More than ever before, Americans are in an energy slump. Fatigue, sluggishness, and general feelings of exhaustion are common complaints. But there's good news for those who need a boost. Clinical studies are showing that D-ribose, a unique, five-carbon sugar, can help regenerate energy levels in tired muscles, including our hearts.
Unlike glucose, D-ribose has an important relationship with DNA, RNA, and ATP, the “energy currency” of the cells. ATP is crucial for maintaining the integrity and function of every cell, which is necessary for day-to-day health. Ribose is one of the essential components of the ATP molecule.
Everyday situations arise in which cellular energy levels are lowered, which can ultimately affect functional performance. Although ribose is made naturally inside the body, its production is slow and limited by several enzymes that are in short supply in heart and muscle cells.
Normally, this is not a problem except when hearts or muscles are challenged by the stress of exercise or lack of oxygen due to cardiovascular disease, circulatory disorders, ‘chronic fatigue syndrome’ (ME/CFS) or fibromyalgia (see
“Many FM & ME/CFS patients in D-ribose study report quality of life improvements”). If the energy metabolism process isn't working properly, it drains energy reserves and depletes the cellular energy pool. This frequently leads to pain, soreness, stiffness and an overall feeling of fatigue.
Supplementing these stressed cells with D-ribose restores cellular energy.
“Ribose has shown a benefit in medical conditions in which ATP levels are compromised, and also in individuals undergoing high-intensity exercise sessions,” says John St. Cyr, MD, PhD, medical director of Bioenergy Life Science. “D-ribose is being used in the medical field, so it's fair to say that it could be of significant importance for the recovery of ATP levels in the muscles of weekend warriors and athletes.”
For example, research from Harvard Medical School has examined the effect of endurance sports on cardiovascular health, focusing specifically on marathon running and cardiac (heart) function. Some marathon runners have been shown to have an abnormality in their heart function if their training period does not exceed 40 miles per week. Since ribose has been shown to aid in cardiac functional recovery, the supplementation of this ingredient for runners and others engaging in rigorous exercise could offer the needed benefits by increasing deficient cellular energy stores.
Serious athletes, “weekend warriors,” and those who experience the afternoon slump all experience benefits from D-ribose. According to Jose Antonio, PhD, CEO of the International Society of Sports Nutrition, “Previous work I conducted on the dietary supplement ribose demonstrated that regular supplementation helped muscular performance in a group of recreational bodybuilders. Thus, there may be an application for this special sugar throughout the athletic population.”
“I have incorporated D-Ribose into my plan along with a well-balanced diet and it has really improved my performance,” says Eric “Booty” Butorac, international tennis doubles champion. “My energy levels in both practice and match play are not only higher, but much more consistent.” Butorac and teammate Jamie Murray ranked #14 in the world as a doubles team in 2007.
Source: News releases, Bioenergy Life Science, Minneapolis