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Journal of Nutrition and Metabolism
Volume 2012 (2012), Article ID 960363, 13 pages
Review Article

Creatine-Kinase- and Exercise-Related Muscle Damage Implications for Muscle Performance and Recovery

School of Science, University of the West of Scotland, Paisley PA1 2BE, UK

Received 21 June 2011; Revised 6 September 2011; Accepted 28 September 2011

Academic Editor: H. K. Biesalski

Copyright © 2012 Marianne F. Baird et al. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


The appearance of creatine kinase (CK) in blood has been generally considered to be an indirect marker of muscle damage, particularly for diagnosis of medical conditions such as myocardial infarction, muscular dystrophy, and cerebral diseases. However, there is controversy in the literature concerning its validity in reflecting muscle damage as a consequence of level and intensity of physical exercise. Nonmodifiable factors, for example, ethnicity, age, and gender, can also affect enzyme tissue activity and subsequent CK serum levels. The extent of effect suggests that acceptable upper limits of normal CK levels may need to be reset to recognise the impact of these factors. There is a need for standardisation of protocols and stronger guidelines which would facilitate greater scientific integrity. The purpose of this paper is to examine current evidence and opinion relating to the release of CK from skeletal muscle in response to physical activity and examine if elevated concentrations are a health concern.