The idea of supplementing with nucleotides is a relatively new idea that has been investigated in a few recent studies. Nucleotides consist of a nitrogen base, a five-carbon sugar (ribose or deoxyribose) and one to three phosphate groups. The nitrogen-containing bases may be purines (adenine and guanine) and pyrimidines (cytosine, thymine and uracil). Nucleotides are the structural units used to make RNA and DNA, as well as essential compounds in the formation of adenosine triphosphate (ATP), the major energy source used to fuel muscle contraction and nearly every other physiologic function in the body. Therefore, supplying an additional source of nucleotides in the diet may have significant benefits to health and overall physical performance. There has been some preliminary work evaluating the effects of nucleotide supplementation on exercise responses. In one recent project, subjects supplemented with nucleotides for 60 days showed a reduced cortisol response to exercise and an increase in immunoglobulin A (IgA) levels compared to placebo. The findings suggest a possible role nucleotide supplementation in reducing catabolic hormone responses to exercise and improving immune function.
Mc Naughton L, Bentley D, Koeppel P. The effects of a nucleotide supplement on the immune and metabolic response to short term, high intensity exercise performance in trained male subjects. J Sports Med Phys Fitness. 2007 Mar;47(1):112-8.