|Vitamin :: Riboflavin|
|Solubility:||Water soluble, which means any excess is readily excreted in urine. Unlike for fat soluble vitamins, it is not stored in significant amounts in the body, and so must be taken into the body regularly.|
|On this Page:||What is Riboflavin · Benefits · Deficiency Signs · Foods · Supplements · RDA · Toxicity | Overdose|
Vitamin B2, or riboflavin, is one of the B-Complex vitamins, and needs to be taken together with the other B vitamins, especially vitamin B1. It gets its name from its color: “flavus” means “yellow” in Latin. Excess riboflavin excreted in the urine is usually responsible for urine turning bright yellow when taking supplements that contain B complex vitamins.
It is easily destroyed by light, alcohol, and antibiotics, but relatively stable to heat. Generally less than 25% of it is lost in cooking and storing if there is little exposure to light.
The B vitamins play an important role in maintaining the muscle tone in the gastrointestinal tract, as well as healthy skin, eyes, hair, liver, heart, and nerves. They are co-enzymes that are vital for energy production and other metabolic processes in the body.
This list summarizes the main ways vitamin B2 benefits our health.
|::||Vitamin B2 Benefits & Functions|
|1.||promotes eye health and normal vision, and may alleviate eye fatigue|
|2.||important in prevention and treatment of cataracts|
|3.||needed for digestion, absorption, and metabolism of foods (proteins, fats, carbohydrates) and synthesis of fatty and amino acids, and is especially critical for energy production|
|4.||essential for growth and repair of all body tissues|
|5.||works with vitamin A to maintain and repair mucous membranes of the digestive tract and prevent cracked lips, mouth and tongue|
|6.||studies indicate high doses can help prevent migraine headaches or cut its duration and frequency|
|7.||helps protect cells from free radical damage by enabling the recycling of glutathione (an important antioxidant in the body)|
|8.||required for production of antibodies|
|9.||needed for red blood cell formation|
|10.||needed for absorption of iron and vitamin B6, and studies suggest may play a role in treatment of iron deficiency anemia and sickle cell anemia|
|11.||important in maintaining levels of other B vitamins; needed for the conversion of tryptophan to niacin (vitamin B3) in the body|
|12.||helps to treat carpal tunnel syndrome when used with vitamin B6|
|13.||important during pregnancy as a lack of this vitamin may cause damage to the fetus|
|14.||helps reduce homocysteine levels in the body (high levels of which are associated with increased risk of cardiovascular disease)|
Riboflavin Deficiency Symptoms and Causes
Riboflavin deficiency symptoms might arise from a deficient diet. But most cases of low levels of riboflavin occur when people have trouble absorbing it from food, mainly due to gastrointestinal tract problems such as chronic diarrhea, or inflammatory or irritable bowel disease.
Apart from that, those at risk of deficiency include the elderly, those with chronic illnesses, and women on oral contraceptives. Some antibiotics, anti-depressants, and anti-gout drugs also decrease riboflavin levels in the body and lead to riboflavin deficiency symptoms.
Alcoholics need up to 10 times the normal intake. Strenuous exercise also increases the need for vitamin B2 by as much as 10 times.
|::||Vitamin B2 Deficiency Symptoms|
|1.||dermatitis (skin irritation)|
|2.||peeling of skin, especially around the nose|
|3.||cracks, sores, and dry or scaly skin on lips, nose, corners of the mouth|
|4.||swollen or sore throat from swelling of mucous membranes|
|5.||shiny red-purple or sore, inflamed, swollen tongue (glossitis)|
|6.||loss of sense of taste|
|7.||loss of appetite|
|8.||damage to the fetus during pregnancy|
|9.||iron deficiency anemia or sickle-cell anemia|
|10.||changes in behavior including nervousness, irritability, and depression resulting from damage to the nervous system|
|11.||eye disorders such as burning, tearing, itching, reddening of the whites, or loss of clear vision, or eyes that feel gritty, or sensitive to bright light|
Foods high in riboflavin
· animal liver · mushroom · spinach.
Other vitamin B2 foods
· beans · chicken eggs · dairy products (cheese, milk, yogurt) · fish · lean meat · vegetables such as asparagus, broccoli, brussel sprouts, chard, collard greens, mustard greens, romaine lettuce, turnip greens · venison.
