Ribose is a type of sugar normally made in the body from glucose. Ribose plays important roles in the synthesis of RNA, DNA, and the energy-containing substance adenosine triphosphate (ATP).
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Our proprietary “Star-Rating” system was developed to help you easily understand the amount of scientific support behind each supplement in relation to a specific health condition. While there is no way to predict whether a vitamin, mineral, or herb will successfully treat or prevent associated health conditions, our unique ratings tell you how well these supplements are understood by the medical community, and whether studies have found them to be effective for other people.
For over a decade, our team has combed through thousands of research articles published in reputable journals. To help you make educated decisions, and to better understand controversial or confusing supplements, our medical experts have digested the science into these three easy-to-follow ratings. We hope this provides you with a helpful resource to make informed decisions towards your health and well-being.
3 StarsReliable and relatively consistent scientific data showing a substantial health benefit.
2 StarsContradictory, insufficient, or preliminary studies suggesting a health benefit or minimal health benefit.
1 StarFor an herb, supported by traditional use but minimal or no scientific evidence. For a supplement, little scientific support.
This supplement has been used in connection with the following health conditions:
Used for Why 2 StarsAnginaRefer to label instructions In one study, men with severe coronary heart disease who took ribose were able to exercise significantly longer than those taking placebo before experiencing chest pain and before abnormalities appeared on their electrocardiogram (ECG).
In a controlled study, men with severe coronary heart disease were given an exercise test, after which they took either 15 grams of or a placebo four times daily for three days. Compared with the initial test, men taking ribose were able to exercise significantly longer before experiencing chest pain and before abnormalities appeared on their electrocardiogram (ECG), but only the ECG changes were significantly improved compared with those in the placebo group. Sports supplement manufacturers recommend 1 to 10 grams per day of ribose, while heart disease patients and people with rare enzyme deficiencies have been given up to 60 grams per day.
1 StarAthletic PerformanceRefer to label instructions Ribose is a type of sugar used by the body to make the energy-containing substance adenosine triphosphate (ATP), which gets depleted during intense exercise. Reports have suggested that taking ribose might increase power during short, intense bouts of exercise.
is a type of sugar used by the body to make the energy-containing substance adenosine triphosphate (ATP). Intense exercise depletes muscle cells of ATP as well as the ATP precursors made from ribose, though these deficits are typically replaced within minutes. Unpublished reports suggested that ribose supplementation might increase power during short, intense bouts of exercise. However, in a double-blind study, exercisers took four grams of ribose four times per day during a six-day strength-training regimen, and no effects on muscle power or ATP recovery in exercised muscles were found. In two other controlled studies, either 10 grams of ribose per day for five days or 8 grams every 12 hours for 36 hours resulted in only minor improvements in some measures of performance during repetitive sprint cycling.
How to Use It
Sports supplement manufacturers recommend 1 to 10 grams per day of ribose.
Where to Find It
Ribose is present in small amounts in many foods of plant or animal origin.
Ribose is not an essential nutrient, therefore deficiencies do not occur.
Interactions with Supplements, Foods, & Other CompoundsAt the time of writing, there were no well-known supplement or food interactions with this supplement.
Interactions with MedicinesAs of the last update, we found no reported interactions between this supplement and medicines. It is possible that unknown interactions exist. If you take medication, always discuss the potential risks and benefits of adding a new supplement with your doctor or pharmacist.The Drug-Nutrient Interactions table may not include every possible interaction. Taking medicines with meals, on an empty stomach, or with alcohol may influence their effects. For details, refer to the manufacturers’ package information as these are not covered in this table. If you take medications, always discuss the potential risks and benefits of adding a supplement with your doctor or pharmacist.
No known side effects have been reported from the use of ribose when consumed in amounts of less than 10 grams per day. Larger amounts may cause gastrointestinal distress such as diarrhea,1 and may lower glucose levels,2 although it is not known whether symptoms of hypoglycemia might result.
- Ribose for Sports & Fitness
1. 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.
2. Gross M, Zollner N. Serum levels of glucose, insulin, and C-peptide during long-term D-ribose administration in man. Klin Wochenschr 1991;69:31-6.
Last Review: 03-24-2015
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The information presented by TraceGains is for informational purposes only. It is based on scientific studies (human, animal, or in vitro), clinical experience, or traditional usage as cited in each article. The results reported may not necessarily occur in all individuals. For many of the conditions discussed, treatment with prescription or over the counter medication is also available. Consult your doctor, practitioner, and/or pharmacist for any health problem and before using any supplements or before making any changes in prescribed medications. Information expires December 2022.