This is what happens when you combine creatine, leucine and carnitine
What is the effect of supplementation with creatine, leucine, carnitine and vitamin D? According to a small human study, published in Nutrition & Metabolism, supplementation with these substances can increase the muscle mass of people who do not exercise at all. Sounds good, but a small caveat is in place: this study is heavily sponsored.
The researchers divided 42 healthy but sedentary individuals aged 55-70 into three groups. The first group received a placebo every day for 8 weeks, the second group received 1500 mg L-carnitine daily in the form of 2200 milligrams of L-carnitine L-tartrate. The third group received a combination supplement with 2200 milligrams of L-carnitine tartrate, 3000 milligrams of creatine, 2000 milligrams of leucine and 400 IU of vitamin D3.
The substances were packaged in sachets. Every morning the subjects dissolved the contents of 1 sachet in a glass of orange juice, and drank it.
The research was sponsored by Lonza, a prominent carnitine manufacturer. The research leader is a scientific employee of Lonza. [lonza.com] The first researcher is employed by KGK Science, [kgkscience.com] a Canadian private research organization.
The combination supplement with carnitine, leucine, creatine and vitamin D increased the lean body mass by 1 kilo.
The combination supplement increased the isometric force of the subjects' leg muscles.
The figure below makes clear how the combination supplement increased muscle mass and strength: by increasing the amount of the main anabolic signaling molecule mTOR in muscle cells.
"In conclusion, L-carnitine in combination with L-leucine and creatine, significantly enhanced lean muscle mass and functional strength [...], likely due to an improved protein anabolism through the mTOR pathway", write the researchers. "The combination product was safe, well tolerated, and may provide additional performance value with prolonged use beyond the 8-week study period in healthy older adults."
No offense, but...
What would have happened if the researchers had also given a group of test subjects only 3 grams of creatine per day? It is not impossible that this group would have done just as well as the users of the combination supplement...
Nutr Metab (Lond). 2017 Jan 18;14:7.
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