Saturday, 3 March 2012

D-Ribose as an M.E. miracle cure?

It's only since I've been actively researching M.E. over the past three months that I first came across D-ribose, starting with my coverage of the Dr. Teitelbaum presentation earlier on in this blog.

Quite a few M.E. experts, including Dr. Teitelbaum, are convinced that taking ribose, a naturally occuring sugar that is essential in the cellular energy recycling process, in the form of the health supplement product D-ribose results in marked improvements and even total recovery in M.E. sufferers. From what I've read and heard so far, it seems that D-ribose is like other 'miracle cures' - it does cure some people. But in others, there is little to no noticeable change.

I would really love to give this product a try, since I'm drawn to the fact that it's not a synthetic drug with nasty side effects. The only side effect claim that I can find for D-ribose is that excessive consumption might cause diarrhea, since it draws fluid into the bowels. There was also a valid concern of the fact that the quantity of D-ribose in supplement form was huge in relation to the strength of glucose, and whether this was something to be worried about through longterm consumption. (Conniekillbug's YouTube channel - a sufferer from Lyme Disease - she also interestingly says that she only takes a quarter of the recommended dosage, since she does find herself getting 'hyper' on the recommended dosage. She also mentions that she takes the Corvalen brand [see below] and that it does also contain an element of magnesium, so it's not entirely pure.) At the moment, I cannot find D-ribose for sale where I live, and no online retailer will ship to my location. So, it's going to be a case of waiting until I can access a D-ribose product to try it. I would therefore absolutely LOVE to hear from people who have tried D-ribose.

I've trawled through YouTube to find further videos to those presented by Dr. Teitelbaum on the subject of D-Ribose, as well as going through the web. The summary notes I've compiled are:

Corvalen (R) is a brand name for D-ribose supplement products. Corvalen is owned by Bioenergy Life Sciences Inc. (With other associations, as you will see on their website.) Their homepage is here, and it contains further information about D-Ribose and their product. Corvalen has been cited on the website and YouTube video info that I've found as being the most-tested D-ribose product on the market, hence more people seem to have confidence in using Corvalen over other D-ribose brands. On the Corvalen website, they also suggest how you take the D-ribose product - essentially like sprinkling regular sugar over fruit or cereal, or even adding it to beverages. There is no mention to the effects of hot and cold on the substance. Also, curiously, the product looks and is consumed very similarly to baobab fruit health supplement products that are now finding their way into Western markets. Baobab fruit is another item I'd love to get my hands on, too!

However, there certainly seem to be no shortage of D-ribose brands out there. Cardio Crusaders have their own D-ribose product. As had been mentioned earlier through Dr. Teitelbaum's YouTube video, D-ribose's benefits had been originally intended for post-heart-surgery patients in order to speed up the normal function of the heart muscle. Delayed recovery of the cells around the heart meant greater risk for the patient. The benefits for a healthy heart are mentioned by Cardio Crusaders rather than as a fix for M.E. Cardio Crusaders recommend 5-7gr of D-ribose daily.

World Choice Products suggest a dose of 2-3gr twice a day or 5gr once a day. For fibromyalgia sufferers, they suggest an initial dose of 5gr three times a day for the first two weeks. They also cite how people actually sleep better when they take D-ribose at night; taking D-ribose does not therefore cause hyperactivity, as could have been expected through ingesting a sugar. Another advantage of D-ribose is that it has a negative glycaemic index, so has no effect on diabetics.

One clip from Fox News that I found featuring Dr. Manny with Dr. Teitelbaum curiously changed stance from the absolute harmlessness of D-ribose. They say that if you want to have a natural energizer that has more published data about its benefits, then to go for green tea.

Melanie Roach, a weightlifter, testifies to taking D-ribose between competition rounds in order to avoid the sensation of being physically drained.

There are also a lot of energy drinks on the market that are taking advantage of the apparent properties of D-ribose. Go Vera, Code Blue, and Acli-Mate were several new products that I found.

The Wikipedia entry on ribose is as follows:

Ribose is an organic compound with the formula C5H10O5; specifically, a monosaccharide (simple sugar) with linear form H−(C=O)−(CHOH)4−H, which has all the hydroxyl groups on the same side in the Fischer projection.

The term may refer to either of two enantiomers: it almost always to D-ribose, which occurs widely in nature and is discussed here; or to its synthetic mirror image L-ribose, which is not found in nature and is of limited interest.

D-Ribose was first reported in 1891 by Emil Fischer. It is a C'-2 carbon enantiomer of the sugar D-arabinose (both isomers of which are named for their source, gum arabic) and ribose itself is named as a transposition of the name of arabinose.

Ribose constitutes the backbone of RNA, a biopolymer that is the basis of genetic transcription. It is related to deoxyribose, as found in DNA. Once phosphorylated, ribose can become a subunit of ATP, NADH, and several other compounds that are critical to metabolism like the secondary messengers cAMP and cGMP.

Ribose is an aldopentose (a monosaccharide containing five carbon atoms) that, in its open chain form, has an aldehyde functional group at one end. In the conventional numbering scheme for monosaccharides, the carbon atoms are numbered from C1' (in the aldehyde group) to C5'. The deoxyribose derivative found in DNA differs from ribose by having a hydrogen atom in place of the hydroxyl group at C2'.

The "D-" in the name D-ribose refers to the stereochemistry of the chiral carbon atom farthest away from the aldehyde group (C4'). In D-ribose, as in all D-sugars, this carbon atom has the same configuration as in D-glyceraldehyde.


  1. I have been suffereing with CFS for almost 6 months, only severe on occasions but never been 100%.
    I started taking D-ribose 5 days ago and already feeling alot better! I just hope that it will actually help the body heal itself rather than mask the problem.

  2. Hi William, Thanks for posting your feedback on D-ribose. It's good that you have been diagnosed for ME relatively quickly, it seems. It's clear to me that ME is a multi-faceted illness, and there won't likely be one thing that will 'cure' it. However, if you're feeling a genuine improvement with D-ribose, then it sounds like you should stick with it. But in my opinion, I think you should also combine it with getting adequate rest and good all-round nutrition and relaxation techniques to further improve things. Plus you need to allow time for things to start to see a change. D-ribose needs to be part of a life-long set of changes that will help you get better, even if you never reach 100% health completely again.