What is Vitamin B2 Riboflavin

Vitamin B2 – riboflavin – is required for

  • It is required by the body to use oxygen and the metabolism of amino acids, fatty acids, and carbohydrates.
  • Riboflavin is further needed to activate vitamin B6 (pyridoxine), helps to create niacin and assists the adrenal gland. It may be used for red blood cell formation, antibody production, cell respiration, and growth.
  • It eases watery eye fatigue and may be helpful in the prevention and treatment of cataracts.
  • Vitamin B2 is required for the health of the mucus membranes in the digestive tract and helps with the absorption of iron and vitamin B6.
  • Although it is needed for periods of rapid growth, it is also needed when protein intake is high, and is most beneficial to the skin, hair and nails.

Deficiency of vitamin B2

A shortage of this vitamin may manifest itself as cracks and sores at the corners of the mouth, eye disorders, inflammation of the mouth and tongue, and skin lesions.
Dermatitis, dizziness, hair loss, insomnia, light sensitivity, poor digestion, retarded growth, and slow mental responses have also been reported. Burning feet can also be indicative of a shortage.


  • The dosage underneath is the Recommended Dietary Allowance (RDA), but be aware that this dosage is the minimum that you require per day, to ward off serious deficiency of this particular nutrient. In the therapeutic use of this nutrient, the dosage is usually increased considerably, but the toxicity level must be kept in mind.
  • Male 1,6 mg per day
  • Female 1.2 mg per day although 50 mg is mostly recommended for supplementation.

Toxicity and symptoms of high intake
The limited capacity to absorb orally administered riboflavin precludes its potential for harm. Riboflavin intake of many times the RDA is without demonstrable toxicity.
A normal yellow discoloration of the urine is seen with an increased intake of this vitamin – but it is normal and harmless.

Best used with

  • Riboflavin is best taken with B group vitamins and vitamin C.
  • But please note – if taking a B2 supplement make sure that the B6 amount is nearly the same.

When more may be required

  • Extra might be needed when consuming alcohol, antibiotics, and birth control pills or doing strenuous exercise.
  • If you are under a lot of stress or on a calorie-restricted diet, this vitamin could also be of use.

Enemy of vitamin B2

Riboflavin is sensitive to light.

Other interesting points
This nutrient is of use in the health of hair, nails and skin.

Food sources of vitamin B2
Nuts are great sources of riboflavin, but is also available in good quantities in green leafy vegetables, legumes, whole grains, and yogurt.
Certain studies have found vegans to have a low intake of the vitamin, riboflavin. Riboflavin is important in converting protein, fats and carbohydrates into energy, and the synthesis and repair of body tissues. Good sources of riboflavin include whole grains, mushrooms, almonds, leafy green vegetables and yeast extracts.  

For more information on Vitamin B2 upload our Advanced Nutrition PDF

also, take a look at the charts on this page:

  1. High Vitamin B2 Foods by Nutrient Density 
  2. Other Vitamin B2-Rich Foods

Then visit the next page for a list of other Natural Sources of Vitamin B2 foods