Last month we had the opportunity to host the West Michigan Mitochondrial Disease Support Group (the first in Michigan), sanctioned by MitoAction.org There is a general lack of awareness with this disease, but approximately 1 in 4000 are diagnosed, typically as children. To those dealing with this energy depleting disease, simple tasks can be hard to complete. If you recall, energy is created within a specific organelle inside our cells called the mitochondria. The largest concentration of our mitochondria are found within the heart, brain, and skeletal muscles. The mitochondria require a constant supply of certain vitamin co-factors in order to generate energy in the form of ATP. Muscle pain, fatigue, sleep disturbances, and brain fog can be a result of mitochondrial dysfunction, which are often seen in those with chronic fatigue syndrome and fibromyalgia.
What fuels the mitochondria? Supportive nutrients include coenzyme Q10, carnitine, and b vitamins. This mixture, sometimes referred to as a ‘mitochondrial cocktail’, can dramatically increase energy production. Research on ribose has shown a direct correlation to energy production, improved fatigue and even exercise tolerance. Ribose is a simple sugar not found in food that is a direct building block of ATP. Do not confuse it with other sugars that provide quick bursts of energy and then crash. Think of it as the kindling to starting a fire. Normal, healthy muscle tissue has to ability to generate ribose on its own. However, when the muscle is continually stressed, our body can’t make enough ribose to recover. This results in chronic, persistent muscle pain, stiffness, soreness, and fatigue.
When looking at nutritional therapy, ribose can be a powerful addition to your protocol. For more information on Mitochondrial disease, fibromyalgia, and chronic fatigue please check out http://mitoaction.org.