Vitamin B2 or riboflavin is one of the eight B vitamins that are essential for human health. This vitamin can be found in cereals, plants and dairy products. Vitamin B2 is essential for the breakdown of food components, the absorption of other nutrients and the maintenance of tissues. As you know, vitamin B2 is a water-soluble vitamin and therefore soluble in water. All vitamins are water-soluble or fat-soluble. Water-soluble vitamins are carried through the bloodstream. People should take vitamin B2 every day because the body stores only small amounts of it and these resources run out very quickly. Riboflavin is found naturally in some foods. Of course, this vitamin may be added to substances or enter the body through supplements. Most of the vitamin B2 is absorbed in the small intestine.
Why is vitamin B2 important?
This vitamin helps break down proteins, fats and carbohydrates. Vitamin B2 plays an important role in maintaining the body’s energy source. Riboflavin can help convert carbohydrates to ATP. The human body produces ATP from food, and ATP provides the energy needed by the body. The combination of ATP is crucial for storing energy in muscles.
Vitamin B along with Vitamin A is essential for:
- Preservation of the mucous membrane in the digestive system
- Liver maintenance
- Conversion of tryptophan to niacin
- Keeping eyes, nerves, muscles and skin healthy
- Absorption and activation of iron, folic acid, vitamins B1, B3 and B6
- Hormone production by the adrenal gland
- Prevent the development of cataracts
- Fetal development, especially in areas where vitamin deficiencies are common.
Some researchers believe that vitamin B2 can help prevent cataracts and migraine headaches, but more studies are needed to confirm this. Other studies have shown that taking supplements containing vitamins B2, B6 and magnesium in children with autism can reduce abnormal levels of organic acids in the urine.
Sources of Vitamin B2:
Vitamin B2 is found in foods. These resources include:
- Fish, red meat, turkey, chicken, beef, liver and offal
- dairy products
- Cayenne pepper
- Enriched breakfast cereals
- Peas, Lima beans
- sweet potato
- Maryam Goli
- Vegetables such as broccoli , Brussels sprouts, spinach, leek juice, dandelion leaves
- Bread made with whole grains, fortified bread and wheat bran
- Yeast extract
Vitamin B2 is water soluble so cooking can destroy it.
How much vitamin B2 does the body need?
According to research from Oregon State University, the daily allowable amount of vitamin B2 for men 19 years and older is about 1.3 mg per day and for women about 1.1 mg per day. Women should take 1.4 mg per day during pregnancy and 1.6 mg per day during breastfeeding.
Vitamin B2 deficiency:
When there is no good diet , the risk of vitamin B2 deficiency will be very high because the body uses this vitamin constantly. A person who is deficient in vitamin B2 will naturally be deficient in other vitamins as well. There are two types of riboflavin deficiency:
- Primary riboflavin deficiency occurs when a person’s diet is low in vitamin B2
- Secondary riboflavin deficiency may also be caused by a lack of proper absorption of the vitamin in the gut. Also, if the body can not use vitamins properly, it will be deficient.
Signs and symptoms of vitamin B2 deficiency include:
- Angular cheilitis or cracks around the mouth
- Cracked lips
- dry skin
- Inflammation of the lining of the tongue
- Wounds in the mouth
- Red lips
- Sore throat
- Scrotal dermatitis
- Fluid in the mucous membrane
- Iron deficiency anemia
- The eyes may be sensitive to bright light, itching
People who drink large amounts of alcohol are at risk for vitamin B deficiency.
Safety Concerns and Risks About Vitamin B2:
Vitamin B2 is usually safe and harmless for people. Overdose of this vitamin is unlikely because the body can absorb more than 27 mg of riboflavin and excrete excess amounts in the urine. However, you should consult a specialist before taking any supplement. Some supplements may interfere with your medication. Vitamin B2 supplements may affect the effectiveness of some medications. Sometimes a doctor will recommend supplements for people. Medications that may interact with riboflavin include the following:
- Quarterly antidepressants such as imipramine or Tofranil
- Some painkillers such as chlorpromazine or torazine
- Methotrexate is used for cancer and autoimmune diseases.
- Phenytoin or dialantin used to control seizures
- Probenecid for gout
- Thiazide diuretics
Doxorubicin, a drug used to treat cancer, may lower riboflavin levels, and riboflavin affects the function of docrosubicin.
The University of Maryland Medical Center (UMM) notes that high levels of vitamin B2 may cause itching, numbness, burning or tingling, yellow or orange urine, and photosensitivity. To prevent vitamin B imbalances, they recommend using a B-complex vitamin supplement if needed.