Although chronic fatigue syndrome (CFS) and its cousin fibromyalgia (FMS) only affect around 2–4% of the world’s population, their debilitating symptoms have caused concern in the medical world. CFS and FMS not only cause pain for its sufferers, but they also impair sleep, mental clarity and overall wellbeing. After a three-week study, published in The Open Pain Journal, conclusions yielded that supplemental D-ribose, a key element in the production of the “energy molecule” adenosine triphosphate (ATP), can improve all affected areas.
Let’s first jump back a few years to a 2006 study published in The Journal of Alternative and Complementary Medicine. Researchers observed 36 CFS/FMS patients as they consumed a daily D-ribose supplement for 25 days. Although conclusions showed a 66% significant improvement rate among sufferers, scientists demanded more backing.
Jacob Teitelbaum, M.D., author of From Fatigued to Fantastic!, wanted to build on this research with a larger study population. Teitelbaum and his team gathered 257 patients afflicted with CFS and FMS from 53 different health clinics nationwide, aiming to re-confirm the former study’s results. Participants were first tested, then given D-ribose (as Corvalen from RiboCor) for three weeks. During that time, they were tested weekly using a Visual Analog Scale rating energy, sleep, cognitive function, pain and overall wellbeing. The trial’s results favored the use of D-ribose.
“Our hypothesis all along has been that giving D-ribose to people with CFS or FMS will jump start their mitochondrial energy furnaces,” said Teitelbaum. “We’re pleased that the larger multicenter trial corroborated [with] our earlier study, showing the same benefits for fibromyalgia and CFS patients from multiple locations.”
Although only 203 patients completed the study, Teitelbaum and his team found that D-ribose led to statistically and clinically improvements in all categories, which included energy levels (61% increase), sleep (29% improvement), mental clarity (30% increase), pain relief (16% increase) and overall wellbeing (37% improvement).
Published in WholeFoods Magazine, September 2012 (online 7/16/12)