Level Laser Therapy (LLLT) was 65.9% effective in treating all sports injuries.

A SPIE Digital Library publication emphasized the effectiveness of Low-Intensity Laser Therapy in treating various musculoskeletal pathologies. Similarly, research from the Journal of Laser Applications suggested that athletes with sports-related injuries returned to their sports faster after treatment with low-energy lasers.

A triple-blind, sham-controlled study found that LLLT facilitated superficial wound healing, although results varied concerning its effectiveness in treating pain and restoring function in musculoskeletal injury or disease. A study on tendinopathy published on the Liebert Pub website reported benefits from low power laser sources in treating tendon and sports injuries.

Overall, these studies suggest that laser therapy, particularly LLLT, can be an effective treatment for sports injuries.

I Have found LLLT to be very effective in treating arthritis, tendonitis and other related injuries in as little as 5 treatments.

Research on Laser for Neurological Injury

A study published on the Wiley Online Library revealed that different wavelengths of low-level laser therapy (LLLT) could affect functional recovery in injured peripheral nerves and traumatic brain injury in mice. Another study showed that laser therapy had a positive influence on nerve regeneration, specifically the sciatic nerve in rats after injury.

Research published on Springer highlighted the efficacy of LLLT on neurosensory recovery after damage to the inferior alveolar nerve. Another research paper indicated the positive impact of low-intensity laser therapy on recovery following traumatic spinal cord injury. A Plos One journal article also corroborated these findings, suggesting that transcranial LLLT improved neurological performance in traumatic brain injury in mice.

Further studies have shown positive effects of LLLT on neuromuscular recovery after crush injury in rat sciatic nerve, neuropathic pain relief and function recovery in rats with chronic constriction injury, and skeletal muscle repair.

How to Get Laser Therapy for Injury Recovery

If you’re interested in laser therapy for injury recovery, the first step is to consult with a healthcare professional. A licensed and qualified practitioner can assess your condition and determine if laser therapy is the right option for you. The practitioner will also determine the optimal number of treatments necessary for your condition. Treatments are typically administered in a clinical setting by a qualified professional. The number of sessions can vary depending on the severity of the injury and the desired outcome.

Conclusion

Injury recovery can be a long and challenging process. Laser therapy can help make it faster, easier, and less painful. The therapy works by stimulating the body’s natural healing process, reducing inflammation, and promoting tissue repair. Benefits of laser therapy include pain relief, improved mobility, and faster recovery time. The therapy is safe, non-invasive, and has no side effects. If you’re interested in laser therapy for injury recovery, consult with a healthcare professional to determine if it’s the right option for you. Learn more about laser therapy for chronic pain HERE

References:

  1. Wiley Online Library
  2. Springer
  3. Springer
  4. ScienceDirect
  5. Liebert Pub
  6. Springer
  7. Plos One
  8. Wiley Online Library
  9. Wiley Online Library
  10. LWW Journals

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11/Sep/2023

Anxiety is something that affects millions of people around the world. Whether it’s due to work stress, financial troubles, or personal issues, anxiety can be debilitating and frustrating. Over the years, people have tried various methods to alleviate anxiety symptoms, ranging from medication to therapy to lifestyle changes. However, in recent years, a new option has emerged: CBD.

CBD (short for cannabidiol) is a compound found in cannabis plants. Unlike THC (tetrahydrocannabinol), another well-known compound found in cannabis, CBD does not have psychoactive effects, meaning it won’t make you feel “high.” Instead, CBD has been shown to have potential benefits for a variety of health conditions, including anxiety.

In this blog post, we’ll review the research conducted over the past decade on CBD and its effectiveness in treating anxiety. Whether you’re dealing with anxiety yourself or you know someone who is, we hope this post will be informative and helpful.

Concussion

What is anxiety, and how is it currently treated?

