Riboflavin, or otherwise known as vitamin B2, is a water-soluble vitamin of B complex that participates in energy production and cellular function.
What are the effects of vitamin B2?
Riboflavin is an essential structural element of two enzymes that play a very important role in energy production. It also participates in the proper functioning of cells, in growth, in the metabolism of fat and drugs.
Migraine and headache
Many studies have shown that vitamin B2 supplements can help both in preventing and reducing the frequency and duration of a migraine. In addition, some studies have shown that vitamin B2 supplementation can help reduce even the intensity of a migraine. The recommended dose for effective action is 400 mg daily.
Riboflavin is very important for maintaining homocysteine levels in the blood. Homocysteine is an amino acid, elevated levels of which are associated with increased cardiovascular risk and coronary artery disease.
Maintaining hemoglobin levels in the blood requires adequate riboflavin uptake daily through diet. No data so far suggests that supplementation with vitamin B2 may correct anemia and serum hemoglobin levels.
Vitamin B2 is very important for vision. It is a basic structural component of the retina, which plays a very important role in the function of the photoreceptors. Adequate intake is associated with a lower risk of cataracts.
Which foods contain riboflavin?
Food rich in vitamin B2 are eggs, liver, lean meat, milk and green vegetables. Many foods, like cereals, are enriched with riboflavin.
How common is the lack of vitamin B2? Who has the greatest need?
Decreased levels of the vitamin can cause skin disorders, mouth ulcers, swollen and chapped lips, hair loss, endocrine disorders, liver, reproductive and nervous problems. The lack of riboflavin is relatively rare. However, there are some population groups that are more sensitive and at a higher risk of having low levels of vitamin B2, such as:
- people who do not eat dairy products
- pregnant and lactating women
- vegetarian athletes
Riboflavin, as a water-soluble vitamin, cannot be stored in the body, so a daily intake of 1-2mg is required to keep its levels constant in the body. Higher doses are given in cases of high homocysteine or migraine. Riboflavin is available alone or in complexes of B vitamins, which have better absorption as well as in multivitamin formulas.
How much vitamin B2 do we need?
The recommended intake of vitamin B2 varies depending on age and sex. Adult men need 1.3mg daily while women 1.1mg. Needs are increased during pregnancy and breastfeeding to 1.4mg and 1.6mg, respectively.
What is the yellow color in the urine?
The riboflavin molecule is yellow. Coloring occurs after eating riboflavin supplements, where large amounts of vitamin B2 are excreted through the urine and so the urine stains bright yellow and has a characteristic smell. This coloration of urine is safe and it is a normal stage of vitamin B2 metabolism.
Interactions – contraindications of vitamin B2
Riboflavin does not interact with medications and is safe to take. Drinking alcohol along with riboflavin supplementation significantly reduces its absorption from the intestine.