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D-Ribose Benefits and Side Effects

D-Ribose is a sugar that has been shown to boost levels of the energy compound ATP. Because D-ribose is a simple sugar, it is extremely well absorbed. Food sources do not supply enough of the recommended amounts of ribose. However, the body generally synthesized enough ribose from glucose to meet its needs. D-Ribose is thought to promote the recovery of ATP, the primary energy carrying molecule, levels within the body. ATP (adenosine triphosphate) is what provides the energy needed for short burst of power movements during  activity. The availability of D-Ribose in cells is therefore a limiting factor in energy recovery following cellular stress. Our bodies make ribose naturally, but in stressful situations the need is greater than our supply to satisfy the loss of energy from our cells. D-ribose also helps comprise genetic materials, deoxyribonucleic acid (DNA) and ribonucleic acid (RNA).

D-Ribose Benefits

D-Ribose has been used to prevent symptoms such as cramping, pain, and stiffness after exercise in patients with an inherited disorder called myoadenylate deaminase deficiency or AMP deaminase deficiency. D-ribose helps maintain efficient levels of cellular energy and reduces the effects of a deficiency of cellular energy. Researches have shown that D-ribose increases physical functioning overall, exercise tolerance, diastolic functioning and quality of life in congestive heart failure patients.

ATP (Adenosine Triphosphate)

The primary source of energy for all cellular processes is a molecule known as adenosine triphosphate. Active cells constantly replenish their supply of adenosine triphosphate to produce vital cellular energy.  But, under conditions of  injury, stress, or aging, critical body tissues such as heart and skeletal muscles cannot produce ATP quickly enough to perform optimally. D-ribose, a carbohydrate molecule found in every living organism, facilitates the production of adenosine triphosphate.

Chronic Fatigue Syndrome and Fibromyalgia

D-ribose may help some individuals with  fibromyalgia or chronic fatigue syndrome. Dr. Jacob Teitelbaum, is a pain specialist who advocates using D-Ribose to help relieve the symptoms of some health problems. In a study in 2006 concluded that D-ribose supplementation significant level improved symptoms of chronic fatigue syndrome and fibromyalgia, including  sleep, energy, mental clarity, pain intensity. Among these people, their energy levels increased  average 45 percent and they experienced an about 30 percent boost in overall well-being. The experts concluded that ribose significantly reduced clinical symptoms in these patients  suffering from chronic fatigue syndrome and fibromyalgia. Research published in 2009 in the Journal of Alternative and Complementary Medicine, D-ribose supplements helped reduce fatigue in older adults, further qualifying ribose’s potential in fighting fibromyalgia fatigue.

Athletic Performance

The availability of D-Ribose in cells is therefore essential for energy recovery and muscular recovery following cellular stress. Most of the body’s tissues, including the heart, are unable to produce ribose quickly enough to restore energy levels once they have fallen substantially. Studies indicate that oral use of D-Ribose leads to an increase of the power productivity in athletes and improves the capacity of skeletal muscles to quickly recover their energy levels after high intensity workouts. A research has shown that D-ribose supplementation increases the manufacture of ATP in skeletal muscle by anything up to 430 %.  Dr. Terjung found that ribose treatment in fatigued muscle increased the level of energy recovery by 340% to 430%, depending on which type of muscle was tested.

Congestive Heart Failure

D-ribose helps energize your heart and muscles by increasing energy on a cellular level. Clinical studies have shown that D-ribose can help to restore energy and function to the heart. It is especially helpful to those with Ischemic Heart Disease and Congestive Heart Failure. Findings show D-ribose directly contributes to the rejuvenation of injured heart muscles. Researchers have shown how increased ATP levels translate into improved heart muscle function, better blood flow, and quicker recovery with protection from the ravages of reperfusion-induced oxidation. Some studies show that following a heart attack, ribose helped ATP levels and heart function return to normal within 48 hours. Patients with ischemia may experience a fall of 50 % or more ATP. In one study conducted at the University of Bonn  in Germany, patients with congestive heart failure were treated with either 10 grams of D-ribose or placebo every day for 3 weeks.  Echocardiography test, heart function improved, and quality of life questionnaires reflected effects. In this study, Ribose therapy had a significant effect on all measures of diastolic heart function.

A clinical study in 1992 showed that D-ribose administration to patients with severe, stable coronary artery disease increased exercise tolerance and delayed the onset of moderate angina. Since this groundbreaking study in coronary artery disease, the effects of D-ribose have been reported for cardiac surgery recovery, heart failure and neuromuscular disease treatment, restoration of energy to stressed skeletal muscle, and control of free-radical formation in oxygen-deprived tissue. Presented by the Association for Academic Surgery and Society of University Surgeons at the Second Annual Academic Surgical Congress, findings shows that D-Ribose has positive effects on the hearts of patients of heart attacks. A studyin published 2009 issue of the ‘International Journal of Cardiology‘ reports that D-ribose supplementation significant level  improved exercise performance in people with advanced heart failure.

D-Ribose Dosage

D-ribose supplements are available in powder, tablet and capsule form. D-Ribose can be taken in powder form and mixed into liquid like juice or water. Also can be given intravenously. For medical issues like CFS or heart failure, some experts have recommended 15-30 grams per day. Doctors sometimes give ribose intravenously as part of an imaging procedure used to measure the extent of damaged heart muscle in people with coronary artery disease. It should contain proven amounts that have shown to be effective in studies. Dosage in these studies ranged between 5-60 grams daily. Study participants with heart problems including angina have taken up to 60 g per day, and the study on the effect of ribose on chronic fatigue syndrome (CFS) and fibromyalgia used 15 g per day. In the study on chronic fatigue syndrome and fibromyalgia, participants took 5 grams of d-ribose 3 times a day. For muscle health; 5 grams with each meal for the first 2 weeks. Is important to use the proper dose for the first 3 weeks. It is 5 grams  three times a day. It can then be dropped to twice a day. D-ribose should be taken just before and just after exercise or activity.

D-Ribose Side Effects

Digestive problems, such as nausea, stomach ache and diarrhea. However these side effects are usually mild and are relatively uncommon. D-ribose will temporarily depress blood sugar several points for an hour after ingestion. When combined with other drugs can lower blood sugar too much.


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