I've been studying the effects of d-ribose on pregnancy this week, curious if it's safe to take d-ribose when you're pregnant.
So far, the usual forums, doctor-moderated boards, and public health sites have been of zero help. So I turned to Google Scholar.
What I learned, from reading scientific papers, is that, at least in mice, high doses (like 158 grams a day for a human; the usual therapeutic dose for a human is 15 grams a day) of ribose delivered intravenously causes dementia and is highly toxic to cells. (The regular human therapeutic dose was studied, too, and had no ill effects). So don't overdose. (http://www.plosone.org/article/info%3Adoi%2F10.1371%2Fjournal.pone.0024623)
But I also learned that, at least in rats, dietary ribose supplementation, even in extremely high doses (up to 789 grams per day for a human) has absolutely zero affect on pregnancy or babies. The babies, placentas, etc, were physically indistinguishable from the control group. (http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S027869150600250X).
That would indicate that ribose is safe for pregnancy, at least for rats.
It does cross the blood-brain barrier, and enters cells through diffusion, so there is a good chance that it would cross the placental barrier as well, though. And, since ribose is unsafe for diabetics, I imagine it would be unsafe for those with gestational diabetes as well. Also, there was no research regarding the mental development of the rats.
Someone has also submitted a patent to use ribose to treat newborn stroke. http://www.google.com/patents/US20130196934. This doesn't prove it's safe of course (lots of wacky patents are submitted), but at least one scientist thinks it is.