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Greetings and welcome to my Lyme disease blog, a comfy cozy (and sometimes crazy!) place for cutting-edge information, encouragement and insight into the fastest-growing epidemic disease in the United States. In this blog you will find everything from bug-killing strategies to immune system and hormone help, as well as lifestyle and spiritual suggestions for healing from chronic illness involving Lyme disease. The information contained within this blog is based upon my own healing journey and what I have learned over the past eight years as I have been diligently digging and researching my way back to a better state of health. May you find it to be a source of hope, inspiration and wisdom in your own journey towards wellness.

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Sunday, December 14, 2008

Jump Start Your Body's Energy Furnaces With D-Ribose

D-ribose. This stuff is like speed for the cells; the match which kindles the ATP fire, and which has so far given me more energy than any other single nutrient.

Okay, so I've only been taking it for three days, which means that its dramatic effects may be too good to be true. A supplement that can transform a person from a slug into a high-powered hare overnight surely has some problems, but nothing I have read in the literature so far indicates that D-ribose is bad for you. In fact, Dr. Titelbaum, in the updated version of his book, "From Fatigued to Fantastic", advocates D-ribose as a solution for fatigue, citing it as dramatically beneficial to more than sixty-six percent of patients, providing an average of a 30% improvement in quality of life, and a 45% increase in energy.

Normally, when I read statistics like that, I think, Yeah, right. Magic bullet, I don't think so!

I must admit though, I was amazed (if not a little freaked out) yesterday, when I cleaned out my closet and organized four years' worth of vitamin supplements in less than two hours flat...and still had energy to do half a dozen other tasks. I didn't even go to bed wasted tired, as I sometimes do when I hit the fast forward button on my body. (Although I really should learn to be a better steward of my energy!)

So what is D-ribose?

It's a sugar made by the body (don't think glucose, sucrose or fructose) and the primary building block of ATP (adenosine tri-phosphate). ATP is the body's energy currency; without it, cells cannot function. It is the molecule that powers the heart, brain and every other tissue and organ in the body. In chronic illness, the cells become energy-starved, and replacing ribose can help them to function properly again.

In Lyme disease and chronic fatigue, it is thought that the body is unable to produce sufficient amounts of ribose. Supplementing with D-ribose can jump start the body's energy furnaces, so that metabolism becomes more efficient. In Lyme disease and CFS, it enables the body to recover more quickly from exercise, restoring energy in the muscles that have been fatigued by exertion. It promotes sleep and mental clarity, and clears up brain fog and depression. It also dramatically improves heart function, by allowing the heart to more fully relax, fill and pump blood throughout the body. The increased blood circulation results in greater oxygenation from your brain, all the way down to your toes. A multitude of clinical research has also shown D-ribose to be helpful for congestive heart failure, cardiomyopathy (weakened heart muscle) and coronary artery disease. Being that Lyme disease affects the heart in a multitude of ways, this supplement seems like it would be an asset to any protocol, and also because of the effects that it has upon other symptoms.

Dr. Titelbaum, in his book, From Fatigued To Fantastic, advocates a product called Corvalen (made by Bioenergy), which contains the highest-quality D-ribose, along with malate and magnesium to facilitate uptake and utilization by the body.
Optimum effects of this powder are felt within a few weeks, although I have taken it only for a few days now and already noticed a significant difference in the way I feel.

Finally, I am an optimist but like all treatments, I have to wonder if this super speed substance is a good thing that can be used long-term. For the chronically fatigued, a little extra ATP is probably a good thing, but can ribose help to heal the body, or are its effects only temporary? Can taking too much of the stuff place extra demands upon the body for other nutrients or hormones?

I don't have the answer to those questions, as I have not extensively researched this nutrient. From the little that I have read, the literature and preliminary results are promising, and perhaps D-ribose can help to jump-start other processes in the body that have gone awry due to Lyme disease. If this is true, then I would consider its effects upon the body in chronic Lyme disease to be nothing short of miraculous.


Clark said...

