Bioenergy Life Science

June 5, 2007
Sweet as Ribose

Ribose holds some of the most distinguished positions in cellular metabolism; it’s the base sugar for both DNA and RNA, and the building block for adenosine triphosphate (ATP), the cell’s energy currency. Under normal circumstances, ATP is replenished readily. But in patients suffering from coronary artery disease or congestive heart failure, the heart can be deprived of the oxygen critical to recharging the cell’s ATP, severely depleting ATP and its precursors. That means weaker contractions. That’s a bad thing.

Recent evidence suggests that in severely stressed, ATP-depleted muscles, ribose supplementation can reenergize depleted cells. Bioenergy Life Science Inc. provides Corvalen brand pure powdered ribose. “D-Ribose is already being used in a range of nutritional products, including PepsiCo MDX, SoBe Andrenaline Rush, Glaceau Vitamin Water and Arizona Beverage Co.’s Rocket Fuel Drink,” notes Steve Pletsch, Bioenergy’s vice president for nutrition sales and marketing.

Ribose isn’t metabolized as fuel like other carbohydrates — and it won’t satisfy a sweet tooth. But given its ability to strengthen oxygen-starved heart muscle, can it enhance the performance of an athlete’s oxygen-stressed skeletal muscles? Many say yes. According to Joanne Ingwall, Ph.D. Professor of Medicine (physiology), Harvard Medical School, “What ribose, in fact, does is put tissue in better physiological condition during and following stress. To an athlete, this means greater performance over time, but does not mean a short-term ergogenic effect. For heart patients, it means better diastolic cardiac function, increased ventilatory efficiency and increased exercise tolerance.” As more studies appear in peer-reviewed journals, don’t be surprised to see ribose grow to be a major functional food ingredient.

by Mark Anthony, Ph.D.