As a naturally occurring sugar, D-ribose is often taken as a supplement to improve athletic performance and exercise recovery. D-ribose is also said to help support healthy heart function and provide energy for the muscles. Although D-ribose is found in food sources such as honey and beer, it is also available in supplement form. When taken as directed, D-ribose supplements are generally safe and well tolerated. However, side effects may occur in some people. If you experience any adverse reaction after taking D-ribose, stop taking the supplement and speak with your healthcare provider.

D-ribose is a type of sugar that is found naturally in some foods. It can also be made in a laboratory. D-ribose is used as medicine.


D-ribose is used for treating heart conditions including heart failure and chronic fatigue syndrome (CFS). It is also used for treating fibromyalgia, muscle soreness after exercise, and other conditions.

Some people use D-ribose for improving athletic performance and aiding in exercise recovery. It is also used to help the body make ATP (adenosine triphosphate), which is important for energy production.

D-ribose is sometimes injected into the vein, but it can also be taken by mouth. When taken by mouth, D-ribose is usually taken in three divided doses per day. When D-ribose is used for heart conditions, it might be given intravenously (by IV) for the first few days of treatment and then taken by mouth.


The appropriate dose of D-ribose depends on several factors such as the user’s age, health, and several other conditions. At this time there is not enough scientific information to determine an appropriate range of doses for D-ribose. Keep in mind that natural products are not always necessarily safe and dosages can be important. Be sure to follow relevant directions on product labels and consult your pharmacist or physician or other healthcare professional before using.

Side Effects

D-ribose is LIKELY SAFE when taken by mouth and appropriately for up to 3 months. D-ribose has been used safely in research studies lasting up to 12 weeks. D-ribose is POSSIBLY SAFE when injected into the vein appropriately for up to 6 months.

Special Precautions & Warnings:

Pregnancy and breast-feeding: D-ribose is LIKELY SAFE when taken by mouth in food amounts. But not enough is known about the safety of taking D-ribose supplements during pregnancy or breast-feeding. Stay on the safe side and avoid use.

Heart conditions: D-ribose might worsen heart conditions. If you have a heart condition, use D-ribose with caution.

High blood pressure: D-ribose might increase blood pressure in some people. If you have high blood pressure, use D-ribose with caution.

Kidney problems: D-ribose might increase the amount of a waste product called nitrogen in the blood. This could make kidney problems worse. If you have kidney problems, use D-ribose with caution.

Diabetes: D-ribose might increase blood sugar levels in people with diabetes. Use D-ribose with caution if you have diabetes and monitor your blood sugar carefully.

Surgery: D-ribose might affect blood sugar levels. There is a concern that it might interfere with blood sugar control during and after surgery. Stop using D-ribose at least 2 weeks before a scheduled surgery.

Possible side effects of D-ribose include:

upset stomach, diarrhea, gas, bloating, headache, anxiety, trouble sleeping (insomnia), and

high blood pressure.

These side effects are usually mild and tend to go away on their own. If you experience any of these side effects and they are severe or bothersome, speak with your healthcare provider.

Tell your healthcare provider immediately if you experience any of these serious side effects:

chest pain, fast/pounding heartbeat, swelling of the ankles/feet/legs, and

muscle cramps/pain/weakness.

This is not a complete list of D-ribose side effects. Ask your healthcare provider for more information about D-ribose side effects.


D-ribose might interact with certain heart or blood pressure medications. D-ribose can also increase the amount of a waste product called nitrogen in the blood. This might make kidney problems worse.

You should not take D-ribose if you are taking any of the following medications:

ACE inhibitors — enalapril (Vasotec), lisinopril (Prinivil, Zestril), quinapril (Accupril), ramipril (Altace), and others;

beta blockers — atenolol (Tenormin), carvedilol (Coreg), labetalol (Normodyne, Trandate), metoprolol (Lopressor, Toprol XL), nadolol (Corgard), nebivolol (Bystolic), propranolol (Inderal, InnoPran), sotalol (Betapace), and others;

digoxin (Lanoxin);

lithium (Lithobid); or

water pills/diuretics — hydrochlorothiazide, furosemide (Lasix), and others.

If you are taking any of these medications, speak with your healthcare provider before taking D-ribose.


Some brands of D-ribose might be contaminated with harmful bacteria. These products could cause serious infections that may be life-threatening. Do not use D-ribose if the product has been opened or if the seal is broken.

It is important to speak with your healthcare provider before taking D-ribose or giving it to a child. D-ribose should only be used under the guidance of a healthcare provider.