A high concentration of creatine in the urine is an indicator of kidney and cardiovascular disease. Several natural remedies, including ginseng, garlic and xuduan, have been clinically shown to reduce creatine levels by increasing the levels of an enzyme that breaks down the molecule. However, always consult a physician before treating serious diseases via natural or herbal remedies.
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Creatine is a waste product of metabolism, which is typically passed in the urine. High levels of creatine is an established marker of kidney and cardiovascular disease. Since the creatine molecule is relatively large as compared to other excreted substances, the kidney does not reabsorb. Creatine kinase is an enzyme that converts creatine to create another substance called phosphorcreatine. Dietary supplements that increase the amounts of creatine kinase can lower the amounts of creatine and prevent organ damage.
An herbal medicine called Panax ginseng or PG has been used in traditional Chinese medicine to promote kidney health. An article appearing in the June 2009 issue of the "American Journal of Chinese Medicine" investigated the use of PG to reduce the levels of creatine by increasing the amounts of creatine kinase. The authors of the study isolated liver cells from mice and were able to measure the amounts of creatine within them through a process called liquid chromatography. The study found that the oral administration of PG was able to increase the concentrations of creatine kinase and thereby lower the levels of creatine in a concentration-dependent manner.
In a study published in the April 2009 issue of the "Indian Journal of Physiology and Pharmacology," researchers evaluated the effects of a garlic extract to prevent cardiac damage, using creatine kinase as a marker. The rat models were fed different dosages of the garlic extract, which ranged from 125 to 500 mg (0.004 to 0.018 oz) per kg (2 lb) of body weight for 30 days. At the end of the treatment, several markers indicative of heart damage were evaluated. The researchers concluded that garlic extract is a safe and viable treatment to regulate levels of creatine kinase, which can lower creatine levels.
Dispsacus asper, also known as Xuduan, is a traditional Chinese medicinal herb. An article appearing in the February 2010 issue of the "European Journal of Pharmacology" investigated the effects of a compound isolated from D. asper, called asperosaponin VI, to decrease levels of creatine. The study found that oral ingestion of 30 to 60 mg (0.001058 to 0.0021 oz) per day was sufficient to provide protective benefits against cardiovascular disease by lowering levels of creatine.
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- American Journal of Chinese Medicine; "Regulation on Energy Metabolism and Protection on Mitochondria of Panax Ginseng Polysaccharide"; X Li et al; June 2009
- European Journal of Pharmacology; "Protective roles of Asperosaponin VI, a triterpene saponin isolated from Dipsacus asper Wall on acute myocardial infarction in rats"; C Li et al; February 2010