Ribose is a five-carbon sugar (pentose) found primarily in ribonucleic acid. It is a natural anti-anxiety and stress relief ingredient used to control stress-related eating and drinking that has the added value of being non-sedating with potential anti-depressant properties. D-ribose is a naturally occurring five-carbon sugar found in all living cells, as well as in RNA-containing viruses. It is not an essential nutrient, since it can be made in the body from other substances, such as glucose.

D-ribose, however, is very essential for life. Some of the most important biological molecules contain D-ribose, including ATP (adenosine triphosphate), all the nucleotides and nucleotide coenzymes and all forms of RNA (ribonucleic acid). D-ribose, in the form of ribonucleoside diphosphates, is converted to deoxyribonucleoside diphosphates, precursor molecules for DNA. D-ribose in RNA and D-deoxyribose in DNA may be considered genetic sugars.

Since D-ribose is ubiquitous in living matter, it is ingested in our diets. Such nutritional substances as brewers yeast are rich in RNA and are thus rich sources of D-ribose. Some recent research suggests that supraphysiological amounts of this sugar may have cardioprotective effects, particularly for the ischemic heart.

D-ribose is a sweet, solid, water-soluble substance that is also known as alpha-D-ribofuranoside. L-ribose does not have biological activity. D-ribose is sometimes referred to as just ribose. Supplemental D-ribose is produced from the fermentation of corn syrup.

Ribose is used to generate ATP (adenosine triphosphate). In theory, supplementing your diet with additional ribose should increase the rate at which ATP is generated, leading to an improvement in exercise performance and faster muscle growth. ATP is constantly being broken down and "recreated". In the process, it provides energy for every move you make and every chemical reaction that occurs in human body. The adenine portion of adenine triphosphate consists of one molecule of adenine and the five-carbon sugar, ribose. The triphosphate portion of ATP consists of three phosphate molecules.

Energy is released when one of those phosphates is broken off from ATP. The compound then becomes adenosine diphosphate (ADP), which consists of adenosine and two phosphate molecules. ADP becomes adenosine monophosphate (AMP) when another phosphate molecule is broken off. The ratio between ATP, ADP and AMP is critical in regulating the energy content of a cell. However, during high-intensity exercise, the cell is unable to "recreate" ATP fast enough. Under these conditions, the concentrations of ADP and AMP rise, leading to a reduction in the "energy charge" of the cell. If ATP use continues to exceed the rate at which it can be generated, nucleotides are lost from the cell in an attempt to restore the ratio between ATP, ADP and AMP. During anaerobic metabolism, in an attempt to keep up with cellular energy demands, 2 ADP's combine to form 1 ATP and 1 AMP, by way of a metabolic process called the myokinase reaction. As a result, AMP builds up in the cell, and disturbs the ratio of ATP to ADP and AMP, which the cell works to keep in check. To do this, AMP concentrations must be lowered by degrading AMP to simpler end products, which are washed out of the cell and lost forever. The final result, is a dramatic decrease in the adenine nucleotide pool. In fact, the adenine nucleotide pool can decrease by as much as 50% in heart muscle following ischemia (diminished blood flow to tissues), and around 32% in skeletal muscle following high - intensity exercise. When the adenine nucleotide pool is reduced, performance and recovery are compromised very noticeably.

Ribose, when taken as a nutritional supplement, bypasses the slow conversion steps needed to recreate the adenosine nucleotide, and is readily available for the creation of more ATP. Replacing these lost adenine nucleotides can take several days, reducing the rate at which muscle fibers are repaired. Supplemental ribose can increase the speed at which these nucleotides are replaced, both at rest and during exercise. As such, there has been a great deal of interest in the potential of ribose supplements to boost muscular performance in sports.

Ribose increases both de novo (new) synthesis and salvage of nucleotides in heart and skeletal muscle. In anaerobic conditions, as are present with ischemia or anoxia, adenine nucleotides are catabolized to inosine and adenine, which are further degraded metabolically and washed out of heart and muscle cells. As a result, total adenine nucleotide pools, particularly as evidenced by ATP content, are depressed. This depression may last for several days before baseline levels can be reestablished.

Heart and skeletal muscle cells cannot quickly replace lost nucleotides due to low availability of two rate limiting enzymes in the Pentose Phosphate Pathway, which metabolizes glucose to ribose-5-phosphate. Ribose, in turn, forms 5-phosphoribosyl-1-pyrophosphate, which is a limiting compound in both nucleotide de novo synthesis and salvage. Supplemental ribose bypasses the rate limiting steps of the Pentose Phosphate Pathway, speeding syntheses of nucleotides that may be lost form the cell through catabolism and salvage of nucleotides, creating flux back to ATP before they can be washed away.

Ribose and creatine work together. Creatine phosphate works to increase energy by supplying phosphate to recycle adenosine diphosphate (ADP) into ATP. When an ATP molecule, in for example a skeletal or heart muscle cell, releases its energy to contract that cell, it looses a phosphate. Now, this energy molecule has lost one phosphate and is called ADP or Adenosine Di-phosphate. It is now at a lower energy state and needs to be recharged back to its tri-phosphate configuration. This is where Creatine comes into play. Creatine picks up a phosphate and donates it to the ADP molecule rebuilding it into ATP. Now your ATP is reloaded, so to speak, and ready to supply more energy.

Molecular Formula: C5H10O5
Molecular Formula:150.13
CAS No.: 50-69-1
Character: White crystalline powder with cool & refreshing sweet taste and large solubility in water.

Ribose research information

A text summary of the clickable map for ribose
Ribose and deoxyribose
Supplement overview
Mapping of rRNA Ribose methylations