Anxiety is a feeling of worry, nervousness, or unease about something with an uncertain outcome. It’s a normal emotion that everyone experiences from time to time, but when it becomes chronic or interferes with daily life, it can be a problem. Anxiety disorders are some of the most common mental health disorders, affecting approximately 40 million adults in the United States alone.

Currently, anxiety is usually treated with medication, therapy, or a combination of both. Medications like benzodiazepines (Xanax, Valium) and SSRIs (Prozac, Zoloft) can help reduce anxiety symptoms, but they also come with potential side effects and risks. Therapy, particularly cognitive-behavioral therapy (CBT), can help people develop coping strategies and improve their overall mental health.

What does the research say about CBD and anxiety?

Over the past decade, numerous studies have been conducted on the potential benefits of CBD for anxiety. Most of these studies have been done on animals or small human populations, so more research is needed to fully understand CBD’s effects. However, there is evidence to suggest that CBD may be helpful for some people with anxiety disorders.

A 2011 study published in Neuropsychopharmacology found that CBD could reduce symptoms of social anxiety disorder (SAD). Participants who were given CBD before a simulated public speaking test experienced less anxiety and discomfort than those who were given a placebo.

Another study, published in 2019 in The Permanente Journal, looked at the use of CBD for anxiety and sleep. The study involved 72 adults, 57 of whom reported anxiety as their primary concern. Participants were given CBD capsules daily for one month, and the majority reported lower anxiety levels as well as improved sleep quality.

How does CBD work in the body?

CBD interacts with the body’s endocannabinoid system (ECS), which is a complex network of receptors and neurotransmitters that helps regulate a variety of bodily functions, including mood, appetite, and sleep. The ECS is responsible for maintaining homeostasis, or balance, in the body.

CBD interacts with two specific receptors in the ECS: CB1 and CB2. CB1 receptors are primarily found in the brain and central nervous system, while CB2 receptors are found in the peripheral nervous system and immune system. CBD doesn’t bind directly to these receptors like THC does, but it can influence their activity and help modulate the body’s response to anxiety and stress.

Is CBD safe and legal?

CBD is generally considered safe, although it can cause side effects like fatigue, dry mouth, and changes in appetite. It’s also important to note that CBD can interact with certain medications, so it’s always a good idea to talk to a healthcare professional before trying CBD.

Accessing safe and standardized CBD products in Canada involves understanding how to read and interpret a cannabis product label. The standardized cannabis symbol, product brand name, and THC content are essential elements to look for on the package. In Canada, CBD can only be purchased through a licensed retailer, and the Cannabis Act provides a legal framework for controlling the production, distribution, sale, and possession of cannabis. If you’re interested in trying a CBD product, it’s recommended to seek one through a dispensary, an establishment legally licensed to sell cannabis products

In the United States, CBD is legal at the federal level as long as it meets certain criteria. The CBD must be derived from industrial hemp, which is defined as cannabis with less than 0.3% THC by weight. Additionally, states may have their own laws regarding the sale and use of CBD products, so it’s important to research the laws in your area.

Conclusion:

CBD has emerged as a potential alternative or complementary treatment option for anxiety, but more research is needed to fully understand its effects. If you’re interested in trying CBD for anxiety, talk to an experienced healthcare professional like myself, in order to ensure it’s safe for you and won’t interact with any medications you’re currently taking. Remember that CBD is only one tool in a larger arsenal of treatment options for anxiety, and that a holistic approach is often the most effective. By taking care of your body and mind and seeking professional help when necessary, you can manage your anxiety and live a fulfilling life.

For more information on CBD check out these articles:

CBD for Sleep

Treating Brain Injury with CBD

How to treat epilepsy naturally: CBD as first line therapy

Why CBD is my new favorite medicine


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07/Apr/2023

Mouth breathing can seem like a small issue, but it can actually lead to a range of problems, from bad breath and difficulty sleeping to developmental issues in children. If you notice that your child is constantly breathing through their mouth, it’s important to take action. Here are 5 ways to combat mouth breathing in kids and ensure that your child is breathing properly.

