Ribose

What other names is Ribose known by?

Beta-D-ribofuranose, D-ribosa, D-ribose, Ribosa.

What is Ribose?

Ribose is a kind of sugar that is produced by the body. It is used as a medicine.

Ribose is used to improve athletic performance and the ability to exercise by boosting muscle energy. It has also been used to improve symptoms of chronic fatigue syndrome (CFS), fibromyalgia, and coronary artery disease. Ribose has been used to prevent symptoms such as cramping, pain, and stiffness after exercise in people with an inherited disorder called myoadenylate deaminase deficiency (MAD) or AMP deaminase deficiency (AMPD deficiency). Ribose has also been used to improve exercise ability in people with another inherited disorder called McArdle's disease.

Healthcare providers sometimes give ribose intravenously (by IV) as part of an imaging procedure used to measure the extent of damaged heart muscle in people with coronary artery disease. Ribose has also been used intravenously in patients with MAD to prevent symptoms such as cramping, pain, and stiffness.

Possibly Effective for...

  • Clogged heart arteries (coronary artery disease). Taking ribose by mouth seems to be effective for improving the heart's ability to manage low blood flow in people with coronary artery disease.
  • Myoadenylate deaminase deficiency (MAD). Taking ribose by mouth or intravenously seems to be effective for preventing symptoms such as cramping, pain, and stiffness after exercise in people with MAD, also known as AMP deaminase deficiency (AMPD deficiency).

Possibly Ineffective for...

  • Athletic performance. Research suggests that taking ribose supplements by mouth, alone or with other supplements, does not increase power or improve muscle strength in trained or untrained individuals.

Likely Ineffective for...

  • McArdle's disease (a genetic metabolic disorder). Research shows that taking ribose by mouth does not improve exercise ability in people with McArdle's disease.

Insufficient Evidence to Rate Effectiveness for...

  • Chronic fatigue syndrome (CFS). Early research suggests that taking a ribose supplement (CORvalen, Valen Labs) by mouth might improve energy, sleep, and sense of well-being in people with chronic fatigue syndrome.
  • Mental function. Early research suggests that taking ribose by mouth for 8 days does not improve performance during tasks that cause mental fatigue.
  • Congestive heart failure (CHF). Early research suggests that people with congestive heart failure who take a ribose by mouth for 3 weeks have better heart function and improved quality of life.
  • Coronary artery bypass graft (CABG) surgery. Early research shows that people who take a ribose supplement by mouth immediately before surgery have better heart function after surgery.
  • Fibromyalgia. Early research suggests that taking a specific ribose supplement (CORvalen, Valen Labs) by mouth can improve energy, sleep, and sense of well-being and decrease pain in people with fibromyalgia.
  • Restless leg syndrome. Limited evidence suggests that taking ribose by mouth with meals improves symptoms in people with restless leg syndrome.
  • Seizures. Early research suggests that taking ribose by mouth might improve behavior and reduce seizure frequency in people with seizures caused by a deficiency of the chemical adenylosuccinase.
  • Other conditions.
More evidence is needed to rate the effectiveness of ribose for these uses.

Natural Medicines Comprehensive Database rates effectiveness based on scientific evidence according to the following scale: Effective, Likely Effective, Possibly Effective, Possibly Ineffective, Likely Ineffective, and Insufficient Evidence to Rate (detailed description of each of the ratings).


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