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Posted by on Aug 14, 2013 in Science | 0 comments

RiboCeine (D-Ribose-L-Cysteine) The #1 Glutathione Booster

RiboCeine (D-Ribose-L-Cysteine) The #1 Glutathione Booster

Ribose-Cysteine has been hailed as the ultimate in glutathione support.  Before we dive deep into those claims, first a quick look at the current glutathione supplementation landscape.

The Incumbent

N-Acetyl-Cysteine has been used for a long time to support glutathione levels, as it can be taken into the cells and used by the body for glutathione synthesis. There are numerous studies on validating it does have an effect in raising intra-cellular glutathione levels.

For a long time it’s all that has existed on the market in the area, and the one benefit of that now it is can be found fairy cheap.  But as the saying goes “buy cheap, buy twice”.  Despite the how well known and affordable it may be, doesn’t make it be all and end all of glutathione supplementation.  A review article published in the journal Molecules in 2010 titled “Prodrug Approach for Increasing Cellular Glutathione Levels”, said of NAC:

Its use, however, has been limited by several drawbacks, including low membrane penetration and low systemic bioavailability

Given glutathione’s critical role in the body many brilliant scientists have poured the efforts into finding better compounds than NAC the body can use to raise glutathione levels.  Many of which you can read about in the Molecules article here.

The Contender

Ribose-Cysteine, aka RiboCeine, or often referred to as RibCys in the published journal articles.  It’s full chemical name is 2(R,S)-D-ribo-(1′,2′,3′,4′-tetrahydroxybutyl)thiazolidine-4(R)-carboxylic acid.

It’s chemistry is different significantly from NAC in two ways.

First is the moiety (functional group) of what is attached to the cysteine.  RiboCeine has the monosaccaride sugar Ribose attached while NAC has an acetyl group.  RiboCeine has the benefit over NAC of providing a useful molecule which forms the backbone of the ATP energy molecule which is produced in our mitochondria.  There are a number of studies showing that supplementing with Ribose enhances the recovery of myocardial or skeletal muscle ATP and TAN levels following ischemia or high-intensity exercise (1, 2, 3)

Secondly is the position on the Cysteine the it’s attached to. NAC has the acetyl group attached to the nitrogen atom (hence N-Acetyl-Cysteine). RiboCeine has the ribose attached to, and protecting, the all important sulfhydryl group on the cysteine.  It’s this sulphydryl group which gives glutathione is unique and powerful properties.

RiboCeine outperforms NAC - The Research

RiboCeine has had 20 peer-review published articles over the last 25 years, funded by the National Institutes of Health, the Veterans Administration and other institutions. You can see a full list of the research at

Further technical information can also be found in the patent on RiboCeine.

So cutting to the chase, when it comes to the showndown what does the data say?

See Table 1 in the patent (4) for the “300% more effective than NAC” claim. Note the 1.3x increase with NAC was a concentration 2.5 higher than the RiboCeine, which produced a 1.7x increase.

Additionally RiboCeine has higher systemic bioavailability as it can protect the kidneys from toxicity much better than NAC
There is evidence in humans that administration of N-acetylcysteine will reverse or prevent acetaminophen-induced liver injury, but it does not always antagonize kidney injury (Davenport & Finn 1988). Unlike N-acetylcysteine, Ribose Cysteine is a cysteine prodrug that antagonized acetaminophen-induced target organ injury in both liver and kidney (Roberts et al. 1992; Lucas et al. 2000).
riboceine studies
The History
While RiboCeine may seem like the new kid on the block in a commerical availability sense, it’s initial development and research streches back 25 years. Long before glutathione started gaining any mainstream attention Dr Nagasawa was hard at work developing superior forms of glutathione delivery. (5)
After the Vietnam War, a high percentage of returning veterans were addicted to drugs and alcohol.  Due to the controversy and unpopularity of the war, the veterans did not receive a glorious welcome and were ignored or shunned by most of society.  Dr. Nagasawa’s own brother was one of the soldiers who suffered this fate.  In response to this problem the Veteran’s Administration decided it needed better, more effective drugs than Antabuse to prevent alcohol abuse.   They decided that they needed more new drugs that prevented alcoholics from developing fatty livers, which would lead to cirrhosis and eventually a liver transplant or death.

