(Naturalhealth365) Heart disease is the leading cause of death among men and women in the United States, with the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) reporting that over 630,000 people die from this condition – every year. Thankfully, recent research has shown that a natural sugar molecule, D-ribose, can improve heart function and blood flow, renew metabolic energy and even help to alleviate serious coronary conditions.
But, first, let’s quickly put this problem into perspective: A heart attack occurs in America every 40 seconds. Plus, with every minute that passes, more than one person dies from a heart attack or heart-attack related event. Clearly, the ‘conventional approach’ is ineffective at solving this health crisis.
D-ribose can restore energy-depleted tissues and reverse damage after life-threatening events
D-ribose is a monosaccharide, or simple sugar molecule. It is found naturally – but in very limited amounts – in foods such as red meat, poultry, fish, eggs, nuts, mushrooms and grains.
In addition to helping build ribonucleic acid – or RNA – D-ribose is an essential component of ATP (adenosine triphosphate), a molecule used by cells to transfer energy.
ATP – which is vital to cellular energy metabolism – plays an important role in heart health. However, ATP levels can be depleted through oxidative damage and inflammation. ATP depletion, in turn, causes even more inflammation and oxidative damage – and threatens the health of heart cells and tissue.
Supplementing with D-ribose, which is strongly antioxidant and anti-inflammatory, can help bring cellular ATP levels back to normal – a particularly beneficial effect after serious events such as heart attack and heart failure.
Researchers have found that the more D-ribose Is available in the body, the faster ATP levels return to normal.
D-ribose protects against ischemia reperfusion injury
One of the most significant of D-ribose’s gifts to the cardiovascular and neurological systems is its proven ability to protect against damage caused after a heart attack or stroke.
Known as ischemia reperfusion injury, this condition is caused by the sudden, overwhelming return of oxygen-rich blood to damaged, oxygen-starved tissues.
Fortunately, studies have shown that high-dose D-ribose before and immediately after reperfusion can prevent this damage – so successfully, in fact, that some doctors have called for the use of IV infusions of D-ribose during the types of surgery that could precipitate reperfusion injuries.
It is not just acute ischemia that presents a threat. Low-level, chronic ischemia can deplete ATP as well, decreasing the heart’s normal supply of D-ribose and leading to angina and congestive heart failure.
Congestive heart failure – in which the heart can’t contract sufficiently to pump blood throughout the body – can cause difficulty breathing and exercise intolerance. Because rehabilitation for heart conditions requires regular exercise, exercise intolerance can seriously jeopardize patients’ recovery.
But this is where D-ribose can come to the rescue.
Clinical studies reveal impressive results
By improving and regulating blood flow to cardiac tissue, D-ribose boosts cellular energy at a time when the body needs it most, helping to block further injury while initiating healing.
A study published in International Journal of Cardiology involving patients with advanced congestive heart failure and extreme exercise intolerance showed that 15 grams a day of D-ribose caused improvements in exercise stamina.
And, there’s more.
In a double-blind study published in European Journal of Heart Failure, researchers reported that supplementation with D-ribose boosted heart function, increased heart muscle contractility and improved the quality of life in patients with congestive heart failure. The team noted that D-ribose was effective even in patients who had suffered multiple heart attacks.
In addition, animal studies have shown that D-ribose improves ventricular function in rats with high blood pressure, helping to stave off hypertensive-related heart damage.
D-ribose supplementation affords substantial improvements in fibromyalgia and chronic fatigue syndrome
There is a growing body of evidence that defective production of ATP could be the mechanism that sets into motion two frustrating and mysterious diseases: fibromyalgia and chronic fatigue syndrome.
Researchers are currently exploring the ability of D-ribose to help treat symptoms. The results, so far, have been encouraging.
In a study published in Journal of Alternative and Complementary Medicine, researchers found that 5 grams of D-ribose three times a day caused significant improvements in clinical symptoms in participants with chronic fatigue syndrome and fibromyalgia.
Among other benefits, the nutrient helped to improve sleep and energy levels, promoted a sense of well-being, and decreased pain in 66 percent of the participants. Overall, the patients reported an average increase of 45 percent in energy levels – a significant improvement.
(Note: natural health experts recommend taking divided doses of 10 to 15 grams of D-ribose daily – but check with your integrative doctor to find a dosage that is right for you).
The takeaway: forward-thinking doctors consider D-ribose to be an important part of cardiac rejuvenation regimens, while the natural sugar is also impressing researchers with its ability to increase energy, renew vitality and relieve symptoms of chronic conditions such as CFS and fibromyalgia.
As a natural therapy and beneficial supplement, D-ribose certainly appears to “wear many hats.”
Sources for this article include:
Cancer & Heart Disease
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