Vitamin B2 is a water-soluble vitamin also known as riboflavin. It is part of the B complex group and supports vision and skin health.
Why you may need vitamin B2
Migraines – a clinical trial found that vitamin B2 can reduce the duration and frequency of migraine attacks.
How much do you need?
Recommended Daily Intake (RDI)
Adults (over 19 years): 1.1mg (women), 1.3mg (men) daily
Pregnancy: 1.4mg daily
Breastfeeding: 1.6mg daily
Children 9-13 years: 0.9mg daily
Children 14-18 years: 1.1mg (girls), 1.3mg (boys) daily
Symptoms of deficiency
Symptoms to look out for include sore mouth and throat, swollen cracked lips (cheilosis) painful red tongue (glossitis), inflammation at the corner of the mouth (angular stomatitis), burning and itching eyes with inflamed eyelids and sensitivity to light, skin rash, low white blood cells and platelets and anemia.
The best dietary sources of vitamin B2 include dairy products, mushrooms, brewer’s yeast, leafy green vegetables, and whole grain cereals.
Other reasons why you may need more
A deficiency or excess of a single B vitamin may cause problems in the metabolism of other B group vitamins.
You may need more if you have an excessive intake of coffee, alcohol, tea or sugar. Cigarette smoking and stress tax the body too.
Malabsorption disorders may call for the need of extra vitamin B2 and if you are anaemic – deficiency of vitamin B2 may interfere with proper iron metabolism.
Vitamin B2 is very stable and it takes a lot to destroy it. Any process that involves heat, such as canning, dehydration, evaporation and pasteurisation does not destroy vitamin B2.
Boiling water does leach it out of the food and into the water, but it still doesn’t destroy it. You can use this water in soups, gravies etc.
However food containing vitamin B2 should be stored away from direct sunlight to avoid vitamin B2 loss.
- Toxicity of vitamin B2 is rare.
- Large doses often cause yellow discoloration of the urine.