Beta-D-ribofuranose, D-ribosa, D-ribose, Ribosa.
Overview InformationRibose is a kind of sugar that is produced by the body. It is used as a medicine.
Ribose is used for heart disease, mental function, athletic performance, chronic fatigue syndrome (CFS), fibromyalgia, and many other conditions, but there is no good scientific evidence to support these uses.
How does it work?Ribose is an energy source that the body makes from food. There is some evidence that supplemental ribose might prevent muscle fatigue in people with genetic disorders that prevent sufficient energy production by the body. It might provide extra energy to the heart during exercise in people with heart disease.
Uses & Effectiveness
Possibly Effective for
- Heart disease. Giving ribose intravenously (by IV) seems to improve the heart's ability to contract in people with heart disease. Taking ribose by mouth seems to be beneficial for decreasing chest pain and improving the heart's ability to manage low blood flow in people with heart disease.
- Congestive heart failure (CHF). Taking ribose by mouth seems to improve quality of life and some measures of heart function in people with CHF.
Possibly Ineffective for
- Athletic performance. Taking ribose by mouth, alone or with other supplements, does not seem to improve power, muscle strength, or athletic performance in trained or untrained people.
Likely InEffective for
- A rare, inherited disorder that causes muscle pain and cramping (McArdle disease). Taking ribose by mouth does not appear to improve exercise ability in people with McArdle disease.
Insufficient Evidence for
- Chronic fatigue syndrome (CFS). Some early research shows that taking ribose by mouth might improve energy, sleep, and sense of well-being in people with CFS.
- Surgery to improve blood flow to the heart (CABG surgery). Some early research shows that people who take ribose by mouth immediately before surgery have better heart function after surgery.
- Fibromyalgia. Early research shows that taking ribose by mouth can improve energy, sleep, sense of well-being, and pain in people with fibromyalgia.
- Memory and thinking skills (cognitive function). Early research shows that taking ribose by mouth does not appear to improve mental function during tasks that cause mental tiredness.
- An inherited disease that affects muscles used for movement (myoadenylate deaminase deficiency or MAD). Research in a few people with MAD suggests that taking ribose by mouth might help prevent cramping, pain, and stiffness after exercise.
- A disorder that causes leg discomfort and an irresistible urge to move the legs (restless legs syndrome or RLS). Some early research shows that taking ribose by mouth with meals improves symptoms of restless legs syndrome.
- Seizures not caused by epilepsy. Some early research shows that taking ribose by mouth might improve behavior and reduce the number of seizures in people with seizures caused by a deficiency of the chemical adenylosuccinase.
Side Effects & SafetyWhen taken by mouth: Ribose is LIKELY SAFE for most people when taken for up to 3 weeks. It can cause some side effects including diarrhea, stomach discomfort, nausea, headache, and low blood sugar. There isn't enough reliable information to know if ribose is safe to use for longer than 3 weeks.
When given by IV: Ribose is LIKELY SAFE when administered by a healthcare provider.
Special Precautions & Warnings:Pregnancy and breast-feeding: There isn't enough reliable information to know if ribose is safe to use when pregnant or breast-feeding. Stay on the safe side and avoid use.
Diabetes: Ribose might lower blood sugar. When used along with diabetes medications that lower blood sugar, it might make blood sugar drop too low. It's best not to use ribose if you have diabetes.
Surgery: Since ribose might lower blood sugar, there is a concern that it might interfere with blood sugar control during and after surgery. Stop taking ribose at least 2 weeks before a scheduled surgery.
Be cautious with this combination
Insulin interacts with RIBOSE
Ribose might decrease blood sugar. Insulin is also used to decrease blood sugar. Taking ribose along with insulin might cause your blood sugar to be too low. Monitor your blood sugar closely. The dose of your insulin might need to be changed.
Medications for diabetes (Antidiabetes drugs) interacts with RIBOSE
Ribose might decrease blood sugar. Diabetes medications are also used to lower blood sugar. Taking ribose along with diabetes medications might cause your blood sugar to go too low. Monitor your blood sugar closely. The dose of your diabetes medication might need to be changed.
Some medications used for diabetes include glimepiride (Amaryl), glyburide (DiaBeta, Glynase PresTab, Micronase), insulin, pioglitazone (Actos), rosiglitazone (Avandia), chlorpropamide (Diabinese), glipizide (Glucotrol), tolbutamide (Orinase), and others.
Be watchful with this combination
Alcohol interacts with RIBOSE
Alcohol might decrease your blood sugar. Ribose might also decrease your blood sugar. Taking ribose along with alcohol might cause your blood sugar to go too low.
Aspirin interacts with RIBOSE
Ribose might decrease blood sugar. Large amounts of aspirin might also decrease blood sugar. Taking ribose along with large amounts of aspirin might cause your blood sugar to go too low. But this interaction probably isn't a big concern for most people that take 81 mg of aspirin a day.
Choline Magnesium Trisalicylate (Trilisate) interacts with RIBOSE
Choline magnesium trisalicylate (Trilisate) might decrease your blood sugar. Ribose might also decrease blood sugar. Taking ribose along with choline magnesium trisalicylate (Trilisate) might cause your blood sugar to be too low. But it is not clear if this interaction is a big concern.