1. Identify the Root Cause

The first step to combating mouth breathing is determining the root cause. Some common causes include allergies, enlarged tonsils or adenoids, or a deviated septum. Once you identify the cause, you can work with your child’s pediatrician to formulate a treatment plan. Treatment may involve medication, surgery or lifestyle changes like avoiding certain foods or environmental allergens.
Chronic nasal congestion may be a cause of mouth breathing in children. If structural and allergic causes have been ruled out, it may be a good idea to test for food sensitivities. Food sensitivities develop as a result of a slightly different immune response than allergies. A naturopathic doctor or functional medicine doctor can requisition a blood test that will identify any food sensitivities in your child. Sensitivities will often resolve after 3-months of abstinence at which time these foods may be re-introduced into the diet.

2. Practicing Breathing Exercises

Teaching kids proper breathing techniques can help them switch from mouth breathing to breathing through their nose. Encourage them to take long, deep breaths through their nose and exhale slowly through their mouth. You can also make it into a fun game by challenging them to see how long they can hold a deep breath in their nose or how long they can exhale.
A fantastic resource for nasal breathing exercises as well as some of the scientific literature around mouth breathing vs. nasal breathing can be found through the Buteyko Clinic

3. Promote Good Sleep Hygiene

Many kids breathe through their mouth while sleeping, so it’s crucial to establish good sleep hygiene to prevent mouth breathing before it starts. Make sure your child is sleeping on their back or side, as sleeping on the stomach can encourage mouth breathing. You may also consider using a humidifier, which can help to keep sinuses moisturized and reduce inflammation.
Here is a checklist for establishing good sleep hygiene in kids:
✅ Establish a consistent bedtime routine and consistent wake-up time every day.
✅ Avoid caffeinated drinks, large meals, and vigorous exercise late in the day.
✅ Create a calm, relaxing atmosphere in the bedroom by dimming lights and avoiding screens.
✅ Avoid napping during the day. If naps are necessary, keep them short (15-30 minutes) and at the same time each day.
✅ Keep bedroom temperature comfortable. A cool but not cold room of around 65 degrees is ideal for sleep.
✅ Make sure your child’s mattress is comfortable and supportive to ensure quality rest.
✅ Exercise regularly, although not too close to bedtime as this can make it harder to fall asleep quickly.
✅ Encourage your child to find activities that help them relax before bedtime such as reading or taking a warm bath or shower in preparation for sleep

4. Maintain Proper Oral Hygiene

Mouth breathing can cause dry mouth, which can lead to a range of oral health problems. Encourage your child to brush their teeth twice daily and to floss regularly to remove any debris that may have accumulated between their teeth. Also, make sure they stay hydrated so that their mouth stays moist and saliva can flow normally.

5. Be a Positive Role Model

Lastly, it’s important to lead by example. Kids are extremely observant, so if they see their parents breathing through their mouth, it can become normalized. Pay attention to your own breathing habits and make sure you practice good nasal breathing techniques in front of your kids. You can even lead by example by doing breathing exercises or attending yoga classes together.

Conclusion:

Mouth breathing may seem like a small issue, but it can lead to a range of problems for kids. By taking action early and addressing the root cause, you can help your child learn better breathing techniques and combat mouth breathing. Encouraging proper nasal breathing techniques, practicing good sleep hygiene, promoting oral health, and being a positive role model are all excellent strategies for combatting mouth breathing in children. If you’re worried about your child’s breathing habits, talk to their naturopath or pediatrician to determine the best course of action.

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19/Mar/2023

When it comes to treating constipation in children, parents often feel overwhelmed and may not know where to start. Constipation can be a serious health concern for kids if left untreated, so the good news is that there are a number of natural approaches that can help bring relief. With some dietary changes, supplementation, and lifestyle adjustments, you can create a custom treatment plan designed specifically for your child’s needs. In this blog post we will discuss these different methods so that you have all the information you need when considering what type of approach might work best for your little one!

