Creatine as cancer fighter diagram

Yet another potential benefit of creatine is that of an essential immune support supplement via energy for antitumor immunity. While this is a mouse model, there’s no reason to think it does not apply to humans as the cellular mechanisms are essential the same:

“...our results have identified creatine as an important metabolic regulator controlling antitumor T cell immunity, underscoring the potential of creatine supplementation to improve T cell–based cancer immunotherapies.”

So what does that mean? T cells need large amounts of energy to fight cancer, and it’s known they can suffer what’s called T-cell exhaustion. They literally run out of energy while attempting to fight cancer. As creatine is an essential molecule in energy production for all cells, it also acts as “molecular battery,” wherein stored energy helps these essential immune cells from simply running out of steam to fight on. More data is needed to be sure, but as it has such a long list of known benefits, this may be yet one more. The data also suggests that creatine may improve outcomes for those with cancer being treated via T cell–based cancer immunotherapies. Amazingly, feeding mice the dose of creatine typical of what humans ingest, they demonstrated the mice then had ability to suppress both colon and skin cancer growth. Creatine is of course just one of several key ingredients in my Bomb Proof Coffee recipe and continues to demonstrate a wide range of potential benefits, much of which is discussed on this web site as i was one on of the very first people to write about the non athletic/performance benefits in the lay publications.

Creatine uptake regulates CD8 T cell antitumor immunity


T cells demand massive energy to combat cancer; however, the metabolic regulators controlling antitumor T cell immunity have just begun to be unveiled. When studying nutrient usage of tumor-infiltrating immune cells in mice, we detected a sharp increase of the expression of a CrT (Slc6a8) gene, which encodes a surface transporter controlling the uptake of creatine into a cell.

Using CrT knockout mice, we showed that creatine uptake deficiency severely impaired antitumor T cell immunity. Supplementing creatine to WT mice significantly suppressed tumor growth in multiple mouse tumor models, and the combination of creatine supplementation with a PD-1/PD-L1 blockade treatment showed synergistic tumor suppression efficacy.

We further demonstrated that creatine acts as a “molecular battery” conserving bioenergy to power T cell activities. Therefore, our results have identified creatine as an important metabolic regulator controlling antitumor T cell immunity, underscoring the potential of creatine supplementation to improve T cell–based cancer immunotherapies.

Full Paper HERE

  1. Guy C 8 months ago

    This was a bit over my head. My friend has a Ph.D. and teaches at a local college. I asked him to explain it to me. His reply:

    “I spent about 10 minutes with the paper. It borders on junk science. I first wanted to see how they grew CD8 cells in culture. While I believe they actually had CD8 cells as per flow cytometry, I assure you that CD8 cells and all the other immune system cells do not operate without the collaboration of each other, and certainly not on a flat surface (tissue culture flask or wells). To give this type of experimentation meaning, a co-culture of different characterized cells is necessary (my doctoral thesis involve co-culture of retinal endothelial cells and retinal pericytes) and preferably in a 3D format. So, I don’t accept their in vitro experimental model of the immune system as representative of in vivo cell-cell interactions. Second, many of the experiments had small sample sizes (e.g., n =3, n= 8 or 9) with the data expressed as x +/- standard error of the mean (SEM). Data should be expressed as the standard deviation (SD)-explanation too complex for email. While the statistical tests used are appropriate (ANOVA for three or more group comparisons; t-test for two group comparisons) I know from experience that the sample sizes plus the large variability in the data are unlikely to calculate to statistical significance. Finally, I wonder how much money the primary investigator Lili Yang was paid by the supplement industry to conduct this study-we will never know short of a joint CIA-FBI investigation. This paper is an example as to why there have been no significant advances in the understanding of the mechanisms that drive cancer beyond cell cycle dysfunction.

    • Author
      Will Brink 8 months ago

      The in vitro lab stuff on CD8 cells in culture is above my pay grade to say if it was applicable or not, but it sounds like he knows what he’s talking about. Note they did also find that effect in the in vivo model, and note also I was very clear to say more data is needed. These are at best preliminary findings which is why until studies are reproduced and or followed up on, is never viewed as established science. Still interesting in my view and creatine appears to have a wide range of potential benefits, lets hope that’s yet another one…

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