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Store Retailers Likely To Recommend Creatine To Teens; Health Experts Worried?

Update Date: Jan 05, 2017 09:50 AM EST

Children younger than 18 years old should not use creatine, a supplement recommended by most stores, according to American Academy of Pediatrics and the American College of Sports Medicine. Many teens, especially athletes, believe that creatine can help them develop their muscles faster.

Creatine and Safety

Creatine occurs in vertebrates, such as humans, and it helps to provide energy to the body. It can also be found in food rich in protein such as meat or fish. Athletes are attracted to this supplement as it may enhance their strength.

There are different schools of thoughts about the safety of creatine. WebMD reports that the supplement in question may improve activity in sports. A teen swimmer and a soccer player have reportedly performed better after taking creatine. However, there is still no evidence that it can help with endurance sports. According to some studies, some individuals do not see any benefit at all from taking creatine.

The long-term effects of creatine are still unknown. Some of the side effects of this supplement highlighted by WebMD are anxiety, breathing difficulty, diarrhea, fatigue, fever, headache, kidney problems, nausea, rash, stomach upset and weight gain. Teens under 18 years old, women who are pregnant or nursing are advised to avoid creatine.

Store Retailers Recommending Creatine Supplement

In a study conducted by American Academy of Pediatrics, 164 out of 244 store retailers recommended creatine to a 15 year old teen. Even without prompting, 94 of these health stores recommended the food supplement. Almost 75 percent of the stores have agreed that teens could purchase the supplement, while only 22 percent said that buyers need to be at least 18 years old.

Selling creatine to teens is not illegal but the supplement is recommended only for adults. Most products have warning labels, but it seems several store retailers ignore the restriction.

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