Overview of Constipation in Kids

Constipation in kids can be a very concerning issue. It can cause discomfort and irritation, as well as interfere with appetite, sleep, and overall health. Constipation can be caused by inadequate diets, lack of exercise, anxiety, and other factors. Parents should ensure their children maintain a balanced diet that includes fiber-rich foods such as vegetables, fruits, legumes, and whole grains. Increasing physical activity is also important for keeping the digestive system healthy. Regular exercise also helps alleviate stress and consequently reduce constipation-causing anxiety among children. Additionally, parents should make sure kids have enough rest to keep their bodies relaxed thus preventing constipation from developing in the first place. If dietary changes and lifestyle adjustments do not improve constipation symptoms then supplementation may be necessary in order to restore regular bowel movements again.

Causes of Constipation in Children

Constipation in children is a common complaint but, fortunately, there are many natural and effective approaches to treating it. Diet is often the primary culprit behind constipation in kids; foods high in fats, processed carbohydrates and protein can slow digestion, while regular exercise and an increase of fibre has been proven to stimulate proper elimination. In addition, food sensitivities and levels of anxiety should not be ignored: both can have a significant effect on digestive health. By addressing diet and other potential lifestyle factors with these helpful tips, children suffering from constipation will eventually experience relief and have their digestive systems back up to speed.

Dietary Changes to Help Treat Constipation in Kids

Eating the right foods and drinks is a natural, effective way of relieving constipation in kids. Soluble fibre helps to soften stool by absorbing water and keeping it in the gut longer. Oatmeal, legumes, berries, chia, nuts and seeds are all sources of soluble fibre. Insoluble fibre adds bulk to stools and increases the frequency at which they can pass through your child’s gut. Foods rich in insoluble fibres include wholegrain cereals, wheat bran, vegetables and fruit skins. Alongside fibre-rich foods, be sure that your child is staying hydrated with plenty of water throughout the day. Two liters of fluids in the first 10 hours of the day is recommended. Lastly, adding prebiotic fibres such as onions, garlic, green bananas, apples or asparagus to their meals can also help them treat their constipation naturally by encouraging healthy bacteria growth in the gut.

Natural Remedies for Constipation in Children

Constipation in children can be distressing and uncomfortable. Fortunately, there are a range of natural remedies that can help alleviate the problem, such as massage, dietary changes and supplementation, acupuncture, and herbal remedies. Massage on the abdomen can help to relieve constipation by providing gentle stimulation of digestive organs. Dietary changes should include increased intake of fiber-rich foods such as fruits, vegetables and whole grains to prevent future bouts of constipation in your child. Supplementation with probiotics may also be beneficial in re-establishing healthy bacterial balance and restoring regularity within the gut flora. Acupuncture has been used for centuries for its restorative qualities and treating various aches, pains and bodily ailments including constipation. Herbal remedies are also available such as chamomile tea or lemon balm to help promote digestion.

Supplements for Constipation Relief in Kids

For constipation relief in children, natural supplementation may be an effective approach. Magnesium citrate is one of the most commonly used supplements to support regular and healthy elimination in kids. Butyrate, sunfibre, FOS and acacia are also helpful for improving stool consistency. Psyllium husk is a great source of soluble fibre which helps keep things moving along smoothly. Probiotics like Lactobacillus reuteri or Bifidobacterium infantis are beneficial in keeping beneficial bacteria levels balanced in the intestines. These methods may offer gentle but potent relief for constipation sufferers without harsh side effects associated with over-the-counter medications.

