Vitamin B2 is a water soluble vitamin. Human body needs a daily dosage of it a, as it cannot be stored in the body. It has a major role in energy production and forms an essential nutrient in your diet.
Riboflavin or vitamin B2 plays a significant role in the production of energy. It helps in the conversion of carbohydrates to sugar, which fuels the body function. Riboflavin has an active part in the electron transport chain that produces cellular energy. It also helps in the processing of amino acids and fats. It can also serve as antioxidant, which slackens the pace of ageing.
Vitamin B2 is present in various food sources, though in meager quantities. The most important sources of Riboflavin are diary products, rewer’s yeast, dry roasted soybeans or edamame and liver. Some of its other sources include oysters, lean meat, mushrooms, broccoli, avocados and salmon Oily fish including mackerel, eel and herring are rich sources of riboflavin. Include eggs, shellfish, wild rice, dried peas, millet, sunflower seeds and beans in your diet. Dark leafy green vegetables, such as asparagus and spinach, whole grain products and mushrooms are also rich in riboflavin. Cabbage, carrots, apples, figs and berries also have low level of Vitamin B2. It is not lost during cooking unlike many other vitamins. However, it is destroyed by strong light or baking soda.
Deficiency symptoms of vitamin B2
Vitamin B2 deficiency can hamper the metabolism of carbohydrates, fats, and protein as these elements would require Vitamin B2 for its complete metabolism. Some of the deficiency symptoms of vitamin B2 include bloodshot eyes, high sensitivity to light, burning sensation of eyes, parched lips, inflammation in the mouth and sore tongue. Some of the other common symptoms include dull or oily hair, premature wrinkles and split nails. Riboflavin deficiency could result in the improper functioning of adrenal glands, which in turn would result in various conditions such as anemia, chronic fatigue syndrome and cataract. Riboflavin deficiency is thought to be a major cause for the fatal condition of preeclampsia in pregnant women.
Riboflavin deficiency is seen mainly as skin lesions especially over the tongues and around the corner of the mouth. If left untreated it might lead to swollen tongue, seborrheic dermatitis, and even impaired nerve function. Dandruff, low blood counts, chipping of the lips and corners of the mouth, dizziness, and hair loss, loss of sleep, poor digestion and slow mental response are some of the other symptoms of Vitamin B2 deficiency
Health benefits of riboflavin
Riboflavin is a well absorbed water soluble vitamin, which has a key role to play in maintaining health. Some of its major health benefits are given below:
Helps in the production of energy: It plays a major role in the production of energy by assisting in the metabolism of fats, carbohydrates, and proteins.
Helps in RBC production: Vitamin B2 is essential for the formation of fresh red blood cells and antibodies in humans.
Regulates growth and reproduction: Riboflavin has an important role in ensuring proper growth and in the development of reproductive organs and the growth of body tissues such as skin, connective tissue, eyes, mucous membranes, nervous system and the defense system. In addition it also ensures healthy skin, nails and hair growth.
Regulates thyroid activity: Vitamin B2 can regulate thyroid activity.
Prevents disease conditions: Vitamin B2 can help to prevent many common diseases conditions like migraine headaches, cataracts, acne, dermatitis, rheumatoid arthritis, and eczema.
Prevents acne: Riboflavin helps to improve the mucus secretion of skin and might clean up the skin pustules.
Increases immunity: Riboflavin also helps to enhance the natural immunity by strengthening the antibody reserves and by reinforcing the defense system against infections.
Helps in the Repair of tissues: Riboflavin plays an important role in the repair of tissues, healing of wounds and other injuries.
Protects the nervous system: Vitamin B2 can help in treating various nervous system conditions such as numbness Alzheimer’s disease, multiple sclerosis, anxiety and epilepsy among others. It is thought that riboflavin when used along with vitamin B6 was effective to Carpal Tunnel syndrome.
Essential for the normal growth: Riboflavin is associated with protein and hence it is essential for normal growth.
Ensures healthy eyes: Vitamin B2 plays a major role in ensuring healthy cornea and perfect vision.
Helps to slacken the progression of AIDS: Studies have shown that riboflavin can slow down the progression of AIDS.
Helps in the absorption of minerals: It helps in the absorption of minerals such as iron, folic acid and other Vitamins such as B1, B3 and B6.
Helps to protect the digestive tract: It plays a major role in maintaining the mucous membranes in the digestive system.
Healthy development of the fetus: Though there are no proofs to substantiate the claims that Vitamin B2 is essential for the healthy progression of pregnancy, it is regarded as an essential ingredient of the mother’s diet along with Vitamin A.
Remember to have a well balanced diet plan to ensure the supply of riboflavin, which needs to be replenished daily.