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Vitamin B2 Overview

Vitamin B2, or riboflavin, is a water-soluble vitamin. It functions primarily as a coenzyme for many metabolic processes in the body It plays an important role in releasing energy from carbohydrates, fats and proteins. It also helps to maintain the integrity of red blood cells and nervous system function. Riboflavin is involved in energy production as part of the electron transport chain that produces cellular energy. As a building block for FAD (flavin adenine dinucleotide), riboflavin is a crucial component in converting food into energy. FAD is required for electron transport and ATP production in the Krebs cycle. Riboflavin deficiency is usually due to dietary inadequacy but can occur most frequently in people with long-standing infections, liver disease, and alcoholism. The first signs and symptoms of deficiency are a sore throat and sores at the corners of the mouth. Worsening symptoms include a swollen tongue, seborrheic dermatitis, anemia and impaired nerve function. Ongoing research shows that Vitamin B2 may increase energy levels; reduce chronic fatigue; and improve concentration and mood.

As with most B vitamins, the more food you eat, the more B vitamins you need to support the metabolic processes that will convert that food into usable energy. Riboflavin needs are elevated during pregnancy and lactation as well as by the use of oral contraceptives (birth control pills). Athletes may require more riboflavin due both to increased caloric intake and increased needs of exercise.

Dietary Sources: Liver, dairy products, dark green vegetables and many types of seafood are good sources of riboflavin.

Dosage: The RDA for Vitamin B2 ranges from 1 mg to 1.6 mg for lactating women

Side Effects: No serious side effects have been reported for supplementation with riboflavin at levels several times above the DV of 1.7mg. High supplemental levels are likely to result in a bright yellow color of the urine as excess is excreted.

(Source: www.supplementwatch.com)

Research Overview

Riboflavin deficiency has been shown to contribute to:
1. Preeclampsia
2. Negative effect on physical performance
3. Negative effect on growth and development in children
4. Less effective niacin and vitamin B6 metabolism
5. Nutritional anemia
6. Low gastric acid production and therefore contribute to acid reflux and potential stomach cancer
7. Reduction in metabolism of vitamin B6 and folate
8. Reduction in metabolism of supplemental iron
9. People with congestive heart failure have lower levels of riboflavin
10. Teenage girls tend to have low levels of riboflavin
11. Decreased immune response
12. Impairment in leukocyte function
13. Angular stomatitis in cystic fibrosis
14. Esophagus and gastric cancer
15. Increased respiratory infection in children
16. Increased risk in cardiovascular disease
17. Decreased calcium levels in bone
18. More easily broken bones
19. Low iron concentration in heart, liver and spleen
20. Increased copper concentration in heart and liver
21. Impaired gastrointestinal development
22. Development of cataracts

Riboflavin supplementation has been shown to:
1. Be an effective treatment for migraines without neurological side effects
2. Prevent ischemia-reperfusion injury
3. Improve mitochondrial encephalomyopathy (MEM)
4. Improve symptoms of muscle fatigue
5. Improve stroke-like occurrences
6. Reduce respiratory failure
7. Improve involuntary eye movement
8. Improve edema in the cornea
9. Improve energy metabolism
10. Help prevent cataracts
11. Have potential benefits in preventing osteoarthritis
12. Halt and reverse precancerous mouth lesion development
13. Be an effective treatment in ethylmalonic encephalopathy
14. Be an effective treatment for MELAS [mitochondrial myopathy, encephalopathy, lactic acidosis, and stroke-like episodes.) when combined with idebenone
15. Inhibit development of gonarthrosis (knee arthritis)
16. Degrade cholesterol
17. Improve functional motor performance
18. Potentially prevent endometrial cancer
19. Be a treatment for P. falciparum malaria
20. Prevent dysplasia of the esophagus from developing into cancer
21. Improve iron metabolism
22. Improve zinc metabolism
23. Reduce the risk of alcohol cirrhosis
24. Potentially enhance fetal growth
25. Influence homocysteine metabolism

Following are some important aspects of riboflavin
1. Those eating vegan diets may be deficient in riboflavin
2. Vegetarians tend to have lower riboflavin levels
3. Many children with cardiac disease, especially congestive heart failure, have riboflavin deficiency
4. Riboflavin supplies metabolic pathways and therefore is at risk of depletion in athletic people
5. Women’s riboflavin levels tend to be lower during periods of exercise and/or dieting
6. Elderly people tend to be deficient in riboflavin
7. Those with active rheumatoid arthritis tend to have riboflavin deficiency
8. Riboflavin may be effective in photochemical decontamination
9. Those with chronic fatigue syndrome tend to have riboflavin deficiency
10. Those using oral contraceptives may require riboflavin supplementation
11. Anorexic with low riboflavin levels tend to have lower body weight
12. Those with neuropathy tend to have low levels of riboflavin
13. Women with intrauterine growth retardation (IUGR) tend to have riboflavin deficiency
14. Those with severe burn injuries have low riboflavin levels

Vitamin B2 Abstract SUmmaries (71)