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Life Extension Magazine October 2012


D-ribose induces cellular protein glycation

BACKGROUND: D-ribose, an important reducing monosaccharide, is highly active in the glycation of proteins, and results in the rapid production of advanced glycation end products (AGEs) in vitro. However, whether D-ribose participates in glycation and leads to production of AGEs in vivo still requires investigation. METHODOLOGY/PRINCIPAL FINDINGS: Here we treated cultured cells and mice with D-ribose and D-glucose to compare ribosylation and glucosylation for production of AGEs. Treatment with D-ribose decreased cell viability and induced more AGE accumulation in cells. C57BL/6J mice intraperitoneally injected with D-ribose for 30 days showed high blood levels of glycated proteins and AGEs. Administration of high doses D-ribose also accelerated AGE formation in the mouse brain and induced impairment of spatial learning and memory ability according to the performance in Morris water maze test. CONCLUSIONS/SIGNIFICANCE: These data demonstrate that D-ribose but not D-glucose reacts rapidly with proteins and produces significant amounts of AGEs in both cultured cells and the mouse brain, leading to accumulation of AGEs which may impair mouse spatial cognition.

PLoS One. 2011;6(9):e24623

Ribose enhances retinoic acid-induced differentiation of HL-60 cells.

Ribose, a critical building block for nucleotides, plays an important role in energy metabolism, transcription, translation, and second messenger systems. This 5-carbon sugar, synthesized from glucose via the pentose phosphate pathway, has a rate-limiting step at glucose-6-phosphate dehydrogenase. Therefore, we hypothesized that when cells are required to proliferate or differentiate, as in an immune response, the requirement for D-ribose may be greater than what could be supplied by the synthetic pathway. We hypothesized that providing an exogenous source of D-ribose during cell differentiation will enhance the process of differentiation. We used a retinoic acid-induced HL-60 cell differentiation culture as a model of neutrophil maturation. The addition of 10 to 25 mmol/L D-ribose was shown to reduce cell proliferation and move the cell population toward apoptosis in a dose-dependent manner. The expression of a cell surface marker representing maturity (CD11b) significantly increased and a cell surface marker indicative of immaturity (CD117) significantly decreased. Functionally, the cells had a greater oxidative burst function dependent on time and dose. The mechanism by which ribose enhances HL-60 cell differentiation is not known; however, as adenosine triphosphate levels did not change, adenosine triphosphate is not thought to be involved. We conclude that in this cell culture model, ribose supplementation enhanced cellular differentiation and function. Thus, ribose might be conditionally essential during time of higher need as in an immune response.

Nutr Res. 2008 Nov;28(11):775-82

D-ribose improves cardiac contractility and hemodynamics, and reduces expression of c-fos in the hippocampus during sustained slow ventricular tachycardia in rats.

BACKGROUND: Moderate hypotension during hemodynamically stable ventricular tachycardia (VT), leads to cerebral ischemia. Supplementation of d-ribose has been shown to improve cardiac metabolism. We hypothesized that cerebral ischemia during slow VT may lead to the expression of immediate early genes related to neurodegeneration. This expression may be prevented by d-ribose substitution. METHODS: Slow VT was induced over 20 min by external left ventricular pacing after infusion of physiologic saline or d-ribose (450 mg/kg) in 44 rats. Different coloured microspheres were used for tissue blood flow measurements. Histochemistry of c-fos in cerebral tissue sections was performed. RESULTS: With the onset of VT, the mean arterial pressure (MAP) significantly dropped in both groups. However, the MAP in the d-ribose group was significantly higher (p<0.05) than in the control group (111+/-21 mm Hg vs. 80+/-40 mm Hg). The rate pressure product (RPP) during VT was significantly higher in the d-ribose group than in the control group (75,000 vs. 59,000, p<0.05). The occurrence of lethal VT was significantly higher in the control group and could be prevented by d-ribose. A stable activation of c-fos was observed in the control group. This ischemic stress response of the brain could not be seen after d-ribose infusion. CONCLUSION: d-ribose improves hemodynamic parameters, cardiac contractility and prevents the activation of pro-apoptotic c-fos, demonstrating a neuroprotective effect of d-ribose during slow VT.

Int J Cardiol. 2008 Mar 28;125(1):49-56

The use of D-ribose in chronic fatigue syndrome and fibromyalgia: a pilot study.

