D-Ribose Helps People with Fibromyalgia and Chronic Fatigue Syndrome (CFS)

D-Ribose boosts energy and reduces pain in patients with fibromyalgia, chronic fatigue syndrome and congestive heart failure!

In their book You: Being Beautiful – The Owner’s Manual to Inner and Outer Beauty (Free Press, 2008) co-authors Mehmet Oz, MD and Michael Roizen, MD refer to ribose as one of the decade’s “real nutritional heroes” that can turbo-charge those who need an energy boost.{ref1]

D-Ribose is a naturally occurring simple sugar found in all living cells. It is the fuel that mitochondria use to produce adenosine tri-phosphate (ATP), which provides the body’s cellular energy. Studies show that patients with fibromyalgia, chronic fatigue syndrome (CFS) and congestive heart failure are low in D-Ribose.


Fibromyalgia and chronic fatigue syndrome affect twice as many women as men and typically first appears at middle age. It still isn’t clear what the cause is but studies indicate that people with fibromyalgia have lower levels of ATP and a reduced capacity to make ATP in their muscles.

Recent studies show that ribose supplementation can reduce muscle pain and enhance quality of life for those suffering with fibromyalgia and/or chronic fatigue.

According to Tori Hudson, ND, “As cellular energy is depleted, fatigue and muscle pain become more and more severe, and the muscles require additional energy in their recovery efforts. Energy is used faster than fuel is made available to renew it, and the fatigue, soreness, pain and stiffness continue to progress. Energy depletion reaches a critical point, and CFS/FMS becomes a state in which the mechanisms for recovery are overwhelmed.”2

A 2006 study published by Jacob Teitelbaum, MD in the Journal of Alternative and Complementary Medicine showed that D-Ribose significantly reduced clinical symptoms in patients suffering from fibromyalgia and chronic fatigue syndrome. Forty-one patients with a diagnosis of fibromyalgia and/or CFS were given D-Ribose, at a dose of five grams a day, three times a day.

The study found that two-thirds of the patients reported improvement of their symptoms in the first 12 days following a course of D-Ribose treatment. The average improvement in energy was 45% and quality of life improved an average of 30%. Patients reported less muscle soreness and stiffness, better ability to overcome fatigue, as well as simply feeling better. Patients reported less muscle soreness and stiffness, better ability to overcome fatigue, as well as simply feeling better.3

How much D-Ribose should you take for fibromyalgia and CFS?

Recommended dose for fibromyalgia and CFS is five grams, three times a day. Look for a brand that is pure D-Ribose, and remember you need to take it for an average of 12 days to start feeling better.

Congestive heart failure (CHF), or heart failure, is a condition in which the heart can’t pump enough blood to the body’s other organs. Millions of Americans suffer from CHF, and more than 500,000 cases are diagnosed annually.

People with heart failure can’t exert themselves because they become short of breath and extremely tired. Although most people with mild and moderate CHF can be treated with drugs, most patients show progression of their disease. Numerous studies have shown that the failing heart is energy starved and that D-Ribose can replenish ATP levels and improve diastolic dysfunction following heart failure.4

A recent study showed that patients who took five grams of ribose three times a day for eight weeks showed significant improvement.5

How much should you take for congestive heart failure?

Doctors Stephen Sinatra and James Roberts recommend the following dosages in their book Reverse Heart Disease Now: Stop Deadly Cardiovascular Plaque Before It’s Too Late6: •

  • 5 grams daily for cardiovascular prevention, for athletes on maintenance, and for healthy people doing strenuous activity
  • 10-15 grams daily for most patients with heart failure, other forms of ischemic cardiovascular disease, or peripheral vascular disease, for individuals recovering from heart surgery or heart attack, for treatment of stable angina, and for athletes working out in chronic bouts of high-intensity exercise
  • 15-30 grams daily for patients with advanced heart failure, dilated cardiomyopathy, or frequent angina, for individuals awaiting heart transplant, and for people with fibromyalgia or neuromuscular disease.

Start at the upper level of each range for patients with heart or peripheral vascular disease. We recommend that daily doses up to 10 grams be taken as two 5-gram doses with morning and evening meals or just before and just after exercise or activity. Larger doses (15 grams per day or more) should be taken in three or sometimes even four smaller doses of about 5 grams each. Daily doses in excess of 30 grams are seldom needed. Most heart patients will stabilize at about 10 grams per day.6


  1. Oz, M, MD & Roizen, M, MD, Authors of You: Being Beautiful, “Call Ribose One of the Decade’s ‘Real Nutritional Heroes’.” PR Newswire. 2009. HighBeam Research. (December 14, 2009).
  2. Hudson, T. “D-Ribose, chronic fatigue syndrome, and fibromyalgia.(Women’s Health Update).” Townsend Letter. 2009. HighBeam Research. (December 14, 2009).
  3. Teitelbaum JE, Johnson C, St Cyr J. The use of D-Ribose in chronic fatigue syndrome and fibromyalgia: a pilot study. J Altern Complement Med. 2006 Nov;12(9):857-62.
  4. Wagner S, Herrick J, Shecterle LM, St Cyr JA. D-Ribose, a metabolic substrate for congestive heart failure. Prog Cardiovasc Nurs. 2009 Jun;24(2):59-60.
  5. MacCarter D, Vijay N, Washam M, Shecterle L, Sierminski H, St Cyr JA. D-Ribose aids advanced ischemic heart failure patients. Int J Cardiol. 2009 Sep 11;137(1):79-80. Epub 2008 Jul 31.
  6. Sinatra, S, MD & Roberts, JC, MD, Reverse Heart Disease (John Wiley & Sons, Inc., Hoboken, New Jersey, 2007)

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