Journal of agricultural and food chemistry

Creatine is a scavenger for methylglyoxal under physiological conditions via formation of N-(4-methyl-5-oxo-1-imidazolin-2-yl)sarcosine (MG-HCr).

PMID 25655840


Following incubation of methylglyoxal and creatine under physiological conditions, N-(4-methyl-5-oxo-1-imidazolin-2-yl)sarcosine (MG-HCr) was isolated and identified by NMR and mass spectrometry. Due to its rapid formation, MG-HCr represents a specific product following "scavenging" of methylglyoxal by creatine. Using hydrophilic interaction chromatography coupled to mass spectrometry, MG-HCr was analyzed in urine samples of healthy volunteers. Daily MG-HCr excretion of nonvegetarians ranged from 0.35 to 3.84 μmol/24 h urine (median: 0.90 μmol/24 h urine) and of vegetarians from 0.11 to 0.31 μmol/24 h urine (median: 0.19 μmol/24 h urine), indicating that formation of MG-HCr in vivo is influenced by the dietary intake of creatine. The trapping of methylglyoxal by creatine may delay the formation of advanced glycation compounds in vivo and, therefore, could be of special importance in situations in which the body has to deal with pathophysiologically increased amounts of dicarbonyl compounds ("carbonyl stress"), for instance in diabetic patients.