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What are ribose supplements?

Dr. Mehmet Oz, MD
Cardiology (Cardiovascular Disease)
Ribose is a special sugar made in your body that doesn't come from food. Of all the things you can do to combat the effects of knee-dragging fatigue, taking daily a ribose supplement is the one that seems to really turbo-charge some people who have diseases with low energy associated with them. (The only side effect is that some people feel too much energy, if that's possible.) Ribose has also been shown to relieve fatigue, soreness, and stiffness after exercise, and some professional athletes have reported muscular benefits after taking ribose. However, the data are too weak to say it does or doesn't work well, since the studies just haven't been done.

And there is enough good research to recommend ribose for all of us. But if you want to give it a try, start with 500 milligrams three times a day for a week or so until you get used to the taste (or find a smoothie, coffee, or tea to put it in). Then go to 5 grams three times a day for three weeks to get a sense of the effect. Then you can scale back to 5 grams twice a day. By the way, since I know you're wondering: Each 5-gram scoop only contains 20 calories since ribose isn't metabolized as a sugar, so taking it won't increase your chances of becoming mistaken for a Sea World attraction. In fact, since it is a bit sweet, you might think of it as a sugar substitute.
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Important: This content reflects information from various individuals and organizations and may offer alternative or opposing points of view. It should not be used for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. As always, you should consult with your healthcare provider about your specific health needs.