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Creatine and guanidinoacetate content of human milk and infant formulas: implications for creatine deficiency syndromes and amino acid metabolism

  • Erica E. Edison (a1), Margaret E. Brosnan (a1), Khalid Aziz (a2) and John T. Brosnan (a1)
Abstract

Creatine is essential for normal neural development; children with inborn errors of creatine synthesis or transport exhibit neurological symptoms such as mental retardation, speech delay and epilepsy. Creatine accretion may occur through dietary intake or de novo creatine synthesis. The objective of the present study was to determine how much creatine an infant must synthesise de novo. We have calculated how much creatine an infant needs to account for urinary creatinine excretion (creatine's breakdown product) and new muscle lay-down. To measure an infant's dietary creatine intake, we measured creatine in mother's milk and in various commercially available infant formulas. Knowing the amount of milk/formula ingested, we calculated the amount of creatine ingested. We have found that a breast-fed infant receives about 9 % of the creatine needed in the diet and that infants fed cows' milk-based formula receive up to 36 % of the creatine needed. However, infants fed a soya-based infant formula receive negligible dietary creatine and must rely solely on de novo creatine synthesis. This is the first time that it has been shown that neonatal creatine accretion is largely due to de novo synthesis and not through dietary intake of creatine. This has important implications both for infants suffering from creatine deficiency syndromes and for neonatal amino acid metabolism.

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Corresponding author
*Corresponding author: J. T. Brosnan, fax +1 709 864 2422, email jbrosnan@mun.ca
References
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British Journal of Nutrition
  • ISSN: 0007-1145
  • EISSN: 1475-2662
  • URL: /core/journals/british-journal-of-nutrition
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