Vitamin B2, also known as riboflavin, is a water-soluble vitamin that is essential for many bodily functions. It is involved in energy production, cell growth and repair, and the production of red blood cells.
Here are the 5 major functions of vitamin B2:
- Energy production: Vitamin B2 helps the body convert food into energy. It is a cofactor for enzymes that are involved in the production of ATP, the body’s main source of energy.
- Cell growth and repair: Vitamin B2 is essential for cell growth and repair. It is involved in the production of DNA and RNA, the building blocks of cells.
- Production of red blood cells: Vitamin B2 is needed for the production of red blood cells. Red blood cells carry oxygen to the body’s tissues.
- Maintaining the nervous system: Vitamin B2 is important for maintaining the health of the nervous system. It is involved in the production of myelin, a fatty substance that surrounds and protects nerve cells.
- Protecting the skin: Vitamin B2 helps protect the skin from damage. It is involved in the production of collagen, a protein that gives the skin its strength and elasticity.
Sources of vitamin B2:
Vitamin B2 is found in many foods, including:
- Dairy products: Milk, yogurt, and cheese are good sources of vitamin B2.
- Eggs: Eggs are a good source of vitamin B2.
- Green leafy vegetables: Green leafy vegetables, such as spinach and broccoli, are good sources of vitamin B2.
- Whole grains: Whole grains, such as brown rice and oats, are good sources of vitamin B2.
- Nuts and seeds: Nuts and seeds, such as almonds and peanuts, are good sources of vitamin B2.
- Fish: Fish, such as salmon and tuna, are good sources of vitamin B2.
Deficiency of vitamin B2:
A deficiency of vitamin B2 can lead to a condition called ariboflavinosis. Ariboflavinosis can cause a variety of symptoms, including:
- Cheilosis: This is a condition that causes the corners of the mouth to crack and become sore.
- Glossitis: This is a condition that causes the tongue to become red, swollen, and sore.
- Pale skin: A deficiency of vitamin B2 can cause the skin to become pale.
- Eye problems: A deficiency of vitamin B2 can cause eye problems, such as burning, itching, and tearing.
- Hair loss: A deficiency of vitamin B2 can cause hair loss.
Treatment for vitamin B2 deficiency:
The treatment for vitamin B2 deficiency is to take vitamin B2 supplements. Vitamin B2 supplements are available over-the-counter and can be taken as a pill or a liquid.
Recommended daily intake of vitamin B2:
The recommended daily intake of vitamin B2 for adults is 1.3 milligrams (mg). The recommended daily intake for pregnant women is 1.4 mg and for breastfeeding women is 1.6 mg.
Excess of vitamin B2:
It is very difficult to get too much vitamin B2 from food. However, taking high doses of vitamin B2 supplements can cause side effects, such as yellowing of the skin and urine.