• AMPD (Congenital Myoadenylate Deaminase Deficiency),
• Duchenne Muscular Dystrophy, McArdle’s Disease,
Ribose is a carbohydrate vital for the body's manufacture of ATP (adenosine triphosphate), which is the major source of energy used by our cells.
Quite a few studies have been done on ribose, mostly relating to its potential usefulness for individuals with heart disease. When the heart is starved for oxygen, as can occur with a
Ribose is better known as a
Ribose is not an essential nutrient. Although it is a common sugar present in the bodies of animals and plants, food sources don't supply recommended dosages.
Typical doses recommended by sports supplement manufacturers are 1 to 10 g per day. Participants in a study of heart disease took 60 g of ribose in water (15 mg, 4 times a day) by mouth for 3 days. 2
Typically provided as a powder to be dissolved in water or in liquid form, ribose is also available commercially in capsules. The dissolved powder has a sweetish taste that some people find unpleasant.
Ribose may be of benefit in improving exercise tolerance in people with angina
Sports enthusiasts are more interested in ATP's effects on regular muscles than on the heart muscle. At least one animal study seems to show that skeletal muscle, like heart muscle, replenishes ATP more quickly when ribose is added to the blood.
In a few case reports, ribose apparently has produced an increase in exercise ability in people with a rare condition involving deficiency of the enzyme myoadenylate deaminase (AMPD).
What Is the Scientific Evidence for Ribose?
Individuals with sufficiently severe coronary artery disease suffer reduced blood flow to the heart (ischemia) with exercise and experience
pain. One small study examined whether giving ribose can improve exercise tolerance for people with angina.
Another small placebo-controlled study enrolled people with coronary artery disease and
There are no reports of lasting or damaging side effects from ribose, but formal safety studies have not yet been conducted. Reported minor side effects include diarrhea, gastrointestinal discomfort, nausea, and headache. 13
11. Griffiths RD, Cady EB, Edwards RH, et al. Muscle energy- metabolism in Duchenne dystrophy studied by 31P-NMR: controlled trials show no effect of allopurinol or ribose. Muscle Nerve . 1985;8:760-767.
16. Kreider RB, Melton C, Greenwood M, et al. Effects of oral D-ribose supplementation on anaerobic capacity and selected metabolic markers in healthy males. Int J Sport Nutr Exerc Metab . 2003;13:87-96.
17. Omran H, Illien S, MacCarter D, et al. D-Ribose improves diastolic function and quality of life in congestive heart failure patients: a prospective feasibility study. Eur J Heart Fail . 2003;5:615-619.
18. Kerksick C, Rasmussen C, Bowden R, et al. Effects of ribose supplementation prior to and during intense exercise on anaerobic capacity and metabolic markers. Int J Sport Nutr Exerc Metab . 2006;15:653-664.
Last reviewed April 2009 by EBSCO CAM Medical Review Board
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