Vitamin B2 - Uses, Benefits, Sources and Dosage
Vitamin B2 is also known as riboflavin. It is a water soluble vitamin that is required for the conversion of carbohydrates into glucose which in turn is used to produce energy. It was first observed as the yellow-green pigment in milk.
Benefits of Vitamin B2
Riboflavin is one of 8 B vitamins that include following Benefits:
- It acts as an antioxidant.
- It is important for the production of red blood cells.
- It can fight free radicals and helps maintain healthy body. Free radicals can damage cells, and DNA and leads to aging process as well as several health conditions.
- It is necessary for healthy skin, hairs, eyes and liver.
- It is required for the healthy functioning of nervous system.
- It helps in the conversion of vitamin B6 and folate into forms which can be used by body.
- It is needed for the healthy functioning of the digestive tract.
Sources of Vitamin B2
Foods such as milk, meat, eggs, nuts, enriched flour, and green vegetables are the good source of vitamin B2. Almonds, whole grains, wild rice, brewer's yeast, mushrooms, spinach, and organ meats etc. are the other sources of this vitamin. There are certain foods which are fortified often with riboflavin and they include flours and cereals etc. Milk should not be kept in clear containers or should not be exposed to strong sunlight because Riboflavin is destroyed by light as it is sensitive to light.
Symptoms of Deficiency and Disease Treated by Riboflavin
Symptoms for the deficiency of this vitamin include digestive problems, cracking of the lips from the corner, eye fatigue and sensitivity to light, slowed growth, swelling and soreness of throat. Deficiency of riboflavin causes damage to the lens of the eye and leads to cataract. Riboflavin is used to prevent cervical cancer, migraine headaches and is also used for treating blood disorders such as congenital methemoglobinemia and red blood cell aplasia. This vitamin is also used for treating acne, muscle cramps and burning feet syndrome. In short, it is required for the proper development and function of skin, lining of digestive tract, blood cells and several other parts of the body.
Dose of Vitamin B2
The recommended daily dosage of riboflavin for the females up to 18 years is 1 mg while for the males it is 1.3 mg. The pregnant women need 1.4 mg riboflavin and the breast feeding women need 1.6 mg of the riboflavin. Even high dose of riboflavin is considered safe generally. But very high doses of this vitamin may cause itching, burning sensations, sensitivity to light, numbness and even may turn the color of urine to yellow-orange. It may cause diarrhea if taken in high doses.
It is generally included in B-complex vitamins and other multivitamins supplements for the people who do not eat balanced diet. These people may take these supplements in order to prevent riboflavin deficiency. If this Vitamin is taken with Vitamin A together, then it promotes the growth and fertility and also helps in good vision.
Dr. Meenakshi Chauhan
MD (ALT. MEDICINE) View Profile