Vitamin B2 is also known as Riboflavin. It is a water soluble vitamin belonging to the group of B complex. It is necessary for the healthy functioning of eyes, ear, skin and red blood cells. As it is a water soluble vitamin, the body does not store sufficient amount of Vitamin B1, so regular intake of this vitamin is required. It is absorbed mainly in the small intestine.
It is commonly used with other Vitamin B–complex compounds. It helps in the growth and development of nervous system, blood cells, skin and digestive tract lining. There are several Vitamin B2 rich foods that provide adequate levels of Vitamin B1. Additionally, it can be taken as supplements.
- Acts as an antioxidant. This property helps in providing protection from cell damage which is related to aging process. It prevents formation of free radicals that can damage cells, tissues, and organs.
- It helps in increasing blood circulation and prevents formation of acne, pimples and facial pustules.
- It helps in the conversion of carbohydrates, fats, and protein into glucose. Vitamin B1 provides the energy necessary for bodily activities
- It is a key component of the electron transport chain involved in cellular energy production. This helps in the synthesis of amino acids and fats.
- It delays the pace of aging by reducing free radicals formation.
- It plays a significant role in improving vision and various eye problems such as cataracts, eye fatigue, keratoconus and glaucoma.
Helps in the treatment of severe blood disorders like methemoglobinemia and red blood cell aplasia. Also, it is an important therapeutic choice to treat carpal tunnel syndrome, burning feet disorder and muscle cramps.
Vitamin B2 is essential for several systems:
- Maintains the lining of the mucous membranes in the digestive system
- Necessary for a healthy liver
- Required for the conversion of tryptophan into niacin
- Maintains the health of skin, eyes, nerves, and muscles
- Stimulates and helps in the absorption of vitamins such as B1, B3 and B6 and iron and folic acid
- Regulates hormone levels produced by the adrenal glands
It is readily available in many foods including dairy products, meats, broccoli, brewer’s yeast, Brussel sprouts, wheat germ, eggs, wild rice, mushrooms, soybeans, green leafy vegetables and whole grain and enriched cereals and bread.
Recommended dosage (RDA)
The recommended daily amount of vitamin B2 for adult men is 1.3 milligrams per day and for adult women, it is 1.1 milligram per day.
Vitamin B2 deficiency usually occurs due to lack of proper dietary intake. As the body excretes the vitamin regularly so we need to have diet rich in Vitamin B2 to prevent its deficiency. Deficiency of this vitamin is generally accompanied with lack of other B- complex vitamins.
The two main types of riboflavin deficiency is:
- Primary riboflavin deficiency: It is a result of diet that does not consists of vitamin B2 rich foods.
- Secondary riboflavin deficiency: This deficiency occurs due to higher excretion of riboflavin from the body, or due to improper absorption by the intestines
Vitamin B2 deficiency is also known as ariboflavinosis.
Signs and symptoms:
- Mouth ulcers
- Red lips
- Sore throat
- Angular cheilitis, or cracks at the corners of the mouth
- Inflammation of the tongue
- Cracked lips
- Dry skin
- Inflammation of the lining of the mouth
- Scrotal dermatitis
- Fluid in mucous membranes
- Iron-deficiency anemia
- Eyes can be sensitive to bright light and they may be itchy or watery,
There are few groups of medications that may interfere with riboflavin’s functions in the body. It is also good to consult your physician before you start these medications on a regular basis. The drugs include Tricyclic antidepressants, such as imipramine, few antipsychotic drugs, such as chlorpromazine, Drugs used for the treatment of cancer such as Methotrexate, Doxorubicin and for autoimmune diseases, such as rheumatoid arthritis, Anti-epileptics such as Phenytoin, or Dilantin and Thiazide diuretics.
Vitamin B2 acts as an antioxidant and is used commonly for the treatment of several ailments including vision disorders, liver problems, migraine, anaemia, heart problems. It is very beneficial for the health of skin and hair. Sufficient dietary levels of riboflavin should be maintained by taking various dietary sources.