Propranolol (Inderal) interacts with RIBOSE
Propanolol (Inderal) might decrease blood sugar. Ribose might also decrease blood sugar. Taking ribose along with propanolol (Inderal) might cause your blood sugar to go too low.
Salsalate (Disalcid) interacts with RIBOSE
Large amounts of salsalate (Disalcid) can cause blood sugar to become low. Taking salsalate along with ribose might cause blood sugar to become too low.
The following doses have been studied in scientific research:
- For heart disease: 60 grams daily for 3 days has been taken under the direction of a healthcare provider.
- Congestive heart failure (CHF): 5 grams three times daily has been taken for up to 8 weeks.
- For heart disease: A 10% ribose solution may be given at a dose determined by a healthcare provider.
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- Earnest, C. P., Morss, G. M., Wyatt, F., Jordan, A. N., Colson, S., Church, T. S., Fitzgerald, Y., Autrey, L., Jurca, R., and Lucia, A. Effects of a commercial herbal-based formula on exercise performance in cyclists. Med Sci Sports Exerc. 2004;36(3):504-509. View abstract.
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- Gunning, M. G., Clunie, G., Bradley, J., Gupta, N. K., Bomanji, J. B., and Ell, P. J. Slow bolus injection of ribose in the identification of thallium-201 redistribution following combined adenosine/dynamic exercise stress. Eur.Heart J 1996;17(9):1438-1443. View abstract.
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- Kendler, B. S. Supplemental conditionally essential nutrients in cardiovascular disease therapy. J Cardiovasc.Nurs. 2006;21(1):9-16. View abstract.
- MacCarter, D., Vijay, N., Washam, M., Shecterle, L., Sierminski, H., and St Cyr, J. A. D-ribose aids advanced ischemic heart failure patients. Int J Cardiol. 9-11-2009;137(1):79-80. View abstract.
- Pauly, D. F. and Pepine, C. J. D-Ribose as a supplement for cardiac energy metabolism. J Cardiovasc.Pharmacol.Ther. 2000;5(4):249-258. View abstract.
- Quinlivan, R. M. and Beynon, R. J. Pharmacological and nutritional treatment trials in McArdle disease. Acta Myol. 2007;26(1):58-60. View abstract.
- Salerno, C., D'Eufemia, P., Finocchiaro, R., Celli, M., Spalice, A., Iannetti, P., Crifo, C., and Giardini, O. Effect of D-ribose on purine synthesis and neurological symptoms in a patient with adenylosuccinase deficiency. Biochim.Biophys.Acta 1-6-1999;1453(1):135-140. View abstract.
- Sawada, S. G., Lewis, S., Kovacs, R., Khouri, S., Gradus-Pizlo, I., St Cyr, J. A., and Feigenbaum, H. Evaluation of the anti-ischemic effects of D-ribose during dobutamine stress echocardiography: a pilot study. Cardiovasc.Ultrasound 2009;7:5. View abstract.
- Shecterle, L., Kasubick, R., and St, Cyr J. D-ribose benefits restless legs syndrome. J Altern.Complement Med 2008;14(9):1165-1166. View abstract.
- Zimmer, H. G., Ibel, H., Suchner, U., and Schad, H. Ribose intervention in the cardiac pentose phosphate pathway is not species-specific. Science 2-17-1984;223(4637):712-714. View abstract.
- Berardi JM, Ziegenfuss TN. Effects of ribose supplementation on repeated sprint performance in men. J Strength Cond Res 2003;17:47-52. View abstract.
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- Chatham JC, John Challiss RA, Radda GK, et al. Studies of the protective effect of ribose in myocardial ischaemia by using P31-nuclear-magnetic-resonance spectroscopy. Biochem Soc Trans 1985;13:885-6.
- Dunne L, Worley S, Macknin M. Ribose versus dextrose supplementation, association with rowing performance: a double-blind study. Clin J Sport Med 2006;16:68-71. View abstract.
- Falk DJ, Heelan KA, Thyfault JP, Koch AJ. Effects of effervescent creatine, ribose, and glutamine supplementation on muscular strength, muscular endurance, and body composition. Strength Cond Res 2003;17:810-6. View abstract.
- Foker JE, Einzig S, Wang T. Adenosine metabolism and myocardial preservation. Consequences of adenosine catabolism on myocardial high-energy compounds and tissue blood flow. J Thorac Cardiovasc Surg 1980;80:506-16. View abstract.
- Fox IH, Kelley WN. Phosphoribosylpyrophosphate in man: biochemical and clinical significance. Ann Intern Med 1971;74:424-33. View abstract.
- Geisbuhler TP, Schwager TL. Ribose-enhanced synthesis of UTP, CTP, and GTP from parent nucleosides in cardiac myocytes. J Mol Cell Cardiol 1998;30:879-87. View abstract.
- 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. View abstract.
- Hegewald MG, Palac RT, Angello DA, et al. Ribose infusion accelerates thallium redistribution with early imaging compared with late 24-hour imaging without ribose. J Am Coll Cardiol 1991;18:1671-81. View abstract.