OBJECTIVES: Fibromyalgia (FMS) and chronic fatigue syndrome (CFS) are debilitating syndromes that are often associated with impaired cellular energy metabolism. As D-ribose has been shown to increase cellular energy synthesis in heart and skeletal muscle, this open-label uncontrolled pilot study was done to evaluate if D-ribose could improve symptoms in fibromyalgia and/or chronic fatigue syndrome patients. DESIGN: Forty-one (41) patients with a diagnosis of FMS and/or CFS were given D-ribose, a naturally occurring pentose carbohydrate, at a dose of 5 g t.i.d. for a total of 280 g. All patients completed questionnaires containing discrete visual analog scales and a global assessment pre- and post-D-ribose administration. RESULTS: D-ribose, which was well-tolerated, resulted in a significant improvement in all five visual analog scale (VAS) categories: energy; sleep; mental clarity; pain intensity; and well-being, as well as an improvement in patients' global assessment. Approximately 66% of patients experienced significant improvement while on D-ribose, with an average increase in energy on the VAS of 45% and an average improvement in overall well-being of 30% (p < 0.0001). CONCLUSIONS: D-ribose significantly reduced clinical symptoms in patients suffering from fibromyalgia and chronic fatigue syndrome.

J Altern Complement Med. 2006 Nov;12(9):857-62

Protective action of D-ribose against renal injury caused by ischemia and reperfusion in rats with transient hyperglycemia.

Hyperglycemia amplifies the inflammatory state after ischemia/reperfusion (I/R), and activated neutrophils have been implicated in the development of I/R-induced renal injuries. D-ribose is a naturally occurring monosaccharide found in all living cells. In this study, we examined whether D-ribose attenuates I/R-induced renal injury by reducing neutrophil activation in rats with transient hyperglycemia. Male Wistar rats were divided into sham (n = 24), control (n = 64), and D-ribose (n = 32) groups. Rats received intraperitoneal injection of glucose (3 g/kg) 30 min before induction of ischemia to induce transient hyperglycemia. Anesthetized rats underwent right nephrectomy and subsequent occlusion of the left renal artery and vein for 45 min. D-ribose (400 mg/kg) was intravenously administered 30 min before induction of ischemia. D-ribose significantly reduced the degree of the I/R-induced increases in renal concentrations of cytokine-induced neutrophil chemoattractant-1 (a chemotactic factor for the activation of neutrophils and chemotaxis to the site of injury) and myeloperoxidase (an indicator of neutrophils infiltration). D-ribose also reduced the I/R-induced increases in serum levels of blood urea nitrogen and creatinine, and improved histological changes, including acute tubular necrosis in the corticomedullary junction fields. These results indicate that D-ribose reduces the I/R-induced acute renal injury in rats with transient hyperglycemia, probably by reducing neutrophil activation. D-ribose might thus be useful for surgical procedures, such as renal transplant surgery, under hyperglycemia.

Tohoku J Exp Med. 2009 Nov;219(3):215-22

D-ribose attenuates ischemia/reperfusion-induced renal injury by reducing neutrophil activation in rats.

The ischemia/reperfusion (I/R) represents a common pathological mechanism that causes renal injuries. A monosaccharide D-allose has been shown to inhibit neutrophil activation, which is involved in the I/R-induced organ injuries. We therefore examined the role of D-ribose in the I/R-induced renal injury using a rat model. D-ribose, a monosaccharide found in all living cells, serves as a key component of adenosine-5'-triphosphate and nicotinamide adenine dinucleotide. Male Wistar rats were divided into the sham, control and D-ribose groups. In the control and D-ribose groups, rats were subjected to 45 min of left renal ischemia, followed by 24 h of reperfusion, while the I/R procedure was not performed in the sham group. Rats were intravenously administered D-ribose (sham group and D-ribose group, 400 mg/kg) or saline (control group) 30 min before ischemia. Blood urea nitrogen (BUN), serum creatinine and urinary N-acetyl beta-D-glucosaminidase (NAG) were measured as indicators of glomerular function and proximal tubular function. We also measured cytokine-induced neutrophil chemoattractant-1 (CINC-1) and myeloperoxidase concentrations to assess neutrophil activation and infiltration, respectively. The tissue sections were scored to evaluate the tubular injury. In the control group, BUN, creatinine, NAG, CINC-1, myeloperoxidase, histological severity score, and number of infiltrating neutrophils were increased following I/R insult, as compared with the sham group. Such increases in biochemical markers, severity score, and infiltrating neutrophils were significantly inhibited in the D-ribose group. Thus, D-ribose ameliorates the I/R-induced renal injury probably by inhibiting neutrophil activation, and may be useful in attenuating the renal injury associated with renal ischemia.

Tohoku J Exp Med. 2009 May;218(1):35-40

D-Ribose as a supplement for cardiac energy metabolism.

