A body building supplement could be used to help prevent babies from being born dangerously small.
Scientists based in Melbourne have found women with low levels of the nutrient found in fish and meat have smaller infants.
The finding prompted a world-first study to determine just how much of the naturally occurring amino acid is needed.
ARTICLE CONTINUES AFTER THIS ADVERTISEMENT
It could also change the dietary advice given to mums to be.
Monash University and Monash Health, will measure the levels of creatine in maternal and umbilical blood and in the placentas of 900 women.
Pre-clinical studies have shown the foetus relies on the placenta to provide creatine until late pregnancy, and that supplementation can dramatically improve offspring survival after birth asphyxia by protecting organs from the impact of oxygen deprivation.
Building on this initial research, new findings published in the British Journal of Obstetrics and Gynaecology show that women who have less creatine in their bodies have much smaller babies.
For more on this story click here.