Vitamin B2 Benefits, Food sources and deficiency symptoms

Vitamin B are a class of water-soluble vitamins that play important roles in cell metabolism. Though these vitamins share similar names, they are chemically distinct compounds that often coexist in the same foods. In general, dietary supplements containing all eight are referred to as a vitamin B complex. Vitamin B2 Benefits, Food sources and deficiency symptoms.

Foods Highest in Vitamin B2. Top view

Riboflavin (B2)

Riboflavin is primarily involved in energy production and helps vision and skin health.

Benefits

Riboflavin is a vitamin that is needed for growth and overall good health. It helps the body break down carbohydrates, proteins and fats to produce energy, and it allows oxygen to be used by the body.

“Riboflavin is also used for the development and function of the skin, lining of the digestive tract, blood cells and other vital organs,” Dr. Sherry Ross, women’s health expert at Providence Saint John’s Health Center in Santa Monica, California, told Live Science.RECOMMENDED VIDEOS FOR YOU…

Vitamin B2 is also important for eye health. According to the University of Michigan, this vitamin is needed to protect glutathione, which is an important antioxidant in the eye. The U.S. National Library of Medicine (NLM) reports that eating a diet rich in riboflavin can lower the risk of developing cataracts. Taking supplements containing riboflavin and niacin may also be helpful in preventing cataracts.

Levels of certain vitamins, chemicals and minerals in the bloodstream seem to be dependent on healthy levels of B2, as well. For example, riboflavin changes vitamin B6 and folate (vitamin B9) into forms that the body can use. According to the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, riboflavin is important to how the body processes iron. Without it, research shows that the body is more likely to develop anemia.  Taking riboflavin can also reduce homocysteine levels in the blood by 26 to 40 percent, according to the NLM.

B2 may be important to pregnancy health, as well. According to a study by the University Women’s Hospital, Heidelberg, Germany, riboflavin deficiency may be a factor in causing preeclampsia, a condition that causes high blood pressure in late pregnancy. 

Those suffering from migraines may find that taking doses of B2 may help. A study by the department of neurology of Humboldt University of Berlin found that those taking high doses of riboflavin had significantly fewer migraines. 

Good sources of riboflavin

  • milk
  • yoghurt
  • cottage cheese
  • wholegrain breads and cereals
  • egg white
  • leafy green vegetables
  • meat
  • yeast
  • liver
  • kidney.

Riboflavin deficiency (ariboflavinosis)


Riboflavin deficiency (or ariboflavinosis) is rare and is usually seen along with other B-group vitamin deficiencies. People at risk include those who consume excessive amounts of alcohol and those who do not consume milk or milk products. 

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