Ribose, also known as D-ribose, is a five-carbon sugar present in the ribonucleic acid (RNA). In the RNA, ribose interchanges with the phosphate groups thereby forming the RNA polymer’s backbone in addition to binding to nitrogenous bases. Nucleotide coenzymes are made up of ribose phosphates and they are micro organisms which employ them during amino acid histidine synthesis.

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Ribose is among the several vital organic compounds present in the human body. The formula of ribose is C5H10O5. Ribose is specially a monosaccharide - a fancy way of describing the simple sugar. Since our body does not get thus kind of simple sugar by consuming any specific food, it makes this sugar naturally.

The word ribose means to enantiomers (a pair of molecules identical to each other). Generally speaking, this term denotes D-ribose which is found extensively in nature. However, L-ribose does not occur in nature. A German chemist named Emil Fisher was the first to report D-ribose in 1891. Basically, Ribose can be described as a five-carbon sugar that is essential for ATP (Adenosine triphosphate) production. It is claimed that taking Ribose supplements helps to enhance performance of athletes as it is supposed to augment work output and, at the same time, facilitates speedy recovery after a vigorous training. It has also been found that ribose helps to augment exercise tolerance in people enduring heart disease. On the contrary, findings of many studies have claimed that taking ribose supplement does not have any impact on the performance of athletes.

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Ribose forms the backbone or the basis of RNS (ribonucleic acid). After it is phosphorylated, this five-carbon sugar becomes vital for establishing as well as sustaining metabolism - a series of reactions that takes place in every living organism. Metabolism is necessary for several vital living processes, which include growth, reproduction, breaking down ingested organic substances to generate energy and response to external stimuli. These suggest that ribose is possibly involved in energy production within the living organisms.

Since ribose is only made up of carbon, oxygen and hydrogen, it can also be referred to as a carbohydrate. This is yet another feature that suggests that ribose may add to energy production. Owing to these specific attributes of ribose, it is naturally popular with people in certain professions like athletics and bodybuilding. Although the human body naturally produces Ribose, the process involved in making this five-carbon sugar is very sluggish. As a result, several pharmaceutical firms have created bodybuilding supplements containing ribose. These ribose supplements are available in the form of powder.

Aside from exercise, physicians make us of this monosaccharide for treating patients suffering from ailments that affect energy production in the body. Such ailments include coronary artery disease, chronic fatigue syndrome, fibromyalgia and several others. In addition, ribose supplements can also aid in preventing crippling symptoms that are usually linked with the hereditary myoadenylate deaminase deficiency, which includes pain, stiffness and cramping following exercise. During this treatment, ribose supplements can be taken intravenously or as dietary supplements.

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It is also a known fact, that while dietary supplements are beneficial, they also have some adverse side effects. Supplementary ribose may offer enhanced endurance, but taking it in excess may also bring down the blood sugar levels alarmingly. In fact, ribose supplementation is particularly hazardous for people who may be suffering from hypoglycemia or diabetes. It is also dangerous for people who may have to undergo surgery for some treatment. In such cases, it is advisable that people should stay away from taking this type of dietary supplements. Since there is absence of adequate research on the benefits and disadvantages of taking ribose supplements, it can be assumed that pregnant women and also those who may become pregnant should try to be safe by staying away from taking ribose supplements.

In fact, there several other situations when one needs to be careful before taking any type of supplement. For instance, ribose is said to interact poorly with aspirin, chloine, propranolol, trisalicylate, salsalate, magnesium and even alcohol because all these drugs have a common potential side effect - bringing down the blood sugar levels. If the blood sugar levels drop abnormally, one may experience nausea, extreme hunger, clammy skin, trembling, tachycardia or even a nervy feeling. In such situations, one should immediately stop taking supplements, especially ribose supplements, and check with a doctor.

