Sunday, July 01, 2018 by Isabelle Z.
Most people want to avoid heart attacks, and those who are identified as being at risk are often put on medication to help reduce their chances of having one. However, heart attacks remain incredibly common around the world. With one occurring every 40 seconds in America, you likely know more than a few people who have experienced one. It’s clear the current approach is not doing much to help stem this problem.
One very promising alternative can be found in the form of the natural sugar molecule D-ribose. This simple sugar molecule is an essential component of the molecule used by cells for transferring energy known as adenosine triphosphate, or ATP. This is vital for cellular energy metabolism, and by extension, heart health.
Inflammation and oxidative damage deplete ATP, which leads to further oxidative damage and inflammation in a dangerous cycle that puts heart cells in serious jeopardy. Studies have shown that D-ribose supplementation can help bring the levels of ATP in cells back to normal, with greater amounts of D-ribose speeding up the process.
D-ribose supplements were shown in a European Journal of Heart Failure study to boost congestive heart failure patients’ heart function and their quality of life. It was even helpful in those who had experienced multiple heart attacks. (See HeartDisease.news for more science on preventing heart disease.)
Meanwhile, a study in the International Journal of Cardiology showed that people who have congestive heart failure and the extreme exercise intolerance that often accompanies it could increase their exercise stamina by taking 15 grams of D-ribose a day.
Perhaps one of its most remarkable abilities, however, is protecting people against damage after suffering a stroke or heart attack. When these events take place, a condition known as ischemia reperfusion injury can occur when oxygen-rich blood suddenly returns to the oxygen-starved tissues. High doses of D-ribose, when given both before and right after reperfusion, have proven to be so good at preventing such damage that some doctors want to use IV infusions of it during surgeries that could cause reperfusion injuries.
Its abilities aren’t just limited to heart health, however. ATP production problems have also been linked to illnesses like chronic fatigue syndrome and fibromyalgia. Therefore, D-ribose, with its ATP-boosting powers, is being explored for its potential to help with these conditions.
Early studies have been promising, with research published in the Journal of Alternative and Complementary Medicine showing that just 15 grams of D-ribose per day, split up into three doses of 5 grams each, could bring about dramatic improvements in the symptoms of fibromyalgia and chronic fatigue syndrome sufferers.
In that study, two thirds of participants reported feeling less pain. The patients enjoyed an average energy boost of 45 percent, and it also gave them a better sense of well-being, more energy, and improved sleep.
You can find small amounts of naturally-occurring D-ribose in foods like nuts, grains, mushrooms, eggs, red meat, fish and poultry. Many people choose to get their D-ribose in supplement form. It normally comes in a powder that can be mixed easily into beverages or even yogurt. Although it’s a sugar, experts say it doesn’t cause blood sugar to rise, and more and more doctors are recommending it to people with heart concerns.
Read Nutrients.news for more headlines on the role of nutrition in preventing disease.
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