What is Vitamin B2?
B vitamins are necessary for digestion. They convert nutrients from carbohydrates, fats and proteins into usable energy. Vitamin B2 in particular is needed for the functioning of every single cell within the body, a reason its deficiency may lead to various conditions such as fatigue, anemia, and a slow metabolism.
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7 Benefits of Vitamin B2
Improves Eye Health
Have you heard of glaucoma? It is the leading cause of blindness. Vitamin B2 prevents glaucoma and other eye disorders such as cataracts. Riboflavin drops may be applied to the corneal surface of a patient who suffer from glaucoma to allow the vitamin penetrate through the cornea.
Prevents Headaches and Migraines
Vitamin B2 is effective for dealing with severe headaches and migraines. Riboflavin is usually recommended in high doses of 400 milligrams/daily for at least three months as a preventive measure for people who experience severe headaches and migraines. The riboflavin supplement also helps reduce migraine pain.
Mat Prevent and Treat Anemia
Decreased red blood cell production, inability to carry oxygen to the blood, and blood loss are leading causes of anemia. Adequate consumption of vitamin B2 may prevent and treat anemia.
Here’s how: Vitamin B2 performs functions such as steroid hormone synthesis and red blood cell production. It also aids the transportation of oxygen to the cells and helps to mobilize iron.
What’s more? Studies show that vitamin B2 is effective in reducing high amounts of homocysteine in the blood. This condition occurs as a result of an inability to convert homocysteine (an amino acid that is produced by the body, usually as a byproduct of consuming meat) present in blood into amino acids for the body to use. Supplementing with vitamin B2 (riboflavin) has been shown to help correct this condition and balance homocysteine levels.
Antioxidant Properties and May Prevents Cancer
Research shows that vitamin B2 intake is inversely associated with colon and breast cancer. Vitamin B2 enriches the immune system because it acts as an antioxidant that controls the presence of damaging free radicals within the body. It is also required for the production of an antioxidant called glutathione, one which acts as a free radical killer and also detoxes the liver.
Free radicals are notorious for accelerating aging. When unchecked, their presence could cause various diseases. Vitamin B2 combats diseases by maintaining a healthy lining within the digestive tract. This is vital because it is where much of the immune system is stored. A healthy digestive system enables the body to absorb and optimally utilize nutrients from food.
May Prevents Neurological Diseases
Vitamin B2 has neuro-protective effects, hence it gives protection against some neurological disorders such as Parkinson’s disease, multiple sclerosis, and migraines.
Maintains Proper Energy Levels
Riboflavin is, undoubtedly, a vital component of mitochondrial energy. It is required to metabolize food for energy and to maintain a functioning brain, nerve, hormone, and digestive functions: here’s why riboflavin is essential for growth and bodily repair.
Vitamin B2 is required to break down proteins into amino acids, fats and carbohydrates in the form of glucose. With this, conversion of nutrients from food into usable bodily energy is made possible, hence the maintenance of a healthy metabolism.
Riboflavin is also needed to regulate proper thyroid activity and adrenal function. A riboflavin deficiency can worsen thyroid disease. That’s not all, as it is also useful in regulating hormones that control mood, appetite, energy, temperature and more. It is also necessary for calming the nervous system and battling chronic stress, to mention a few points.
Nourishes Hair and Skin
Vitamin B2 aids the maintenance of collagen levels, and this is essential for a healthy skin and hair, as collagen maintains the youthful structure of the skin and prevents fine lines and wrinkles. This explains why a person deficient in riboflavin age faster.
Foods High in Vitamin B2
Beef, red meat, or lamb meat are all great sources of vitamin B2. They provide about 12% of the RDA.
Aside providing calcium, milk has vitamin B2 too. 100ml of milk provides 0.18 mg of vitamin B2, which is about 10.5% of the RDA.
Cheese is tasty, that we all know. But did you know that is it also nutritious? 100gm of cheese provides about 1.38mg of riboflavin, enough to make up 81% of your daily need.
A 100gm serving of mushrooms supplies about 0.49 mg of vitamin B2, meeting 29% of the daily requirement.
Almonds have vitamin B2; in a serving of 28 grams, they provide 0.28mg of riboflavin, which is about 17% of the RDA. An ounce each of pine nuts, cashews, and pistachios enriches the body with 4% of riboflavin RDA.
Green Leafy Vegetables
Spinach, asparagus, fenugreek leaves, drumstick leaves, and beet greens contain vitamin B2. Beet greens, for instance, provides about 24% of daily need for vitamin B2.
Eggs are not only rich in proteins, but are also bursting with vitamin B2. There is 0.51 milligrams of riboflavin to get from 100 grams of eggs, and that’s about 30% of your daily requirement.
Mackerel, surmai, katla, rohu, and other oily fishes are rich sources of vitamin B2. 85gm of mackerel enriches the body with about 0.49 mg of vitamin B2, while smoked salmon provides 27% of the body’s daily need.
Broccoli is a good source of vitamin B2 – every 100gm serving delivers 0.117 mg of this vital nutrient. Now that’s about 10% of your RDA.
Soya beans are healthy and are consumed by vegetarians and non vegetarians alike. 100gm of soy beans has 0.18mg of vitamin B2.
Vitamin B2 Deficiency
Vitamin B2 deficiency is mostly as a result of poor diet. It is one vitamin that the human body excretes continuously, so it is not stored. This makes replenishing it necessary. A person who has a B2 deficiency would usually suffer inadequacy of other vitamins too.
Riboflavin deficiency is also known as ariboflavinosis. There are two types of riboflavin deficiency, let’s discuss them.
Primary riboflavin deficiency occurs when there is a poor intake of vitamin B2.
Secondary riboflavin deficiency on the other hand happens because the intestines cannot absorb the vitamin properly, or the body cannot use it. It may also occur because it is excreted too quickly.
Symptoms of Vitamin B2 Deficiency
- Mouth ulcers
- Cracks at the corners of the mouth
- Fluid in mucous membranes
- Inflammation of the lining of the mouth
- Inflammation of the tongue
- Mouth ulcers
- Cracked lips
- Dry skin
- Scrotal dermatitis
- Red lips
- Sore throat
- Iron-deficiency anemia
- Sensitive eyes
Now that you Know…
You have your facts and other valuable information on Vitamin B2. You know what vitamin B2 is all about. What then are you waiting for? Get some vitamin B2 into your system already!