Many of us don’t know much about vitamins and their roles in our bodies. Upon inquiring we found out why health experts emphasize they are extremely beneficial. You might have heard of vitamin B2 but do you know what it does to our body? Don’t worry as we are going to tell you everything that there is about this essential vitamin. Let’s get started:
What is Vitamin B2?
As the name suggests, vitamin B2 is a part of the renowned water-soluble vitamin B complex. Like other family members, it also helps the body in providing energy. But this is not all, vitamin B2 performs so many functions in the body that you will be surprised to know.
The other name for vitamin B2 is Riboflavin which originates from the Latin word “flavin” which literally means yellow which happens to be the color of this vitamin. It was first discovered in 1920 but the isolation was done in 1930. Riboflavin was first made by chemists in 1935.
As it is a water-soluble vitamin, it gets flushed out of our bodies via urine which means we need to keep the optimum supply on a daily basis in order to keep our body functions run smoothly. There are many food sources around us that provide vitamin B2 or Riboflavin in abundance.
Food sources of Riboflavin
Luckily there are plenty of sources of riboflavin gifted to us by Mother Nature. Being widespread in both animal and plant sources, the chances of vitamin B2 deficiency are very rare. However, in case of any malnourishment or some disease that hinders the absorption of vitamins, a deficiency could result. Here are our top picks from the food sources that provide us an abundance of vitamin B2:
|ANIMAL SOURCES||PLANT SOURCES||OTHERS|
|Meat||Lima Beans||Whole grain bread|
Recommended daily allowances of Riboflavin
Health experts and nutritionists have put certain limitations according to the gender and age groups. After knowing the benefits as much as you would like to munch on the vitamin B2 sources, you must know how much amount you are allowed. Here have a look:
|Children 1-3 years Children 4-8 years||0.5 mg 0.6 mg|
|Males 9-13 years Males 14+ years||0.9 mg1.3 mg|
|Females 9-13 years Females 14-18years Females 19+ years||0.9 mg1.0 mg1.1 mg|
|Pregnant Women||1.4 mg|
|Lactating Mothers||1.6 mg|
Benefits of Riboflavin
Now that you know the amount you should take daily, it’s time to learn the amazing benefits of Riboflavin. Let’s get started:
1. Production of Energy
Riboflavin plays a crucial role in providing an adequate energy supply to the body. It does so by breaking down carbohydrates, proteins, and fats. Vitamin B2 is responsible for the conversion of carbohydrates into ATP which produces energy as per the body’s demands. The storage of energy in muscles occurs because of ATP.
2. Prevention of Diseases
Riboflavin helps in preventing certain diseases such as:
The disease-preventing role is due to its ability to reduce the byproducts of metabolism like homocysteine which in return keeps the metabolic integrity of the body in check. According to a study carried out in 1998, people who were prone to migraines experienced less frequent attacks per month upon taking 400mg of vitamin B2 per day. Likewise, a study done at TUFTS University showed that upon consumption of 2ug of riboflavin daily, the risk of cataract can be reduced in malnourished individuals.
3. Preventing Homocysteinemia
Commonly found in the bloodstream, homocysteine is an amino acid. The high levels of this amino acid in the blood can be really dangerous and lead to stroke, heart attack, or even dementia. Upon taking vitamin B2 daily, the levels of homocysteine can be reduced by as much as 40% in the blood.
4. Other Benefits
Vitamin B2 performs many functions in the body that are linked with our well-being, such as:
- Riboflavin helps in the absorption and activation of certain components in the body such as vitamin B6, B2, B3, folic acid, tryptophan, and iron.
- Maintains liver health.
- Keeps mucous membranes in the digestive system intact.
- Adequate production of hormones by the adrenal gland.
- Healthy fetal development.
- Keeps skin and muscles healthy.
Deficiency of Riboflavin
The deficiency of riboflavin is known as riboflavin uses. There are certain signs and symptoms that predict that you might be lacking the vitamin. Here, have a look:
- Red lips
- Dry lips
- Angular cheilitis
- Inflammation of mouth lining
- Inflamed tongue
- Fluid filling in mucous membranes
- Sore throat
- Increased eye sensitivity
- Mouth ulcers
- Scrotal dermatitis
Side effects of Riboflavin
An overdose of riboflavin is very rare as it is a water-soluble vitamin and is being flushed out of the body via urine. But it may occur sometimes pertaining to certain conditions and lead to certain side effects like:
- Drug interaction with other medicines
- Hinder the absorption of riboflavin
- Orange urine
- Light sensitivity
As much as you would like to start on the riboflavin supplements today, we would recommend you to consider the side effects as well. Always consult your doctor before taking these supplements.