Vitamin B2 also known as Riboflavin is a complex B vitamin. It is a water-soluble vitamin. Riboflavin is known to prevent cataracts and also to ensure the body’s energy is in place.
Vitamin B2 Sources
Riboflavin occurs naturally in some foods and can also occur as supplements. Food sources for Vitamin B2 are eggs, nuts, dairy products, meats, broccoli, brewer’s yeast, Brussel sprouts, wheat germ, wild rice, mushrooms, soybeans, green leafy vegetables and whole-grain and enriched cereals and bread.
Also, Vitamin B2 is present in cruciferous vegetables e.g broccoli, Brussels sprouts, spinach, dandelion greens, and watercress.
Vitamin B2 Health Benefits
Riboflavin plays a necessary role in human health and also animals. The main function is to maintain the body energy supply. This is by helping in the conversion of carbohydrates to Adension Triphosphate(ATP). ATP is a vital energy stored in the muscles.
Additionally, Vitamin B2 works in conjunction with vitamin A to achieve some functions. These include:
- Maintaining the mucous membranes in the digestive system
- Maintaining a healthy liver
- Converting tryptophan into niacin, an amino acid
- Keeping the eyes, nerves, muscles, and skin healthy
- Absorbing and activating iron, folic acid, and vitamins B1, B3 and B6
- Hormone production by the adrenal glands
- Preventing the development of cataracts
- Fetal development, especially in areas where vitamin deficiency is common
Some studies have related children with autism together with vitamin B2, B6, and magnesium. The compatibility is that the supplements have appeared to reduce levels of abnormal organic acids in the urine.
Vitamin B2 Side Effects
Riboflavin is not considered toxic to many patients. This is because the body can absorb up to around 27 milligrams of riboflavin. For the excess intakes in the body, it is excreted in additional amounts of urine.
Although it has no toxic effects, it is important to stick to your doctor’s advice on this(if taken as supplements). Additionally, some medications will affect the daily absorption of riboflavin by the body. Thus, seek medical advice first before taking riboflavin and some medicines.
Vitamin B2 Migraine
Riboflavin has been recommended to reduce migraine and severe headaches. Some studies have proven that vitamin B2 will relieve headaches and migraines. However, more studies are still required to prove so.
Vitamin B2 (Riboflavin) Deficiency
Inadequate volumes of riboflavin sources to the body might cause ariboflavinosis. Ariboflavinosis is also referred to as Riboflavin deficiency leads to cheilosis(cracking of the lips). Also, deficiency can result in Pseudo Sphyillis which affects the scrotum and the mouth. Severe riboflavin deficiency can lead to anemia and cataracts.
There are two types of Riboflavin deficiency. They include:
- Primary riboflavin deficiency where one has less vitamin B2 in the body
- Secondary riboflavin when the deficiency happens for another reason. For example, intestines cannot absorb riboflavin inside the body or riboflavin is excreted too much out of the body. Additionally, some instances happen when the body can not use it.
Signs and Symptoms of Riboflavin Deficiency
- skin disorders
- sores at the corners of the mouth
- swelling of the mouth and throat
- swollen, cracked lips
- hair loss
- red, itchy eyes
- Inflammation of the tongue(glossitis)
People at Risk of Vitamin B2 Deficiency
Alcoholics are at a greater risk of getting the disease. Also, a patient taking some of the drugs that reduce the absorption rate of Riboflavin in the body. The drugs include
- some antipsychotic drugs like chlorpromazine, or Thorazine
- cancer and autoimmune drugs like methotrexate
- Phenytoin, or Dilantin, used to control seizures
- Probenecid, for gout
- Thiazide diuretics, or water pills
Note Better: Being riboflavin deficient during pregnancy can create a higher risk of certain birth defects.
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