Bioenergy goes deeper into mechanism of action of legacy D-Ribose ingredient

By Hank Schultz contact

- Last updated on GMT

D-Ribose's effects on AMPK activation could have implications for muscle cells and other tissues. ©Getty Images - Sinhu
D-Ribose's effects on AMPK activation could have implications for muscle cells and other tissues. ©Getty Images - Sinhu

Related tags: D-ribose, mitochondria, mitochondrial function, Sports nutrition products, Sports nutrition sector

Bioenergy Life Sciences says new data will help expand the playing field for its legacy ribose ingredient. The new line of development centers on AMPK activation.

Adenosine 5’ monophosphate-activated protein kinase, or AMPK, is an enzyme involved in cellular energy homeostasis.  The enzyme is involved with utilization of stored energy from fats when cellular energy stocks are low, and thus is involved in states of ketosis.

It is thought to be stimulated by stimuli associated with energy depletion, such as fasting or intense exercise.  Michael Crabtree, ND, director of scientific affairs and technology at BLS, said a recent research development program has shown that Bioenergy Ribose plays a role in the function of AMPK, which has expanded the company’s understanding of the mechanism of action for its functional sugar.

Crabtree said AMPK is one of the last pieces of the cellular energy production picture to fall into place.

“AMPK is a molecule that has been heavily researched in anti aging and specifically in anti stress indications,” ​Crabtree told NutraIngredients-USA. “The researcher really started in about 2004 to 2006.  Back then they knew what AMPK was but they didn’t really know what it did. We understand now that there are downstream effects of AMKP activation.”

Low dose implications for legacy ingredient

Bioenergy Ribose was oringially studied as a supplier of sustained energy directly.  One of the company’s early successes had to do with its sponsorship of Olympic short track speed skater Katherine Reutter, who credited her use of Bioenergy Ribose with helping her to win a silver and bronze medals in the 2010 Winter Olympics.

In those applications, dosages of 5 g up to 15 g were used, Crabtree said.  However, the company subsequently started to look at effects at lower dosages.  

The company’s recent preclinical research has shown several promising effects including:

Low doses of Bioenergy Ribose stimulate AMPK production, independent of exercise and without exercise, and also boost serum ATP levels and maintain energy levels during strenuous exercise and without exercise. 

Significant elevation of AMPK in liver, heart and skeletal muscle tissue independent of exercise, indicating the power of D-Ribose by itself to increase AMPK.

Significant elevation in PGC-1a (an important molecule for fat loss and energy metabolism regulation) activity in skeletal muscle: 30% increase in PGC-1a in skeletal muscle without exercise, and 260% increase in PGC-1a with D-Ribose combined with exercise.

Significant elevation of citrate synthase activity which indicates the elevated turnover of new mitochondria, or more mitochondria.

“This really is just a baseline.  It really needs to be verified in a human model,” ​he said. “But we have been running ribose on animals for 30 years.”

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