Taking vitamins and minerals in their correct balance is vital to the proper functioning of all vitamins. They work synergistically, which means that the effectiveness of any one nutrient requires or is enhanced, sometimes dramatically, by the presence of certain other nutrients.
For this reason, if you are looking to take supplements for maintenance of optimal health, the recommended approach is to take a multi-vitamin that has the proper balance of all the necessary nutrients your body needs.
For a list of reputable top ranked vitamin and mineral supplements chosen in an independent supplement review, see Best Multivitamin Supplements. Many of these are manufactured to pharmaceutical or nutraceutical GMP compliance, which is the highest multivitamin standard possible.
Keep in mind, however, that while vitamin supplements are useful to plug nutritional gaps that are almost inevitable in modern diets, and to ensure we get optimal doses ofnutrients, they are no substitute for a good diet. Instead, use them to complement a healthy diet and lifestyle.
Riboflavin RDA (Recommended Dietary Allowance)
The Food & Nutrition Board of the Institute of Medicine, National Academy of Sciences, in their 1997-2001 collaboration between the US and Canada, set the daily Adequate Intake (AI) of Vitamin B2 as follows.
|Life Stage | Gender||Vitamin B2 Dosage | Day|
|Infants 0-6 mths||0.3* mg|
|Infants 7-12 mths||0.4* mg|
|Children 1-3 yrs||0.5 mg|
|Children 4-8 yrs||0.6 mg|
|Girls 9-13 Yrs||0.9 mg|
|Boys 9-13 Yrs||0.9 mg|
|Females 14-18 Yrs||1.0 mg|
|Males 14-18 Yrs||1.3 mg|
|Females 19-50 Yrs||1.1 mg|
|Males 19-50 Yrs||1.3 mg|
|Females older than 50 Yrs||1.1 mg|
|Males older than 50 Yrs||1.3 mg|
|Pregnant Women 14-18 Yrs||1.4 mg|
|Pregnant Women 19-50 Yrs||1.4 mg|
|Lactating Mothers 14-18 Yrs||1.6 mg|
|Lactating Mothers 19-50 Yrs||1.6 mg|
These dosages are the minimum required per day to ward off deficiency. In therapeutic use of this nutrient, dosage is increased as necessary for the ailment, keeping in mind Vitamin B2 toxicity levels.
1 µg = 1 mcg = 1 microgram = 1/1,000,000 of a gram
1 mg = 1 milligram = 1/1,000 of a gram
* Indicates AI figures based on Dietary Reference Intake (DRI) figures
Riboflavin Overdose Symptoms, Toxicity Level & Side Effects
Toxicity is rarely seen, even at levels several times higher than the RDA. In its 1998 recommendations, the Food & Nutrition Board of the Institute of Medicine did not set a Tolerable Upper Intake Level (UL) for it due to lack of data on adverse riboflavin side effects.
In the absence of guidelines, be careful to avoid riboflavin overdose i.e. excessive amounts above the RDA, except for therapeutic use under a healthcare professional.
Excessive overdosing might cause riboflavin side effects such as feelings of burning or prickling, itching, numbness, and yellow urine from excess riboflavin excreted.
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|1.||Institute of Medicine, Food and Nutrition Board. Dietary reference intakes for thiamin, riboflavin, niacin, vitamin B6, folate, vitamin B12, pantothenic acid, biotin, and choline. Washington, DC: National Academy Press; 1998.|
|2.||U.S. National Libary of Medicine [NLM] & National Institutes of Health [NIH]: MedlinePlus. NLM-NIH home page. <http://www.nlm.nih.gov/medlineplus>. Use the built-in search function to find specific data. Accessed 2009 March – June.|
|3.||The George Mateljan Foundation: The world’s healthiest foods [WHFoods]. WHFoods home page. <http://www.whfoods.com>. Accessed 2009 March – June.|
|4.||University of Maryland Medical Center: Vitamin B2 (Riboflavin). <http://www.umm.edu/altmed/articles/vitamin-b2-000334.htm>. Accessed 2009 Jun 18.|
|5.||Balch JF, Balch PA. Prescription for nutritional healing: A practical A-Z reference to drug-free remedies using vitamins, minerals, herbs & food supplements. Garden City Park, New York: Avery Publishing; 1990.|
|6.||Ulene A. Dr. Art Ulene’s complete guide to vitamins, minerals and herbs. New York, NY: Avery Publishing; 2000.|