Like all the B vitamins, vitamin B2, also known as riboflavin, plays a key role in energy production. Its role here is complicated—it is important both for the energy-producing electron transport chain and the metabolism of fat molecules into chemically useful energy.
Supporting research & information
Riboflavin is a component of various coenzymes that play an important role in oxidation and reduction reactions in numerous metabolic pathways, such as those of fats, proteins and carbohydrates. It promotes regular patterns of growth and development. It assists energy release from food and is part of the electron transport chain, which is central to energy production. It plays a key role in mucus membrane maintenance, in fertility and in the maintenance of health of eyes, skin and nervous system. When riboflavin deficiency occurs, symptoms such as dry, red and flaky skin, cracked lips, sore throat and tongue, cracks and sores on the lips (cheliosis), irritated eyes, light sensitivity, poor concentration, memory loss and a burning sensation in the feet are common. Additionally, red blood cell levels may decrease. Riboflavin deficiency frequently occurs in combination with deficiencies of other water-soluble vitamins. It can lead to decreased conversion of pyridoxine (vitamin B6) to coenzymes and decreased niacin (vitamin B3) production.
Riboflavin is recommended to pregnant and breastfeeding women. Women on contraceptive pills or oestrogen packages also require this vitamin. Elderly people, athletes, young people experiencing growth spurts, people suffering from stress and alcohol and drug abusers benefit from additional riboflavin. Finally, people with ulcers may also receive such treatment.
Vitamin B2 is effective for riboflavin deficiency, migraine headaches, lowering the risk of developing cataracts and cardiovascular diseases.
Vitamin B2, also known as Riboflavin, is a vitamin that plays an integral role in the body as it helps with B6 metabolism, and can help combat different disorders.
It plays a vital role in the human body by working with other micronutrients.
Vitamin B2 Helps Prevent Cognitive Decline
Riboflavin is associated with improved cognitive test scores in primary school children in rural Kenya (R).
Higher intake of B2 is associated with better abstract performance (R).
Riboflavin is a safe and well-tolerated option for treating migraines in adults (R).
Treatment reduced the number of times migraines occur (R1,R2).
Riboflavin treatment in a 16-year-old boy with L-2-hydroxyglutaric aciduria (LHGuria), a rare neurometabolic disorder improved his cognitive function (R).
Vitamin B2 Consumption Reduces Depression
In many depressed subjects, there was a concurrent Riboflavin deficiency (R).
In elderly, depressed patients, B vitamins (B1, B2, and B6) improved depression (R).
In a Japanese cross-sectional study, increased intake of Riboflavin meant decreased symptoms of depression in girls but not for boys (R).
Consumption of Riboflavin prevents depression after childbirth (R).
Riboflavin disturbs antibiotic adsorption and may therefore not be taken in at the same time with antibiotics. The same goes for anti-cancer drugs. Riboflavin deficiency may cause impairment of iron adsorption, intestinal iron losses and impairment of iron utilization for hemoglobin synthesis. The underlying mechanism is not entirely clear, but evidence has shown that iron-deficient anemia can be treated by iron therapy better when riboflavin stocks are also replenished.