(Natural News) The natural sugar molecule, D-ribose, can improve heart function and blood circulation, according to a recent study published in the European Journal of Heart Failure. A team of researchers from Germany and the U.S. assessed the effects of oral D-ribose supplementation in individuals with chronic coronary artery disease and chronic and congestive heart failure (CHF) and found that D-ribose can boost cardiac function. Therefore, D-ribose supplementation can potentially be used as an alternative treatment for chronic coronary artery disease and CHF.
What is D-ribose?
D-ribose is a naturally occurring simple sugar found in the body’s ribonucleic acid (RNA), a macromolecule that plays an essential role in protein synthesis. D-ribose can also be found in different types of foods, such as proteins, grains, fungi, fruits and vegetables. D-ribose is an important component of adenosine triphosphate (ATP), which supplies energy to cells.
Like D-ribose, ATP is vital to cellular metabolism. As an energy molecule, ATP ensures that cellular functions, such as muscle contraction, cell division, protein synthesis and respiration, run smoothly. In particular, ATP plays an important role in maintaining good cardiovascular function. However, body functions and organ health can be compromised if there is a shortage of ATP, which can occur as a result of inflammation, infection or cell damage caused by free radicals. (Related: Researchers identify 3 antioxidants that help minimize inflammation in heart failure patients.)
According to Heyder Omran, lead author of the study, insufficient levels of ATP can affect cardiac function and increase the risk of chronic coronary artery disease and CHF. Animal studies have also shown that a shortage of oxygen in the blood, which is caused by low levels of ATP, can impair cardiac function and blood circulation. Such cardiovascular complications may prove fatal in the long run. Some common symptoms of chronic coronary heart disease include difficulty breathing, chronic chest pain and exercise intolerance.
However, D-ribose has been shown to renew depleted ATP levels and strengthen the heart by stimulating cardiac function. A study published in the International Journal of Cardiology also revealed that D-ribose supplementation can improve the exercise capacity of individuals with CHF. As a result, D-ribose can improve potentially life-threatening symptoms of chronic coronary artery disease and CHF.
D-ribose improves cardiac function
To determine the effects of oral D-ribose supplementation on cardiac function, the German-American team conducted a randomized, double-blind study involving 15 adults with chronic coronary artery disease and CHF. The study consisted of two treatment periods, each spanning three weeks, with a washout period of one week in-between. The researchers randomly assigned the participants to either the oral D-ribose supplement group or the placebo group.
After each treatment period, the researchers assessed the participants’ cardiac function, quality of life and functional capacity. They found that D-ribose supplementation greatly improved the participants’ heart rate, cardiac function and quality of life. Moreover, D-ribose supplementation enabled the participants to last longer on the treadmill before they experienced moderate discomfort and chest pain. Meanwhile, the placebo failed to generate significant changes in the participants’ cardiac functions or quality of life.
The findings prove that D-ribose provides beneficial effects to individuals with chronic coronary artery disease and CHF by improving their cardiac function, quality of life and exercise capacity. The study may aid experts in developing long-term treatments for at-risk individuals using D-ribose.
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