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The Use of D-Ribose in Chronic Fatigue Syndrome and Fibromyalgia: A Pilot Study

  [ 407 votes ]   [ 1 Comment ]
By J.E. Teitelbaum, et al. • www.ProHealth.com • November 29, 2006


Journal: Journal of Alternative and Complementary Medicine. 2006 Nov;12(9):857-862.

Authors and affiliation: Teitelbaum JE, Johnson C, Cyr JS. Fibromyalgia and Fatigue Centers, Dallas, Texas, USA.

PMID: 17109576

Objectives: Fibromyalgia (FMS) and Chronic Fatigue Syndrome (CFS) are debilitating syndromes that are often associated with impaired cellular energy metabolism. As D-ribose has been shown to increase cellular energy synthesis in heart and skeletal muscle, this open-label uncontrolled pilot study was done to evaluate if D-ribose could improve symptoms in Fibromyalgia and/or Chronic Fatigue Syndrome patients.

Design: Forty-one (41) patients with a diagnosis of FMS and/or CFS were given D-ribose, a naturally occurring pentose carbohydrate, at a dose of 5 g t.i.d. for a total of 280 g. All patients completed questionnaires containing discrete visual analog scales and a global assessment pre- and post-D-ribose administration.

Results: D-ribose, which was well-tolerated, resulted in a significant improvement in all five visual analog scale (VAS) categories: energy; sleep; mental clarity; pain intensity; and well-being, as well as an improvement in patients' global assessment. Approximately 66% of patients experienced significant improvement while on D-ribose, with an average increase in energy on the VAS of 45% and an average improvement in overall well-being of 30% (p < 0.0001).

Conclusions: D-ribose significantly reduced clinical symptoms in patients suffering from Fibromyalgia and Chronic Fatigue Syndrome.





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Article Comments Post a Comment

re: pilot study
Posted by: Gerald Campbell PhD
Jul 3, 2012
I don't know if many people closely read this article (not just the abstract above), but I see one major flaw with it right away. They exclude anyone who has used D-ribose at any time in the past. By doing this they are excluding a significant patient population who has tried D-ribose previously and not responded; this could increase the proportion of patients responding and and average extent of response.

There was also no breakdown of how many responded, of CFS vs. FM (altho the raw data is present it is not analyzed or discussed), or of response vs. any of the other data they did (or should have) collected including how long the patient has been ill, age, sex, or any clinical lab tests.

In addition, they cite the "increase" in CFS prevalence without even a mention of the changes in definition and diagnostic criteria in the interim.


Overall, to me this seems more like a product-promotion study than a scientific one.

As a matter of full disclosure, I have CFS for nearly 20 years, and tried D-ribose without any success. I have no financial interest in Corvalen, nor any relationship with any of the authors.

Gerald R. Campbell, Ph.D.
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