Vitamin B2 (Riboflavin): Benefits, Sources, Deficiency

This fluorescent green and yellow substance was an outcome of research primarily carried out to stop the spread of pellagra. Though Vitamin B2—or riboflavin, as it is famously known—was discovered in 1922, it was not until 1933 that the active ingredient in Vitamin B2 was found by Richard Kuhn and T . Wagner-Jauregg

It was an important breakthrough in biochemical research, which proved it to be a part of an enzyme system.

Vitamin B2 is one of the water-soluble vitamins and forms the Vitamin B complex group. It is important for the proper functioning of the tissues and organs.

Its presence is vital in the metabolic process of carbohydrates, fats and proteins in humans. It also neutralizes free radicals that can be harmful to cells and DNA.

It also vitalizes growth and reproduction, in addition to being helpful in maintaining better sight systems. Riboflavin is one of the vitamins needed to maintain a healthy body and mind.

Sources of Vitamin B2 (Riboflavin)

Riboflavin, or Vitamin B2, is manufactured and used by the human body. Of all the vitamins, B2 plays a special role, as it is an essential nutrient for metabolism.

It releases energy and is beneficial for skin, eyes, lips, eyes, nails, mouth and tongue. It keeps a person fit and fights fatigue, and also protects against cancer.

Pregnant women and habitual alcoholics are prone to developing a Vitamin B2 deficiency.

Though there are many known natural sources of riboflavin, one of the best is a common nut: the almond. The consumption of almonds has shown amazing results in humans. It replenishes the red blood cells and provides energy and stamina.

Milk products such as yoghurt, cheese, and milk itself are bounteous sources of riboflavin. So are leafy green vegetables like spinach.

Vitamin B2 is also found in ample quantities in the liver and kidneys of organ meats. Consuming fish can boost the intake of vitamin B2. Eggs and yeasts increase the vitamin B2 reserves in the body.

Whole grains, cocoa powder, nuts, buckwheat millet, sweet potato, kidney beans and legumes are rich sources of Vitamin B2. 

Consuming lean steak beef and lamb, oily fish (mackerel), smoked salmon, wild salmon, trout, tuna, raw brown Italian mushrooms, pork, sesame seeds, squid, oysters, beet greens, asparagus, drumstick leaves and Chinese broccoli result in enhancing the reserves of riboflavin in the body.

Apart from natural sources, supplements are also available in the market; however, natural sources are always advisable.

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Benefits of Vitamin B2 (Riboflavin)

Because of its energy-releasing capabilities, riboflavin enhances the production of energy in blood vessels located in the brain. Research has also documented that supplements of riboflavin reduce migraine-induced headaches.

Studies suggest that riboflavin can help prevent cataracts, damage to the lens of the eye that causes cloudy vision.

Riboflavin has also been proven useful to people with sickle-cell disease. Riboflavin given along with an iron supplement has also been found to be effective for people suffering from anaemia.

That riboflavin is needed for energy production and regulating growth and production is a substantiated fact. 

It is also useful in increasing the production of RBCs, regulating thyroid activity, preventing acne, protecting the nervous system, and preventing diseases.

It has also been found effective in ensuring healthy eyes, development of a healthy fetus, repairing tissues, protecting the digestive tract and boosting mineral absorption. All these lead to a healthy body. Studies have proven that it curbs the progression of HIV.

Deficiency of Vitamin B2 (Riboflavin)

Lack of proper dietary intake may result in vitamin B2 deficiency.

Deficiency of Vitamin B2 may result in the following:

  • Insomnia
  • Trouble in digesting food
  • Hair loss, poor skin and vision
  • Slow mental response

Signs of the deficiency of vitamin B2 can be recognized when one experiences these:

  • Cracks and sores on lips, corners of mouth and tongue
  • Sensitivity to bright light
  • Itchy eyes
  • Fatigue
  • Swelling
  • Digestive problems
  • Inflamed mucosal membranes
  • Impaired vision

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