Vitamin B2 – Riboflavin

Research into Riboflavin, or B2 as it is also known, is showing that this member of the B complex has potential in combating many conditions, including migraines, cateracts and healing skin blemishes.

What it is

A water-soluble vitamin which is involved in converting fats, protein and carbohydrates into energy. It is destroyed by light so car must be taken when storing. It is flourescent yellow which is how it was noticed by scientists looking a milk under the microscope.

Riboflavin’s yellow or orange-yellow colour is used as a food colouring as well as in fortifying some foods. It can be found in baby foods, breakfast cereals, sauces, processed cheese, fruit drinks and vitamin-enriched milk products as well as being widely used in vitamin supplements. Riboflavin is responsible for the harmless side effect of coloring a vitamin taker’s urine bright yellow.

What it does

Riboflavin 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.

Riboflavin plays a vital role in:

  • metabolism (thyroid hormone production)
  • energy production
  • absorption of iron and vitamin B6
  • produces infection fighting immune cells
  • works with iron to transport oxygen to every cell in the body
  • helps repair wounds
  • works with Vitamin E to protect body cells from free radicals
  • converts B6 and niacin into active forms
  • healthy skin
  • reducing catacts
  • reducing migrains
  • health of the mucus membranes in the digestive tract

Anti-oxidant companion

By boosting anti-oxidant activity Riboflavin protects many body tissues – particularly the lens of the eys. It may therefore helpe to prevent the formation of milky growths that cover the eye as cateracts and can be helpful to ease watery eye fatigue and may be helpful in the prevention and treatment of cataracts.

Latest findings

Migraine suffereres are believed to have reduced energy reserves in the brain and riboflavin may prevent attacks by increasing the energy supply to brain cells.

In a recent European study 55 patients who suffered two to eight migraines per month were given 400mg of Riboflavin a day. After 3 months these patients experienced, on average, 37% fewer migraines.

Dietary sources

Foods high in riboflavin are:

  • milk
  • yogurt
  • cheeses
  • meat
  • leafy green vegetables
  • soybeans
  • almonds
  • whole and enriched grains.