Hi Connie,
I've been taking Coravlen for about 3 months now. My energy has gone up on average over those months. I myself have done a bit of cleaning and organizing in my house that I couldn't even begin to think about 6 months ago. Now,I didn't know if this increased activity was from the D ribose, or from the many other supplements I was taking (I do drink a couple of unflavored Whey protein shakes a day, and I believe that they have helped. In fact, I mix my Corvalen in them.) I take three scoops a day, and I do hope that the improvements that I have felt continue. The increased energy is helping me to find joys that had fallen completely away for a while there.

Thanks so much for all you do,
(cleric1104 from YouTube)

raven said...

Great post as usual. Thanks for the detailed info.

I've tried this stuff a few times and had a terrible reaction to it. I have never heard of anyone else not being able to tolerate it. I think maybe it's because I have an IGG allergy to cane sugar but I was also wondering if maybe it causes a flare up of Lyme bacteria. I'm told they feed off sugars. Do you know if D-Ribose would be the kind of sugar the little bugs like to eat?

Connie Strasheim (aka Killabugger) said...

Hi Clark,

I'm glad to hear that you are doing so well. It certainly seems as though Corvalen may have been life-changing for you. I hope that effect continues! Thank you for sharing your experience.

Blessings, Connnie

Connie Strasheim (aka Killabugger) said...


D-ribose is used by the body exclusively to make ATP. I don't think that it would feed Lyme. It does increase oxygenation in the body, though, so I wonder if it may have caused you to herx? Or perhaps your body didn't need it? I don't know enough about it so this is just speculation on my part. Just goes to show how different Lyme sufferers can be with regards to nutrient needs!
Thanks for your input, Connie

Anonymous said...


I just got some as I have noticed a drop in my energy especially if I increase dosage of my OLE (I was off of it for awhile, in fact all microbial killers and going back has caused a lot of fatigue). will let you know how it goes.

Is it still working for you?

Happy Holidays,

Connie Strasheim (aka Killabugger) said...

Hey Mistral,

It sounds like the critters are still having a party in your body if you felt worse going back on OLE.
Sorry to hear that!

Yes, the D-ribose continues to be nothing short of miraculous for me. I have felt better this month than I have all year! Nonetheless, I am not convinced about the safety of LT use, even though most of the literature I have come across says it's safe. I take only 1/4 dose though as the full dose makes me hyper. So just go slow and ramp up according to your needs. I hope it helps you! Let me know how it goes.

Blessings and Happy Holidays!


Anonymous said...

Hey Connie,

I totally notice the effects of it as well. Unreal. I might try some exercise again to see how I handle it with the D-ribose.

The die-off has diminished and I will stay on the OLE but cycle on and off of it. I def have some critters still but I still think metals is my number 1 culprit. Slowly working of that as well!

Happy Holidays,

David said...

I've been on it for about 10 days, and it's a significant improvement in energy. I can take short daily walks now, and not feel bad afterwards. I got the plain d-ribose formula, but I'm gonna try the one with Mg and malate later.


Connie Strasheim (aka Killabugger) said...

Hey David and Mistral,

I'm so glad to hear this stuff is working for you, too :)

I went ice-skating for NY's and wasn't totally wasted afterwards. Incredible stuff, isn't it?

Let's hope it works LT and is good for us LT!

Happy New Year!

Vandu said...

Dear Connie, I am considering using D-ribose to improve my energy. I want to have sustained good, normal energy rather than between feeling fatigued. However, I want to improve my energy in a holistic way and not be dependent on something. I eat very well, but this energy issue still comes up.
Also, I feel like any amount of strength training also wipes me out (pushups squats, and the like). i'm also still nursing my 2.5 year old though a lot less. T

The true test for me if D-ribose is helpful, is not only if it gives me good, normal energy, but if I take it over time, it helps balance out my body's mechanism for producing ATP so that I need less and less D-ribose over time. ALso..if I take d-ribose for a few weeks, if it has helped my body, I would think getting off d-ribose would not pose a huge problem..my body should be working better to provide me energy. How do you feel about this? Wouldn't this mean d-ribose is truly addressing the root of the problem?

Have you continued to take D-ribose? Same amount? more? less? has your energy continued to be good? and if you took a break from it was your body okay or did you feel you needed to quickly get back on it?

Thanks for your posts.