The team knew they needed compounds that were non-toxic to combine with cysteine in order to effectively deliver it to the cell.  They realized that we do have such compounds in our own body, namely aldose monosaccharide, or the simple sugars produced when glucose is metabolized.

To test this possibility, grad student Jeanette Roberts prepared the sugar-cysteine condensation produced from 8 different aldose saccharides.  The next experiment showed that livers that had an overdose of ACP plus the saccharide D-ribose combined with cysteine had 100% survival rate from the in vivo experiments, while the next best compound, glucose-cysteine did not perform nearly as well.

Eureka!  Ribose-Cysteine protected the liver form a toxic dose of ACP.  Ribose-Cysteine serves as an effective delivery method of bringing L-cysteine to cells, stimulates glutathione biosynthesis and protects them from toxins.  The ribose-cysteine compound also makes for an ideal dietary supplement since it’s made from endogenous elements already in our body.

Further experiments went on to show that ribose-cysteine was even more effective than NAC in increasing glutathione content within a liver cell.

The Man, The Mission
Dr Herbert Nagasawa is a genius and humanitarian of the highest order.  Haunting wartime memories of donning gas masks with air-raid sirens screeching, and seeing soldiers with gas masks in Gulf Wars motivated Herb to develop a new and faster way of treating cyanide poisoning.  Despite inital funding rejections he persevered on.  Following the 9/11 attacks and the following anthrox poisoning scares, the US Department of Defense put out a request to develop a cyanide antidote meeting the “3 minute solution standard”.  Herb handed over his initial creation to Steven Patterson to lead up the continued research. (6)

Nagasawa retired and moved to California in 2004, but his retirement is relative. Now 80 years old [in 2008], he still consults on the project and stays in touch daily with Patterson, who took over the lead role.

“It’s so important to solve this problem,” he says. “My philosophy is that if you have anything to provide to push this problem forward intellectually, then you are morally obligated to get it done.”

After completing his work on the cyanide antidote Dr Nagasawa, now aged in his 80′s, focused his efforts on making his RiboCeine technology available to the world and approached Max International to purchase his technology.

Dr Nagasawa actually missed the launch event of his first RiboCeine based product, MaxATP, at Max International.  He was at the National Institutes of Health-Homeland Security 4th Annual Countermeasures Against Chemical Threats Network Symposium to presenting his work on the cyanide antidote.

Dr Nagasawa has had an extremely accomplished career in medicinal chemistry.  He served as the Senior Editor of the Journal of Medicinal Chemistry for 32 years.  He worked at the Veterans Administration Medical Center in Minneapolis and was promoted to Senior Research Career Scientist, a nationwide VA title reserved for the VA’s top scientists.

The efficacy of the RiboCeine compound has attracted many top doctors to Max International, some of which volunteer on the medical advisory board. One Dr. Doug Harrington is a former member of the Stanford heart transplant team and currently serves as CEO of Aviir, Inc., a Stanford University spin-out cardiac biomarker company. In the following short video he discussed the unique chemistry and science of RiboCeine.

Max International has been invited to the 1st International Conference of Medical Biology and 3rd International Symposium of Biological Therapies and Homotoxicology in Buenos Aires, Argentina to present on RiboCeine™ and glutathione.

Max International’s top RiboCeine product to raise your glutathione is Cellgevity

Further reading:

Max International Medical Advisory Board

Who has used Cellgevity?


1 The role of ribose in human skeletal muscle metabolism Med Hypotheses. 2004;62(5):819-24.

2 Effect of ribose supplementation on resynthesis of adenine nucleotides after intense intermittent training in humans Am J Physiol Regul Integr Comp Physiol. 2004 Jan;286(1):R182-8.

3 The Effects of Four Weeks of Ribose Supplementation on Body Composition and Exercise Performance in Healthy, Young, Male Recreational Bodybuilders. Current Therapeutic Research Volume 63, Issue 8

4 Method To Enhance The Delivery Of Glutathione And ATP Levels In Cells

5 Dr. Nagasawa Shares the Story of RiboCeine’s Development

6 An Idea Born In 1941 Hawaii


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