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D-Ribose is a monosaccharide (simple sugar) that is a primary component of RNA. It is closely related to deoxyribose, which is the backbone of DNA. Ribose is known in two forms: D-Ribose and L-Ribose, with the former being the naturally occuring, widespread form and the latter being the synthetic derivative.
D-Ribose is involved in many different metabolic pathways that increase available energy for the cell . Ribose is also a component of ATP and has even been shown to enhance ATP re-synthesis in the body . Even though d-ribose occurs naturally in the body, it is not always produced in sufficient amounts, especially after intense exercise . D-ribose is very difficult to acquire from diet, therefore supplementation may be needed to ensure sufficient ATP levels for energy production.
Like CoQ10 d-ribose is particularly effective for those with heart and fatigue related diseases, but will still provide benefit to healthy individuals by ensuring sufficient ATP concentrations in the body, thus ensuring stable energy metabolism.
One study had its patients subjected to a week of daily cycling sessions, and it was shown that the control group had greater ATP replenishment in contrast with the placebo . This study also demonstrated a significantly improved quality of life in the control group, with no difference in the placebo. This is likely due to the heart-health improving qualities.
D-Ribose has also been shown to improve symptoms of fibyomyalgia  as well as chronic fatigue syndrome , which further demonstrates its ability to raise energy levels.
One study showed significant physical improvements in healthy individuals as well. In this double-blind, placebo-controlled trial, Male bodybuilders between the age of 18 and 35 were given 20g of d-ribose daily for four weeks. The control group demonstrated significant improvements in both muscular strength and total worked performed .
D-Ribose shows a lot of promise as a nootropic for energy, and will be especially beneficial for those who have intensive exercise programs, as ATP tends to become depleted quite rapidly after exercise.
D-Ribose Dosage Information
Research on dosage limits has indicated that taking 50–60 g per day of ribose can be well tolerated without side effects during a 2-year period . D-Ribose should be taken on an empty stomach to ensure maximal absorption.