What is D-Ribose?

Before talking about D-Ribose in detail, let us first understand what it is. D-Ribose or ribose is a type of simple sugar or carbohydrate made in our bodies. The compound ATP (adenosine triphosphate) which supplies energy to the cells of our body, also contains D-Ribose in huge amounts. 

D-ribose is also used to make nicotinamide adenine dinucleotide (NAD) and flavin adenine dinucleotide (FAD), two of the important molecules involved in cellular respiration. Apart from this, D-ribose is also the key structural basis of the RNA and DNA found in our bodies.

Why is Ribose important for the body?

Although D-ribose is naturally produced in our bodies, a lot of people also take extra ribose through external sources. Most people who exercise a lot or sportspersons or athletes are consumers of ribose. 

Ribose has been suggested to be helpful for people with heart conditions like coronary artery disease. Studies suggest that ribose and its supplements can help boost the amount of exercise that heart patients can comfortably do. By bringing the ATP levels in the body back to normal, ribose can help patients after they have experienced a heart attack or an angina episode.

Ribose is also known to contribute towards increasing the body’s energy and endurance, fasten post-workout recovery, and reduce fatigues in the muscles. It can be used to prevent post-workout cramps and pain, and APMD deficiency. 

Foods rich in D-ribose

Here is a list of some food items that are rich in D-ribose:

  • Mushrooms
  • Milk
  • Eggs
  • Cheese (cheddar cheese and cream cheese)
  • Yogurt
  • Sardines
  • Beef
  • Anchovies

What are the health benefits of D-ribose?

It would be futile to talk all about it and not discuss the benefits of D-ribose. Although there are limited scientific evidence and research to conclusively prove them, D-ribose has been linked to a lot of potential health benefits. Here is a list of some great benefits that ribose can offer, according to all the research that has been conducted on the compound.

  1. Boosts athletic performance:
Smile corporate skyscraper teeth bare

Ribose supplements are widely known for boosting athletic performance and for enhancing endurance during workouts and exercises. It can work to improve the inadequate supply of blood to different organs and tissues of the body after you go through high-intensity workouts.

However, it must be noted that two small studies conducted in 2001 have suggested otherwise and say that ribose would have no beneficial impacts on athletic performance.

More evidence on the same is still needed.

  1. Fibromyalgia and chronic fatigue syndrome:

D-ribose has shown good results in the treatment of diseases like fibromyalgia and chronic fatigue syndrome (CFS or ME-CFS).  Studies also suggest that patients of these diseases, when given ribose supplements, can work to uplift the overall mood as well as the energy levels of the patients.

These conditions generally tend to lower the body’s metabolism and ribose, known for the production of energy in the body, can be a great relief for the patients. 

A study suggested that 5 grams of D-ribose when consumed twice daily, can successfully reduce the symptoms of fibromyalgia. It must also be noted that these disappeared symptoms started to show up again in patients one week after they stopped consuming the ribose supplements. However, other medications must also be taken along with D-ribose supplements. 

Another study conducted on 41 patients found that 5 grams of daily ribose consumption can be quite helpful in improving the body’s energy levels, metabolism, pain intensity, sleep, and mental well-being.

  1. Helps with heart diseases:
Man in shirt having heartache

D-ribose is known for the production of ATP in the body, and there have been studies that have suggested the same. Ribose helps in increasing the levels of ATP in the body’s heart cells and helps to improve heart function and health. 

In a study conducted on 15 patients suffering from Congestive heart failure, D-ribose supplements were found to improve the functioning of the heart. It has also been suggested that ribose can help heart patients exercise longer without developing any kind of chest pain. 

In a study conducted by the Ohio University, researchers found that D-ribose improved heart function in most of the subjects. 

However, there haven’t been enough studies and exciting research is insufficient to conclude anything with full certainty. We can hope to have more research with great results shortly.

Possible side effects of D-ribose consumption

Before you dive into the consumption of ribose and its supplements, let us also have a quick look at the side effects of its usage.

For short-term use, D-ribose is usually considered to be safe for intake.  However, there can be some possible side effects faced by some people, which include: diarrhea, headache, nausea, decrease in blood sugar levels, and stomach problems. 

People who are already suffering from low blood sugar levels or have diabetes, and take medications for the same, shall avoid ribose consumption or consult their doctors. Ribose consumption is also generally not recommended during pregnancy or breastfeeding, since there is no research to support its consumption during that period.


This sweet-tasting carbohydrate comes both in capsules as well as in powder form. If you consume it in powder form, you can mix it with water or juice and can also be mixed with other beverages like lemonade. 

As far as dosage is concerned, doctors suggest between 5 grams and 30 grams of ribose per day to support chronic health conditions of the body. Generally, 5 grams of D-ribose is the common dose that must be adopted. 

This is all about D-ribose and its benefits. Because research on this has been limited, D-ribose cannot be recommended as a sure supplement for any health condition or benefits. Normal consumption for boosting athletic performance, is, however, usual. But, if you want to go for D-ribose consumption for any particular health conditions or chronic disease that you are suffering from, we recommend your doctor before you begin your consumption. Your body and your health, are after all, the most important. So, take care