Riboflavin (vitamin B2)

Riboflavin is one of the Vitamin B-complex water soluble vitamins. It is also referred to as vitamin B2 and was coined vitamin G before. Unlike other vitamins, vitamin B2 or riboflavin can be manufactured in the body’s intestinal flora. However, since the body can only store a few amount of this vitamin, it is necessary to supplement our body with riboflavin in order to maintain a stronger immune system, better cellular growth and nourishment and over-all, a healthier and more beautiful you.

Riboflavin is required for the metabolism of proteins, fats and carbohydrates. It serves as the precursor chemical which activates vitamin B6 or pyridoxine which is another coenzyme for metabolism of food groups. This vitamin is also necessary in the incitement of iron absorption and production of niacin or nicotinic acid. Riboflavin also plays an important role in the hematopoietic function of the body wherein red-blood cells are being manufactured.

Riboflavin has an important role in making our skin look healthy and fair. This happens because riboflavin aids in proper cell respiration and growth. In fact, riboflavin is an antioxidant itself. The vitamin aids in maintaining glutathione, an enzyme necessary to protect our body from the damages in our skin, hair and even nails, brought about by free-radicals. Aside from protecting our body from free-radicals, riboflavin also stimulates cell growth and promotes tissue perfusion thereby making our skin look fairer and more beautiful.

Aside from that, riboflavin also improves our sight. Vitamin B2 reduces eye fatigue and is helpful in preventing cataracts wherein the crystal lenses of our eyes gets cloudy thereby occluding our vision. Aside from cataracts, riboflavin aids in preventing and treating sensitivity of our eyes to light or photophobia, bloodshot eyes, and itchiness.

As per the recommended dietary allowance, males need about 1.6 mg per day and females about 1.2 mg per day. Deficiency in riboflavin may lead to several abnormalities. For the integument, dermatitis, scaly skin and hair loss may occur. Skin lesions and eruptions could also manifest once the body’s riboflavin needs are not met. Our body’s neurologic may also be affected because mental confusion, sluggish mental responses, and insomnia may be another effect of deficiency in vitamin B2.

Since vitamin B2 is important in cell growth, an insufficiency most especially in growing children may lead to retarded growth. Mouth lesions and sores, inflamed mouth and tongue, and dry, choppy lips are also common manifestations of a deficiency of the said vitamin.

Because riboflavin brings many benefits to our body, it is important to be conscious as to what foods are rich in riboflavin. Dairy products such as milk, egg, cheese, are rich in vitamin B2. Meats, whole grains, fish and green leafy vegetables are also good sources of riboflavin. But take note that these food products should not be exposed to too much light since the riboflavin content may be destroyed, thus losing its ability to perform the tasks which they should do inside our body. There are also available food supplements which are vitamin B2 enriched and are also helpful in maintaining the same functions.

Riboflavin toxicity is a potentially dangerous situation but is rarely happening. This is due to the compensatory mechanism of our kidneys to excrete vitamins and chemicals which are in excess.

It is everyone’s desire to have a fair and smooth skin, free of wrinkles and signs of aging. While most people resort to buying medicines in order to attain their desired appearance, it may cost us them much. Maintaining a healthy diet and a steady intake of riboflavin would give us the same effects without hurting our pocket a lot.

Last updated on Feb 14th, 2009 and filed under Vitamins and Minerals. Both comments and pings are currently closed.

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