D-ribose restores heart energy and overall cardiovascular function naturally
(NaturalHealth365) One in five Americans over 40 years old will eventually develop heart failure, a serious condition in which the heart doesn’t pump enough blood to supply the major organs. And, according to research published in the American Journal of Therapeutics, a stunning 8 million people in the United States will be affected by heart failure by the year 2030. Fortunately, there is research highlighting the ability of D-ribose – a naturally-occurring simple sugar – to create metabolic energy and improved heart function.
This is important: because researchers have discovered that patients with heart failure have decreased levels of D-ribose. Yet, the question remains: can d-ribose supplementation actually help heart failure patients?
Warning: Heart failure is a “slow-motion” cardiac energy crisis
Heart failure is not the same as a heart attack, which is typically a sudden, dramatic event. It is, instead, the gradual failure of the heart to pump enough oxygen-rich blood to meet the body’s metabolic needs.
Some natural health experts have likened heart failure to a “slow-motion” energy crisis. But, its slower onset doesn’t mean it’s not dangerous.
Heart failure can endanger internal organs and tissues by limiting blood flow, and can also cause damage to the heart muscle. Heart failure may also cause the left ventricle (the heart’s primary pumping chamber) to thicken and enlarge.
Common causes of heart failure include high blood pressure, heart attack, congenital heart defects, certain types of arrhythmias and heart valve disease.
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While early heart failure may cause no symptoms, worsening heart failure may be accompanied by fatigue, difficulty breathing, chest pain and heart palpitations. In fact, heart failure can progress to a level of severity in which medical interventions are needed to preserve the patient’s life.
Alert: Heart failure depletes D-ribose – which jeopardizes levels of “the energy molecule”
D-ribose is one of the primary building blocks of adenosine triphosphate (also known as ATP). Sometimes referred to as “the energy molecule,” ATP is a major player in healthy heart function.
When D-ribose levels drop as a result of heart failure, production of ATP decreases as well, causing a lack of the very molecule the heart muscle most needs in order to sustain efficient pumping – the true definition of a “vicious cycle.”
But, D-ribose supplementation can help break the cycle, and provide lifesaving benefits.
Not only does D-ribose possess disease-fighting antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties, but “extra” D-ribose facilitates the production of new ATP molecules – thereby helping to create energy for the heart while improving the function of damaged heart muscle.
Because of this valuable D-ribose “superpower,” an increasing number of experts are categorizing the nutrient as “conditionally essential” – meaning it is essential when certain circumstances (such as heart failure) are present.
It’s official: D-ribose supplementation can significantly improve heart muscle function and metabolic energy in heart failure patients
In a recent double-blind, randomized study published in the European Journal of Heart Failure, 15 patients with chronic coronary artery disease and heart failure were given either 5 grams of D-ribose three times a day or a placebo.
After three weeks – and a week for the “wash-out” phase – the participants were switched to the alternate therapy for an additional three weeks.
At the end of the six-week study, researchers concluded that D-ribose supplementation enhanced the filling of the heart’s left ventricle, while the placebo did not.
In fact, the nutrient not only expedited beneficial blood flow throughout the entire body, but significantly improved patients’ quality of life. The team concluded that D-riboside benefited heart function by improving diastolic functional parameters.
And, additional research helped to confirm these promising findings. In a separate study, 11 patients with mild to severe heart failure were given D-ribose for six weeks.
Ultrasound tests revealed that 64 percent of the participants experienced improved blood flow in tissues – a very robust result. And, the nutrient also improved ventilatory efficiency (the exchange of oxygen and carbon dioxide through the lungs).
The scientists pointed out that ventilatory efficiency is an important predictor of survival in heart failure patients. In other words, D-ribose supplementation not only helped patients breathe better – but could potentially lessen the risk of mortality and lead to longer life.
The ribose also increased oxygen flow through the lungs, and the amount of oxygen pumped per heartbeat.
Interestingly, the benefits lingered after the study was over. The scientists noted that the improvements lasted three weeks beyond the end of the supplementation.
Bonus: D-ribose and CoQ10 are a “dynamic duo” that supports cardiac energy levels
In addition to benefiting from D-ribose, patients with heart failure may be able to “get an assist” from other natural nutrients as well.
CoQ10, a vitamin-like nutrient, has been shown in studies to slash the risk of dying from heart disease – especially when taken along with the antioxidant mineral selenium.
Other key nutrients for protecting cardiovascular health include taurine, nicotinamide riboside, magnesium, high-dose vitamin C and carnosine.
Note: studies on the CoQ10/selenium combination have typically used 200 mg of CoQ10 and 200 mcg of selenium per day – while a typical study dose of D-ribose might consist of three 5,000-mg dosages per day. But, as always, consult your qualified integrative doctor before supplementing.
By the way, you can raise your dietary intake of D-ribose with grass-fed beef, cage-free eggs and wild-caught salmon. Vegan sources of D-ribose include organic mushrooms, nuts and whole grains.
With the “graying” of America, the incidence of heart failure and heart disease is undoubtedly climbing. But new research is revealing the potential of natural compounds – such as D-ribose – to increase metabolic energy, ease stress on damaged hearts and help protect aging “tickers.”
Sources for this article include: