Evaluating a Novel Growth Promotant's (Guanidinoacetic Acid) Ability to Increase Efficiency without Losing Carcass and Meat Quality

Project Title

Verification that Guanidinoacetic Acid Supplementation Enhances Growth and Feed Efficiency of Beef Steers without Compromising Carcass and Meat Quality


Heather Bruce (University of Alberta) hbruce@ualberta.ca

Richard Uwiera (University of Alberta), Leluo Guan (University of Alberta), Gleise Medeiros da Silva (University of Alberta), Carolyn Fitzsimmons (Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada), Nuria Prieto (Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada), Oscar Lopez-Campos (Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada) and, Gerlinde Metz, Tony Montina (U of Lethbridge)

Status Project Code
In progress. Results expected in March, 2025 POC.08.22


Creamino is a new feed supplement for pigs and chickens that contains guanidinoacetic acid (GAA), a natural precursor to creatine. GAA is preferred as a feed supplement to creatine because it’s less expensive, is stable over long periods of storage, and does not immediately inhibit the animals’ natural production of creatine. This supplement has shown to increase muscle growth in pigs and chickens and has also shown an increase in dry matter intake (DMI) and average daily gain (ADG) in cattle in small scale studies.  The use of the GAA supplement is currently approved for broilers and pigs in the EU, broilers and turkeys in the USA and cattle in Brazil.

This project seeks to validate the improved growth efficiency and increased intake associated with GAA supplementation and determine its effects on the carcass and meat quality of Canadian beef steers.


  • Determine if supplementing GAA, can increase the DMI, digestibility, growth rate and feed efficiency of finishing beef steers.
  • Determine the effects of GAA supplementation on carcass and meat quality.

What they will do

80 finishing cattle will be fed a finishing diet containing 85% barley and either no supplement, 6g L -methionine (L-Met) per day, 0.6g GAA or both L-Met and GAA for 100 days before slaughter. DM intake, fecal samples, blood, rumen, and feed samples will be collected and analyzed. Carcass qualities will be recorded after slaughter.

Growth rate will be measured, and GrowSafe will be used to determine feed intake,  and feed efficiency. Feed and fecal samples will be collected on days 90 to 93 of the feeding period to determine total tract nutrient digestibility. Blood plasma will be analyzed for L-Met and L-arginine, GAA, creatine, creatinine, and homocysteine. L-Met is involved in converting GAA to creatine, so GAA supplementation can result in a decrease in L-Met while L-arginine is potentially spared. Rumen fluid will also be assessed for volatile fatty acids, ammonia nitrogen concentrations, and the shift in rumen microbiota. Cattle will be slaughtered at the Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada Meat Laboratory abattoir where carcass quality characteristics can be measured, followed by the determination of meat quality.


The Canadian beef industry is hoping this study could inform CFIA on their decision to approve the use of Creamino supplementation in Canadian beef cattle..

Approving supplements that increase the efficiency of Canadian finishing cattle can help to meet the increasing global demand for Canadian beef while reducing the amount of inputs required to produce the same quantity whilst maintaining a quality product.