What is ribose?
D-ribose is a simple 5-carbon monosaccharide used by all living cells as an essential compound in cellular energy metabolism. Ribose, needed to synthesize adenine nucleotides, is the carbohydrate backbone of genetic material – DNA and RNA, certain vitamins, and other important cellular compounds.*
Without ribose, tissues could not produce these lifegiving compounds. Adenine nucleotides are required by tissues to make adenosine triphosphate (ATP), the primary source of energy used by all cells to maintain normal health and function. When the pool of adenine nucleotides are reduced, the level of energy available to the cell is compromised.*
Unfortunately, many tissues, do not have the metabolic machinery to make ribose quickly when it is needed to rebuild energy levels that might have been reduced. As such, when these tissues come under metabolic stress, they may not be able to adequately maintain energy pools. A reduced capacity for energy maintenance may impact tissue health and normal function.*
Who needs supplemental ribose?
Everyone needs ribose. It is an essential ingredient in stimulating natural energy production. Research has shown that ribose supports cardiovascular health, and helps support athletes. Ribose helps maximize energy recovery. Whether you are a trained athlete, or a weekend warrior, ribose may help give the energy support your body needs.*
How is ribose made in the body?
All the necessary compounds for life are made in the body through a series of complicated biochemical metabolic pathways. Ribose is no different. In the body, ribose is made from glucose (a simple 6-carbon sugar) through a pathway called the Pentose Phosphate Pathway (PPP) or Hexose Monophosphate Shunt (HMS). This is the same pathway that makes xylitol, a six carbon sugar. Unfortunately, some cells important enzymes that regulate the activity of this pathway are lacking. As such, forming ribose in those cells can be a slow process. As a result, those cell’s tissues are unable to replace energy pools quickly once they have been depleted. *
How does the body derive cellular energy from ribose?
The physiologically functional form of ribose, called 5- phosphoribosyl-1-pyrophosphate (PRPP), regulates the metabolic pathway that synthesizes energy compounds in all living tissue. If this compound is not available in sufficient quantity, energy synthesis slows.*
How does taking supplemental ribose aid in increasing cellular energy?
If the cellular energy pool is depleted it must be replaced. PRPP is required to turn on the metabolic pathway used by the body to replenish these energy pools. Supplemental ribose bypasses the slow and rate limiting Pentose Phosphate Pathway, forms PRPP, and quickly begins the process of energy synthesis.*
What is the recommended daily dosage of ribose?
For energy enhancement, ½ to 1 teaspoon (about 2 – 5 grams) is generally adequate. Ribose is mildly sweet and completely soluble. It mixes easily with your favorite juice, milk, PaleoMeal or other cold foods such as yogurt.*
To maximize athletic performance, or to keep energy pools high during strenuous activity, slightly larger doses may be required. Ribose should be taken just before and just after exercise or activity. For extended exercise, an additional 1 – 2 grams per hour of exercise or activity may be helpful. It’s great in your water bottle! You’ll forget it’s there but your body won’t.*
What will ribose do for someone who exercises on a regular basis?
Scientific research shows that three or four workouts per week may not allow enough rest time between sessions for energy pools to return to normal levels. Taking Ribose shortens the time needed to replace energy that is lost through vigorous exercise.*
Does ribose work with carnitine or other supplements?
Ribose can increase the effect of other energy supplements by keeping the energy pool at full capacity. So, combining ribose with carnitine, a nutrient that increases energy production, makes total sense. Carnitine increases the burning of fat as a fuel source (fatty acid metabolism). Only ribose helps to maintain the pool of energy in the cell. Without adequate levels of energy to work with, no other supplement can be fully effective.*
Why is the use of ribose on the rise?
Traditionally, ribose has been very expensive to produce making it difficult to offer as a nutritional supplement. New technology has brought production costs down. Bottom Line: Ribose is cutting edge.*
- Zimmer HG, Ibel H, Suchner U, Schad H. Ribose intervention in the cardiac pentose phosphate pathway is not species-specific. Science 1984;223:712–4.
- Zimmer HG, Ibel H. Ribose accelerates the repletion of the ATP pool during recovery from reversible ischemia of the rat myocardium. J Mol Cell Cardiol 1984;16:863–6.
- Kavazis AN, Sobota JS, Kivipelto J, et al. Ribose supplementation in maximally exercising Thoroughbreds. Equine Vet J Suppl 2002;34:191–6.
- Pauly DF, Pepine CJ. D-Ribose as a supplement for cardiac energy metabolism. J Cardiovasc Pharmacol Ther 2000;5:249–58.
- Gross M, Reiter S, Zollner N. Metabolism of D-ribose administered continuously to healthy persons and to patients with myoadenylate deaminase deficiency. Klin Wochenschr 1989;67:1205–13.
- Gross M, Zollner N. Serum levels of glucose, insulin, and C-peptide during long-term D-ribose administration in man. Klin Wochenschr 1991;69:31–6.