From MEpedia, a crowd-sourced encyclopedia of ME and CFS science and history

Ribose is a carbohydrate with the formula C5H10O5, that exists in two forms: D-ribose, which occurs in nature and L-ribose, which is the mirror image of D-ribose and does not occur in nature.[1]

D-ribose is a building block used by the cells in one of the chemical pathways that makes the energy molecule, ATP.[2]

D-ribose comes in powder form, tastes sweet, and can used as a sugar substitute in drinks or on cereal.[3]

Use in ME/CFS and FM[edit | edit source]

It is used as a supplement to help boost muscle energy, such as for athletes and people with ME/CFS, Fibromyalgia, and congestive heart failure.[citation needed][4] The theory is that if one supplies the body with the precursors to ATP, then it will be easier for the body to make ATP.[2] Patients with chronic fatigue syndrome/myalgic encephalomyelitis are thought to be deficient in ATP or suffer from mitochondrial dysfunction.[citation needed]

Sources[edit | edit source]

Supplemental d-ribose is manufactured from corn, so is to be avoided by those with corn allergies or insensitivities.[2]

ME/CFS and Fibromyalgia[edit | edit source]

In 2008, a pilot study of 41 patients with ME/CFS or fibromyalgia by Jacob Teitelbaum stated that in: "Approximately 66% of patients experienced significant improvement while on D-ribose [at a dose of 5g, three times a day], with an average increase in energy on the VAS [visual analog scale categories: energy; sleep; mental clarity; and pain intensity] of 45% and an average improvement in overall well-being of 30% (p < 0.0001)." The study authors concluded that "D-ribose significantly reduced clinical symptoms in patients suffering from fibromyalgia and chronic fatigue syndrome".[5] A follow-up study by Teitelbaum and colleagues (2012) lead to similar results.[6] Neither study was placebo controlled.

Notable studies[edit | edit source]

  • 2012, Treatment of Chronic Fatigue Syndrome and Fibromyalgia with D-Ribose– An Open-label, Multicenter Study[6] (Abstract)
  • 2006, The Use of D-Ribose in Chronic Fatigue Syndrome and Fibromyalgia: A Pilot Study[5] (Abstract)

Risks and side effects[edit | edit source]

Oral D-Ribose intake is linked to memory loss, anxiety, and Aβ-like deposits associated with Alzheimer’s in mice.[7][8]

D-ribose lowers blood sugar.[9]

Learn more[edit | edit source]

See also[edit | edit source]

References[edit | edit source]

  1. "Ribose | Structure, Properties, Synthesis, Facts & Summary". April 14, 2020. Retrieved June 10, 2024.
  2. 2.0 2.1 2.2 "D-ribose". Doctor Myhill. Retrieved December 19, 2022.
  3. McMillen, Matt. "Ribose: Uses and Risks". WebMD. Retrieved December 19, 2022.
  4. Omran, Heyder; McCarter, Dean; St Cyr, John; Lüderitz, Berndt (2004). "D-ribose aids congestive heart failure patients". Experimental & Clinical Cardiology. 9 (2): 117–118. ISSN 1205-6626. PMC 2716264. PMID 19641697.
  5. 5.0 5.1 Teitelbaum, Jacob E.; Johnson, Clarence; St Cyr, John (November 2006), "The use of D-ribose in chronic fatigue syndrome and fibromyalgia: a pilot study", Journal of Alternative and Complementary Medicine (New York, N.Y.), 12 (9): 857–862, doi:10.1089/acm.2006.12.857, ISSN 1075-5535, PMID 17109576
  6. 6.0 6.1 Teitelbaum, Jacob (June 27, 2012). "Treatment of Chronic Fatigue Syndrome and Fibromyalgia with D-Ribose– An Open-label, Multicenter Study". The Open Pain Journal. 5 (1): 32–37. doi:10.2174/1876386301205010032.
  7. Wu, Beibei; Wei, Yan; Wang, Yujing; Su, Tao; Zhou, Lei; Liu, Ying; He, Rongqiao (October 7, 2015). "Gavage of D-Ribose induces Aβ-like deposits, Tau hyperphosphorylation as well as memory loss and anxiety-like behavior in mice". Oncotarget. 6 (33): 34128–34142. ISSN 1949-2553. PMC 4741441. PMID 26452037.
  8. Han, C.; Lu, Y.; Wei, Y.; Wu, B.; Liu, Y.; He, R. (March 2014). "D -ribosylation induces cognitive impairment through RAGE-dependent astrocytic inflammation". Cell Death & Disease. 5 (3): e1117–e1117. doi:10.1038/cddis.2014.89. ISSN 2041-4889.
  9. Segal, Stanton; Foley, Joseph (May 1, 1958). "THE METABOLISM OF D-RIBOSE IN MAN". Journal of Clinical Investigation. 37 (5): 719–735. doi:10.1172/JCI103658. ISSN 0021-9738. PMC 293144. PMID 13539215.