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15Jul

NUTRIENTS A-Z: VITAMIN B2 (RIBOFLAVIN)

Vitamin B2 is also referred to as riboflavin. It is a water-soluble vitamin that is flushed out of the body daily, so it must be restored each day. The best way to get this vitamin is by eating foods that are rich in riboflavin such as eggs, nuts, dairy products, meats, broccoli, brewer's yeast, Brussels sprouts, wheat germ, wild rice, mushrooms, soybeans, green leafy vegetables and whole grain and enriched cereals and bread. 

Riboflavin is a vitamin that is needed for 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. It is important for eye health. This vitamin is needed to protect the important antioxidant, glutathione, therefore, 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.

Riboflavin is important for how the body processes iron. Without it, research shows that the body is more likely to develop anemia. 

Those suffering from migraines may find that taking doses of B2 may help. A study found that those taking high doses of riboflavin had significantly fewer migraines. 

Symptoms of a B2 deficiency include:

  • Cracks or sores in corner of mouth

  • Reddish-purple colored tongue

  • Shiny, sore or swollen tongue

  • Lips red, white, scaly, swollen or chapped

  • Conjunctivitis

  • Cataracts

  • Sensation of "sand" under eyelids

  • Eyes sensitive to light

  • Blurred or dimmed vision

  • Eyes red, itchy, burning

  • Red lines in whites of eyes

  • See spots before eyes

  • Abnormally greasy or scaly skin around nose

  • Falling hair, abnormal hair loss

  • Oily hair

  • Loss of fullness of upper lip

  • Wrinkles radiating from lips towards nose/cheeks

  • Migraines

  • Anemia

Supplementary range:  50 – 100 mg daily.

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