Metabolic support for the heart has been an attractive concept since the pioneering work of Sodi-Pallares et al. four decades ago.* Recently, interest has increased in the use of over-the-counter supplements and naturally occurring nutriceuticals for enhancement of cardiac and skeletal muscle performance. These include amino acids such as creatine, L-carnitine, and L-arginine, as well as vitamins and cofactors such as alpha-tocopherol and coenzyme Q. Like these other molecules, D-ribose is a naturally occurring compound. It is the sugar moiety of ATP and has also received interest as a metabolic supplement for the heart. The general hypothesis is that under certain pathologic cardiac conditions, nucleotides (particularly ATP, ADP, and AMP) are degraded and lost from the heart. The heart's ability to resynthesize ATP is then limited by the supply of D-ribose, which is a necessary component of the adenine nucleotide structure. In support of this hypothesis, recent reports have used D-ribose to increase tolerance to myocardial ischemia. Its use in patients with stable coronary artery disease improves time to exercise-induced angina and electrocardiographic changes. In conjunction with thallium imaging or dobutamine stress echocardiography, D-ribose supplementation has been used to enhance detection of hibernating myocardium. In this article, we review the biochemical basis for using supplemental D-ribose as metabolic support for the heart and discuss the experimental evidence for its benefit.

J Cardiovasc Pharmacol Ther. 2000 Oct;5(4):249-58

Assessment of Hematological and Biochemical parameters with extended D-Ribose ingestion.

D-ribose, a naturally occurring pentose carbohydrate, has been shown to replenish high- energy phosphates following myocardial ischemia and high intensity, repetitive exercise. Human studies have mainly involved short-term assessment, including potential toxicity. Reports describing adverse effects of D-ribose with prolonged ingestion have been lacking. Therefore, this study assessed the toxicity of extended consumption of D-ribose in healthy adults. Nineteen subjects ingested 20 grams/Day (10 grams, twice a Day) of ribose with serial measurements of biochemical and hematological parameters at Days 0, 7, and 14. No significant toxic changes over the 14-day assessment period occurred in complete blood count, albumin, alkaline phosphatase, gamma glutamyltransferase, alanine amiotransferase, and aspartate aminotransferase. However, D-ribose did produce an asymptomatic, mild hypoglycemia of short duration. Uric acid levels increased at Day 7, but decreased to baseline values by Day 14. D-ribose consumption for 14 days appears not to produce significant toxic changes in both hematological and biochemical parameters in healthy human volunteers.

J Int Soc Sports Nutr. 2008 Sep 15;5:13

The role of ribose on oxidative stress during hypoxic exercise: a pilot study.

Oxygen free radicals are produced during stress, are unstable, and potentially interact with other cellular components or molecules. This reactivity can influence cellular function, including a prolongation in tissue recovery following exercise. We tested the effect of ribose (d-ribose), a pentose carbohydrate, in a double-blinded, crossover study on markers of free radical production during hypoxic exercise. Seven healthy volunteers cycled at their lactate threshold for 25 minutes while inhaling 16% O(2) with a subsequent 60-minute resting period at room air. Subjects ingested either placebo or 7 g of ribose in 250 mL of water before and after the exercise session. Urinary malondialdehyde (MDA) and plasma reduced glutathione levels increased significantly during placebo ingestion (0.2 +/- 0.03 nM/mg and 0.26 +/- 0.29 microM, respectively) but were lower with ribose supplementation (0.04 +/- 0.03 nM/mg and 0.38 +/- 0.29 microM, respectively; P < .05). Uric acid levels were similar between groups (ribose vs. placebo, 4.55 +/- 0.06 mg/dL vs. 4.67 +/- 0.06 mg/dL). Ribose demonstrated a beneficial trend in lower MDA and reduced glutathione levels during hypoxic stress.

J Med Food. 2009 Jun;12(3):690-3

Effects of ribose on exercise-induced ischaemia in stable coronary artery disease.

There is no established treatment specifically aimed at protecting or restoring cardiac energy metabolism, which is greatly impaired by ischaemia. Even after reperfusion, myocardial content of ATP remains low for more than 72 h. Long-term post-ischaemic dysfunction and irreversibility of ischaemic damage have been associated with low ATP content. Evidence that the pentose sugar ribose stimulates ATP synthesis and improves cardiac function led us to test the possibility that ribose increases tolerance to myocardial ischaemia in patients with coronary artery disease (CAD). 20 men with documented severe CAD underwent two symptom-limited treadmill exercise tests on 2 consecutive days; we postulated that the ischaemia induced might bring about changes in ATP metabolism lasting for several days. Patients whose baseline tests showed reproducibility were randomly allocated 3 days of treatment with placebo or ribose 60 g daily in four doses by mouth. Exercise testing was repeated after treatment on day 5. At that time mean (95% confidence interval) treadmill walking time until 1 mm ST-segment depression was significantly greater in the ribose than in the placebo group (276 [220-331] vs 223 [188-259] s; p = 0.002). The groups did not differ significantly in time to moderate angina. In the ribose-treated group the changes from baseline to day 5 in both time to ST depression and time to moderate angina were significant (p less than 0.005), but these changes were not significant in the placebo group. In patients with CAD, administration of ribose by mouth for 3 days improved the heart's tolerance to ischaemia. The presumed effects on cardiac energy metabolism offer new possibilities for adjunctive medical treatment of myocardial ischaemia.

Lancet. 1992 Aug 29;340(8818):507-10