Function of Riboflavin:
The B vitamins work together to convert carbohydrates into glucose (sugar), which is
then "burned" to produce energy. B vitamins are often referred to as B-complex
vitamins are essential in the metabolism of fats and protein. They are necessary for
maintaining muscle tone in the gastrointestinal tract and promoting the health of the
nervous system, skin, hair, eyes, mouth, and liver.
Riboflavin is also required for red blood cell formation and respiration, antibody
production, and for regulating human growth and reproduction. It is also helpful in
regulating thyroid activity, and in the prevention and treatment of many types of eye
disorders such as cataracts. Riboflavin is an important nutrient in the prevention of
headaches. It may also help to relieve bloodshot, itching, or burning eyes, and
abnormal sensitivity to light.
Deficiency of Riboflavin:
A deficiency of riboflavin may be caused by not getting enough of the vitamin from
the diet. Riboflavin deficiency may also be caused by a result of conditions that affect
absorption in the intestine, the body not being able to use the vitamin, or an increase
in the excretion of the vitamin from the body.
Symptoms of riboflavin deficiency include slowed growth, fatigue, digestive
problems, cracks and sores around the corners of the mouth, eye fatigue, swollen
magenta tongue, soreness of the lips, mouth and tongue, and sensitivity to light.
Note: A variety of medical conditions can lead to the symptoms mentioned above. Therefore, it is
important to have a physician evaluate them so that appropriate medical care can be given.
Toxicity (Riboflavin Overdose):
Possible reactions to very high doses of riboflavin may include itching, numbness,
burning or prickling sensations, and sensitivity to light. Taking any one of the B
complex vitamins for a long period of time can cause an imbalance of the other
important B vitamins. To avoid the imbalance, it is recommended that you take a B
complex vitamin instead of isolating any single B vitamin.
Caution: Eating natural foods that are high in riboflavin is the safest and healthiest
way to get an adequate supply of the nutrient. Due to risk of toxicity, individuals
should always consult with a knowledgeable health care provider before starting
doses of supplements. Before giving supplements to children, it is recommended that
you first consult with their pediatrician. Also, some supplements may interfere with
medications. If you are taking medication, it is recommended that you consult with
your physician before taking any supplements. All supplements should be kept in
childproof bottles and out of children's reach.
Riboflavin Food Chart (List of Foods High in Riboflavin):
Milk, nonfat, 1 cup - (0.34 mg)
Egg, cooked, 1 large - (0.27 mg)
Almonds 1 ounce - (0.23 mg)
Spinach, boiled, 1/2 cup - (0.21 mg)
Chicken, dark meat, roasted, 3 ounces - (0.16 mg)
Beef, cooked, 3 ounces - (0.16 mg)
Asparagus, boiled, 6 spears - (0.13 mg)
Salmon, cooked, 3 ounces - (0.12 mg)
Cheddar cheese 1 ounce - (0.11 mg)
Broccoli, boiled, chopped, 1/2 cup - (0.10 mg)
Halibut, broiled, 3 ounces - (0.08 mg)
Chicken, light meat, roasted, 3 ounces - (0.08 mg)
Bread, whole wheat, 1 slice - (0.06 mg)
American Dietetic Association: Complete Food And Nutrition Guide (2nd Edition)
Roberta Larson Duyff, MS, RD, FADA, CFCS
Vitamins, Minerals, Herbs and More
Pamela Wartian Smith, MD, MPH
University of Maryland Medical Center - umm.edu
Linus Pauling Institute - oregonstate.edu
Wikipedia The Free Encyclopedia
Eating foods that are high in
riboflavin can help to prevent
conditions such as cataracts,
migraine headaches, and
preeclampsia during pregnancy.
Foods that contain a sufficient
amount of riboflavin include:
meat, chicken, spinach, almonds,
What is Riboflavin?
Riboflavin, also known as vitamin
B2, is a water-soluble B-complex
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