Understanding D-Ribose and Mitochondrial Function

Adv Biosci Clin Med. 2018;6(1):1-5. doi: 10.7575/aiac.abcmed.v.6n.1p.1.


Mitochondria are important organelles referred to as cellular powerhouses for their unique properties of cellular energy production. With many pathologic conditions and aging, mitochondrial function declines, and there is a reduction in the production of adenosine triphosphate. The energy carrying molecule generated by cellular respiration and by pentose phosphate pathway, an alternative pathway of glucose metabolism. D-ribose is a naturally occurring monosaccharide found in the cells and particularly in the mitochondria is essential in energy production. Without sufficient energy, cells cannot maintain integrity and function. Supplemental D-ribose has been shown to improve cellular processes when there is mitochondrial dysfunction. When individuals take supplemental D-ribose, it can bypass part of the pentose pathway to produce D-ribose-5-phosphate for the production of energy. In this article, we review how energy is produced by cellular respiration, the pentose pathway, and the use of supplemental D-ribose.

Keywords: Adenosine Triphosphate; Bioenergetics; D-ribose; Mitochondria.