Health benefits

Ribose or D-ribose offers us numerous health benefits. This monosaccharide is used by athletes to improve their performance and boost their muscle energy during and after exercise. In addition, it is used for treating symptoms associated with fibromyalgia, chronic fatigue syndrome as well as coronary heart disease. Often ribose is also used to thwart certain symptoms like pain, stiffness and cramping following an exercise regimen by people suffering from AMP deaminase deficiency (also referred to as AMPD deficiency) or myoadenylate deaminase deficiency (also known as MAD). In addition, ribose is also used to enhance the ability to exercise in people suffering from a different inherited disorder known as McArdle's disease.

Occasionally, healthcare providers inject ribose intravenously (through IV), which is a component of an imaging system employed to gauge the extent to which one’s heart muscle has been damaged, especially in people enduring coronary heart disease. Moreover, Ribose has also been injected intravenously in people suffering from myoadenylate deaminase deficiency (MAD) with a view to put off symptoms like pain, stiffness and cramping.

Precisely speaking, ribose is a plain supplement with amazing potential. Perhaps the best attribute of ribose is that it is an extraordinary supplement for curing a number of heart problems. Moreover, it is also very useful in treating cases related to chronic exhaustion.

Actually, ribose is essential in the process involved in adenosine triphosphate production. This energetic source is produced inside the cells of our body. It is worth mentioning here that adenosine triphosphate is essential for several bodily functions like pumping blood from the heart, muscle contraction and also in the thinking process.

It has been established that ribose helps to boost energy. Consumption of this sugar (monosaccharide) may be advantageous in various conditions.

Everyone who has taken ribose supplements has claimed that they experienced enhanced levels of energy. This is the primary reason why most people engaged in different sports prefer to take ribose supplements to boost their energy levels. It has been established that this monosaccharide has the ability to augment strength and stamina too. The sugar levels in the body of several people enduring different heart problems are generally not optimal. From this it can be concluded that people with heart related problems will perform their daily activities better if they take ribose supplement on a regular basis.

Taking ribose supplement has several other health benefits - one of them is that this monosaccharide is an excellent mood stabilizer. The mood of an individual improves after taking ribose supplement and he/she starts feeling better. This is because when the body has sufficient energy, it results not only in happiness, but also improved productivity.

Findings of many studies that examined the potential of ribose supplement intake to reduce pain in specific conditions have shown that people enduring fibromyalgia claimed that they experienced a drastic reduction in pain after they took this supplement. These findings were really amazing.

Ribose has a sweet flavour because it is actually a sugar (a monosaccharide). Hence, many people also use ribose to sweeten their tea or coffee. In fact, this is a far healthier option compared to using regular sugar in tea or coffee.

It is natural that as we age, we become increasingly tired and worn-out. In such a situation, our body is unable to deal with the routine stress and the foods we consume also do not provide us with sufficient levels of energy to carry on with our normal functions effectively as before. In such situations, taking ribose supplements will help to gain power and strength and also combat fatigue and weariness. In fact, taking ribose supplements also help to improve sleep and, at the same time, an individual may experience improvement in his/her mental condition.

It has been found that ribose supplement is an excellent curative for treating restless leg syndrome. People who lead a somewhat sedentary life or whose activities are very limited and do not exercise owing to their heart condition will be benefited if they take ribose supplement on a regular basis. It will help to enhance their energy levels and at the same time improve their mood.

Aside from the health benefits of taking ribose supplement, this monosaccharide does not produce any adverse side effects. Moreover, most people can tolerate it well. However, some people may still experience minor problems in their gastrointestinal (GI) tract. This supplement is available in powdered form and it needs to be mixed with either water or any fruit juice before consumption. The ideal daily dose of this supplement is 5g.

The regimen using ribose supplement is taking it thrice daily for a maximum period of three weeks at a stretch. Following this, one may continue to take the supplement, but it should be taken in the same dosage but only two times daily. It is advisable that you should check with your physician, who will tell you the precise period for which you need to use this supplement.


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