“Back in the day” as they say, I exposed the fact that not all creatine is created equal (yet, many still don’t know it…), by showing test results from different manufacturers. The first article:
This article, as expected, got a lot of attention: very positive from consumers with some not so happy sellers. The article had major effects on the creatine industry at the time. My follow up article, with additional testing, was refused by the magazine who published the first, due to the amount of (unexpected I suspect) heat they received from advertisers, etc. Follow up was:
So, fast forward to late 2010. The creatine industry has changed considerably since writing the two above articles. I’m planning to do a new version for 2011, but I’ll add this study below, that found a few sample tested had AAS in them, probably added. The study below is interesting, and a breakthrough in terms of how one creatine can be tested for its origin using IRMS looking at different ratios of isotopes. I recommend reading the full paper if the topic is of real interest, as the abstract gives little details. Warning: the full paper is one mind bender of a paper that will challenge all neurons.
Analytical Methods Authenticity control and identification of origin of synthetic creatine-monohydrate by isotope ratio mass spectrometry
Food Chemistry Volume 125, Issue 2 , 15 March 2011, Pages 767-772
Frank Hülsemann. et al. a Institute of Biochemistry, German Sport University Cologne, Germany b The German Research Centre of Elite Sport, German Sport University Cologne, Germany
Synthetic creatine-monohydrate is consumed as a dietary supplement (DS) worldwide. Up to now no analytical technique for authenticity control or identification of origin of creatine-monohydrate products has been reported. Isotope ratio mass spectrometry (IRMS) of different creatine-monohydrate samples was performed allowing to differentiate between production sites located either in Germany or China. The results obtained indicate that the carbon and nitrogen isotopic composition of industrially synthesised creatine-monohydrate depends on the isotopic composition of the raw materials rather than on different production processes. Statistical pattern recognition of isotope data allowed for classification of most of the creatine-monohydrates sold as DS into German and non-German origin, respectively. Four DS, cross-contaminated with anabolic androgenic steroids (AAS), could not be allocated to a single producer. This suggests that contamination with AAS did not occur during synthesis, but during handling by the distributors.