What is Vitamin B2 and am I Deficient in It?

Foods containing RiboflavinFood Sources of Vitamin B2

To prevent problems associated with Vitamin B2 deficiency you should be consuming foods rich in riboflavin such as:

  • fish
  • eggs
  • vegetables such as asparagus, artichokes, spinach watercress, Brussels sprouts, sweet potatoes and kelp
  • dairy
  • and whole grain products
  • Other foods rich in Vitamin B2 include:
  • chicken
  • turkey
  • liver
  • cheese
  • yogurt
  • currants
  • Lima beans
  • pumpkins
  • cayenne
  • herbs such as parsley and sage
  • whole grain fortified cereals
  • rose hips
  • mushrooms
  • nuts
  • enriched breads and whole grain breads
  • and molasses

Ultraviolet light can destroy riboflavin, so milk in transparent bottles might contain lesser amount of Vitamin B2 than milk in opaque bottles.

Vitamin B2 deficiency can cause ariboflavinosis. It is a condition where there are lesions on the lips, in the mouth’s corners, around the eyes, and nose. It can also cause:

The deficiency that can lead to ariboflavinosis is rampant in regions where meals consist of large amounts of potatoes, corn, and/or rice which are not a good source of riboflavin. It is a common occurrence in Asia and West Indies.

People At The Greatest Risk of Being Deficient in Vitamin B2

People Who are at greatest risk are those who drink large quantities of alcohol because it can lower the absorption rate of Vitamin B2 in half. People with alcohol addictions may need five to ten times the amount of the normal intake of riboflavin to compensate for the loss caused by excessive alcohol intake.

Athletes or individuals that exercise heavily are also at risk of losing excessive amounts of riboflavin. In fact they may need to take fifteen times more than the regular intake just to maintain normal levels of Vitamin B2 in their bodies.

People who are taking antidepressants, oral contraceptives, and antimalarial pills must also be aware that these medications prevent the body from absorbing riboflavin properly. So, if you think you’re deficient in Vitamin B2, you should be consulting your doctor about proper supplementation.

Precautions in Taking Vitamin B2

Although riboflavin is safe to take and over dosing is highly unlikely, it is still wise to have proper consultation with your doctor first. Never self prescribe especially if you’re not sure whether the amount you’re taking is proper. In other words, when you consult with your doctor about taking riboflavin, this should apply when taking any type of supplementation.

Do you think you’re deficient in Vitamin B2? What symptoms do you have and what are you doing about it? Share with us your experiences and help others who may be having similar problems.

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Category: Vitamin B2 riboflavin

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