When to See a Doctor for Treatment of Constipation in Children

While constipation in kids is often treated with natural approaches, at times parents should seek medical attention. If your child has a bloody stool, complains of pain, or has not had a bowel movement in 4 days, it’s time to make an appointment for your child to see a doctor. Mucus and streaks in the stool can also be signs of more serious underlying issues that require professional care. Additionally, if you observe any hemorrhoids near the anus, then it is recommended that you take your child to the doctor right away.
Constipation can be a difficult issue for kids to deal with, causing discomfort and pain. Thankfully, there are many potential treatments that can help, such as dietary changes and natural processes like supplementation. If you have a child struggling with constipation, it’s important to keep track of their diet, identify any potential issues in their environment or recent lifestyle changes that might trigger the problem, and look into different supplements that may provide relief. However, if all else fails and you still can’t find an effective solution to the problem, it’s best to seek medical advice from your doctor. I hope that this blog post gave you more insight into the causes and treatments of constipation in children so that you’ll know what to do should your own little one start having issues. For more information or to book an appointment regarding constipation relief in kids, please contact me – I’m always here to help!

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04/Mar/2023

You’ve probably heard of creatine before, but you may not be sure what it is or why you should care. Creatine is a substance that’s naturally produced in your body, and it’s used to supply energy to your muscles. It can also be found in foods like red meat and fish. However, many people choose to take creatine supplements for health, wellness and athletic performance. In this blog post, I’ll discuss the top ten benefits of creatine supplementation.

1. Increased Muscle Mass

Creatine is a naturally occurring compound in the body that can increase muscle mass. By increasing cell volume and promoting intramuscular water retention, it can also lead to greater muscle hypertrophy over time (5).
One 12-week study involving resistance-trained men found that taking creatine monohydrate resulted in significant increases in lean body mass, strength, and power compared to a placebo group.
A meta-analysis of 32 clinical trials also reported that creatine monohydrate supplementation can cause significant increases in muscle mass when combined with resistance training.

2. Improved Athletic Performance

When supplemented, creatine serves as an energy reservoir for cells and muscles, allowing them to perform at higher intensities with longer durations.
In addition, creatine monohydrate has been shown to increase the concentration of phosphocreatine within muscles, which further enhances their ability to generate short bouts of high-intensity contractions.
Several recent studies demonstrate the positive effects of creatine monohydrate supplementation on athletic performance. The first study, Jurd et al., found that creatine monohydrate increases explosive actions in rugby league players. Participants received either 0.3 g/kg of creatine monohydrate or placebo daily for 28 days.
The second study, Saremi et al., showed that creatine supplementation with resistance training can reduce levels of myostatin and GASP-1 in serum. Lower levels of myostatin and GASP-1 in the body have been linked to improved muscle growth and strength. Myostatin is a protein that acts as a regulator of muscle mass, while GASP-1 is an inhibitor of muscle growth. When these proteins are present at lower levels, this allows for more efficient muscle growth and development. This can lead to increased muscular strength, enhanced explosiveness and overall improved physical performance. The participants took 5 g/day of creatine monohydrate.
Finally, Volek et al. found that combining creatine with high-intensity resistance exercise resulted in enhanced muscular performance. In this study the participants were given 0.3 g/kg of creatine monohydrate over a 5-day period.
Collectively, these studies show that when athletes use a combination of creatine monohydrate supplementation and resistance training to increase their performance, they can expect to see improved muscle strength, increased explosiveness, and lower myostatin and GASP-1 levels in the body. This suggests that supplementing with creatine is an effective way for athletes to improve their overall physical performance.

Autism

3. Enhanced Brain Function

Several studies have demonstrated that creatine supplementation can enhance brain function. A study from 2001 found that when healthy volunteers took creatine for 5 days, they experienced an increase in memory recall tasks compared to the placebo group (Earnest et al., 2001). Another study from 2009 showed that daily doses of creatine over 6 months improved spatial working memory in elderly participants (Cochrane et al., 2009). Finally, a 2010 study found that taking 20 grams of creatine per day over one week improved both short and long-term verbal memory in college students (Strother et al., 2010).