Our body requires a compound called Adenosine Triphosphate (ATP) in order to fuel itself and carry out each and every process including digestion, respiration, excretion and regeneration of tissues. ATP is found in every single cell of the body and if you want to boost your energy levels then you need to get your ATP levels up. The problem is that getting ATP levels up is not an easy task and several key nutrients play a role in the manufacture of ATP and various factors reduce ATP including the ageing process and stress.
One of the key building blocks to ATP is a rare sugar molecule called D-Ribose. Every cell in the body makes D-Ribose, but only slowly and in varying amounts depending upon the tissue concerned. The liver and the adrenals under normal circumstances produce sufficient D-Ribose to carry out their function of making compounds required for hormone production. Most other tissues, including the heart, do not produce sufficient D-Ribose and require it from food sources such as red meat, which contains the greatest amount of D-Ribose, although not significant enough to make a difference to those who suffer from chronic fatigue, stressed individuals or those with cardiovascular concerns.
Key nutrients for a healthy heart
Cardiologists are now recognizing that some nutrients play a key role in protecting our heart tissue. Notable examples include ubiquinol, the active form of Co-Enzyme Q10, magnesium and L-Carnitine. Ubiquinol helps thin the blood slightly and thus eases the flow of blood through the body causing less resistance to the heart. Magnesium increases the production of energy within the heart muscle, contributing to its ability to pump blood throughout the body. Additionally, magnesium relaxes arteries easing the flow of blood. Carnitine works to transport fatty acids into the cells of the heart muscle tissue to be used as a source of energy.
The heart muscle tissue is the most important muscle tissue, which many of us take for granted. It is a remarkable organ comprising of a very specific type of muscle tissue and unlike the muscles we can see in the mirror, the heart never gets a break. Even whilst we are sleeping, the heart has to keep on going and its rest period is in between each contraction. This creates a huge demand for energy and it is no surprise that cardiovascular concerns are widespread because of the sheer burden placed on the heart. This is even before we consider poor diet and lifestyle choices, which can have a major impact on the heart muscle tissue.
Until recently, Ubiquinol, Carnitine and Magnesium were the supplements recommended to promote and maintain heart health. Scientists now believe that D-Ribose is the missing link in the nutrient protocol and is invaluable for at-risk cardiac patients and even more important for those who have cardiovascular disease.
The role of D-Ribose in heart health
D-Ribose works to provide fuel for the heart muscle tissue to function correctly and helps quicker recovery after a heart attack. Ischemia is a medical term for the restriction of oxygen and blood to highly aerobic tissues such as heart and brain. Irreversible damage to these tissues can occur in as little as three to four minutes. When ischemia occurs in the heart, it loses nearly 50% of its energy molecule, ATP and even when blood flow and oxygen are restored back to normal, it can take several days before the heart energy levels return back to normal. Taking D-Ribose has shown that this can return normal heart function within two days. But that’s not all.
Scientists believe that between 20 and 25% of the population, both men and women, display early signs of cardiac dysfunction due to the stiffening of the heart tissue. This results in a less than optimal function and of course makes these individuals more likely to suffer from cardiovascular disease later on in life. This is especially true in people with high blood pressure where the heart is having to use a lot of energy to pump blood around the body, and taking D-Ribose increases heart energy reserves and may help restore cardiac dysfunction.
Many cardiologists are now using D-Ribose routinely for people who have cardiovascular concerns. The recommendation is that if you suffer from high blood pressure, or have a history of high blood pressure or cardiovascular concerns in your family, or if you are aged over 45 and wish to protect your heart, then you should take D-Ribose on a daily basis.
Studies indicate that a dose of 5 grams of D-Ribose Powder should be used by basically healthy individuals who want cardiovascular protection and to enhance general energy levels since D-Ribose fuels every single cell in the body. If you are already a sufferer from cardiovascular disease, then the recommendation is 10 grams a day, although more can be taken up to a maximum of 30 grams daily. A word of caution, D-Ribose when taken at the very high doses may lower sugar levels in blood and to offset this, I would recommend taking D-Ribose with meals.
The supplement of D-Ribose that I recommend is D-Ribose Magnesium by Viridian Nutrition. This supplement provides D-Ribose as well as two of the other heart protective nutrients mentioned above, carnitine and magnesium. Qi-Ribose Powder is free from soya, gluten, wheat and other known allergens.