D-ribose is a type of sugar that is commonly produced and sold as an oral supplement. What exactly is this technical-sounding supplement, and what does it do? How might you benefit from supplementing with it? Here, we answer those and other questions.
What is D-Ribose?
D-ribose is a type of sugar that plays a structural role in bodily compounds that produce energy, and in DNA. D-ribose is a pentose sugar, meaning that it contains five atoms of carbon in its ring structure. It binds to nucleic acids, playing a role in the production of ATP (adenosine triphosphate) and other energy-producing compounds.
D-ribose is produced naturally within the body, and it is absolutely instrumental to the energy production of cells. This is because of its contribution to ATP production, and ATP is the most essential compound that your body uses for energy. D-ribose can also be consumed from some plant and animal food sources.
Healthy Benefits of D-Ribose
There are different specific reasons that someone might want to supplement with d-ribose. Here we take a look at some potential benefits of this important compound. There is scientific evidence for the benefits of supplementing with d-ribose, although it is considered limited. We recommend you always talk to your medical provider before supplementing with d-ribose, or any other supplement for that matter.
Managing chronic fatigue and/or fibromyalgia: D-ribose has the potential to improve energy levels and mood in persons with fibromyalgia, or with chronic fatigue. One study also showed d-ribose supplements being associated with a reduction of sleep difficulty and pain in persons with one of these conditions. D-ribose’s positive effect on energy production is believed to be the reason why.
Supporting heart health, specifically in those who have experienced myocardial ischemia in the past, is a potential benefit of supplementing with d-ribose. This is because it bolsters the amount of energy in cells, which supports blood flow to the heart and heart function.
Muscle recovery: The ATP-contributing nature of d-ribose has been shown to help in muscle recovery according to at least one study. Taking an excess of d-ribose during multiple days after strenuous exercise is best in order to experience this effect.
Improving exercise performance in persons with low fitness levels, or persons who have certain diseases, might be done by supplementing with d-ribose. Increased power output and lower perceived exertion were observed in some studies, while no benefits were shown in others.
The importance of d-ribose to cellular ATP production and energy levels makes it specifically beneficial to those with certain conditions, or those who want to bolster their muscular recovery after exercise. If one of these applies to you, then consider taking d-ribose, as it could make a meaningful difference in your health and even your comfort.