- Hellsten-Westing Y, Norman B, Balsom PD, et al. Decreased resting levels of adenine nucleotides in human skeletal muscle after high-intensity training. J Appl Physiol 1993;74:2523-8. View abstract.
- Kerksick C, Rasmussen C, Bowden R, et al. Effects of ribose supplementation prior to and during intense exercise on anaerobic capacity and metabolic markers. Int J Sport Nutr Exerc Metab 2005;15:653-64. View abstract.
- Kreider RB, Melton C, Greenwood M, et al. Effects of oral D-ribose supplementation on anaerobic capacity and selected metabolic markers in healthy males. Int J Sport Nutr Exerc Metab 2003;13:76-86. View abstract.
- Muller C, Zimmer HG, Gross M, et al. Effect of ribose on cardiac adenine nucleotides in a donor model for heart transplantation. Eur J Med Res 1998;3:554-8. View abstract.
- Omran H, Illien S, MacCarter D, et al. D-Ribose improves diastolic function and quality of life in congestive heart failure patients: a prospective feasibility study. Eur J Heart Fail 2003;5:615-9. View abstract.
- Op 't Eijnde B, Van Leemputte M, Brouns F, et al. No effects of oral ribose supplementation on repeated maximal exercise and de novo ATP resynthesis. J Appl Physiol 2001;91:2275-81. View abstract.
- Pasque MK, Spray TL, Pellom GL, et al. Ribose-enhanced myocardial recovery following ischemia in the isolated working rat heart. J Thorac Cardiovasc Surg 1982;83:390-8. View abstract.
- Pasque MK, Wechsler AS. Metabolic intervention to affect myocardial recovery following ischemia. Ann Surg 1984;200:1-12. View abstract.
- Perkowski D, Wagner S, Marcus A, St. Cyr J. Ribose enhances ventricular function following off pump coronary artery bypass surgery. J Altern Complement Med 2005;11:745.
- Perlmutter NS, Wilson RA, Angello DA, et al. Ribose facilitates thallium-201 redistribution in patients with coronary artery disease. J Nucl Med 1991;32:193-200. View abstract.
- Peveler WW, Bishop PA, Whitehorn EJ. Effects of ribose as an ergogenic aid. J Strength Cond Res 2006;20:519-22. View abstract.
- Pliml W, von Arnim T, Stalein A, et al. Effects of ribose on excercise-induced ischaemia in stable coronary artery disease. Lancet 1992;340:507-10. View abstract.
- Segal S, Foley J. The metabolism of D-ribose in man. J Clin Invest 1958;37:719-35.
- Seifert JG, Brumet A, St Cyr JA. The influence of D-ribose ingestion and fitness level on performance and recovery. J Int Soc Sports Nutr. 2017 Dec 20;14:47. View abstract.
- Seifert JG, Subudhi AW, Fu MX, et al. The role of ribose on oxidative stress during hypoxic exercise: a pilot study. J Med Food 2009;12(3):690-3. View abstract.
- St Cyr JA, Bianco RW, Schneider JR, et al. Enhanced high energy phosphate recovery with ribose infusion after global myocardial ischemia in a canine model. J Surg Res 1989;46:157-62. View abstract.
- Stathis CG, Febbraio MA, Carey MF, et al. Influence of sprint training on human skeletal muscle purine nucleotide metabolism. J Appl Physiol 1994;76:1802-9. View abstract.
- Steele IC, Patterson VH, Nicholls DP. A double blind, placebo controlled, crossover trial of D-ribose in McArdle's disease. J Neurol Sci 1996;136:174-7. View abstract.
- Teitelbaum JE, Johnson C, St Cyr J. The use of D-ribose in chronic fatigue syndrome and fibromyalgia: a pilot study. J Altern Complement Med 2006;12:857-62. View abstract.
- Thompson J, Neutel J, Homer K, Tempero K, Shah A, Khankari R. Evaluation of D-ribose pharmacokinetics, dose proportionality, food effect, and pharmacodynamics after oral solution administration in healthy male and female subjects. J Clin Pharmacol 2014;54(5):546-54. View abstract.
- Tullson PC, Bangsbo J, Hellsten Y, et al. IMP metabolism in human skeletal after exhaustive exercise. J Appl Physiol 1995;78:146-52. View abstract.
- Wagner DR, Felbel J, Gresser U, et al. Muscle metabolism and red cell ATP/ADP concentration during bicycle ergometer in patients with AMPdeficiency. Klin Wochenschr 1991;69:251-5. View abstract.
- Wagner DR, Gresser U, Zollner N. Effects of oral ribose on muscle metabolism during bicycle ergometer in AMPD-deficient patients. Ann Nutr Metab 1991;35:297-302. View abstract.
- Ward HB, St Cyr JA, Cogordan JA. Recovery of adenine nucleotide levels after global myocardial ischemia in dogs. Surgery 1984;96:248-55. View abstract.
- Zollner N, Reiter S, Gross M, et al. Myoadenylate deaminase deficiency: successful symptomatic therapy by high dose oral administration of ribose. Klin Wochenschr 1986;64:1281-90. View abstract.
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