D-Ribose is a naturally occurring monosaccharide, which was once thought to be important only as a structural component of DNA and RNA. Research has shown it to be valuable for energy production in cells. In 1973 Heinz Gerd Zimmer conducted research at the University of Munich and found that D-Ribose helped energy-starved hearts recover from ischemia (an inadequate blood supply to an organ or part of the body, especially the heart muscles). Subsequent research went on to show that D-Ribose was the limiting element in energy recovery in ischemic tissue and that it was necessary for energy production in the cell.

This makes it an important supplement for patients with cardiac problems. D-Ribose improves ventilatory efficiency in patients with heart failure. Ventilatory efficiency is an important predictor of survival and disease progression in patients with congestive heart failure.  As stated, D-Ribose plays a vital role in cellular energy production, so it is reasonable to assume that it can improve function in patients with congestive heart failure (CHF).

A research report presented at the American College of Cardiology’s Annual Scientific Session in 2005 indicates that D-Ribose can improve ventilatory efficiency in class II and Class III CHF patients. Over a period of eight weeks, 15 CHF patients were given the supplement. The patients showed significant improvement in ventilatory efficiency, oxygen uptake efficiency and myocardial performance.  Mark A. Munger, Pharm D., Professor of Pharmacotherapy and Associate Dean of the College of Pharmacy at the University of Utah stated, “Beyond the previously known benefits of ribose in enhancing mycardial energy levels and improving diastolic function parameters following ischemia, the study demonstrated a benefit in ventilatory efficiency, one of the most powerful predictors of survival in congestive heart failure patients.”