Vitamin B2 - Riboflavin

Vitamin B2

Vitamin B2 or Riboflavin is used by the body to convert protein and fats into an energy source. It also helps convert carbohydrates into adenosine triphosphate (ATP) which is the main fuel the body runs on. Other functions include activating Vitamins B6 and B9 and acting as an anti-oxidant.

Riboflavin is vital in the production of thyroid hormone which helps in metabolism and creates a steady supply of energy to the body. It also helps the body to produce immune cells which are used in fighting infection. Working with iron, vitamin B2 aids in the manufacture of red blood cells which are essential to carry oxygen around the body.

When working as an anti-oxidant Riboflavin fights free radicals (particles that cause damage within the body) to reduce or even prevent the damage they can cause to cells and DNA. This protects many cells in the body and is thought to be particularly helpful in the lens of the eye and may even help in the prevention of cataracts.

When there is a deficiency of Vitamin B2 symptoms such as fatigue, digestive problems and cracks around the side of the mouth are seen. There can also be a sensitivity to sunlight and itchy, watery eyes.

It is difficult to have too much Riboflavin as it is water soluble and any excess is excreted in the urine.

Vitamin B2 is naturally found in a lot of foods including milk, yogurt, eggs, almonds, mushrooms and spinach. It is also added to cereals and flour. The best way to take Riboflavin as a supplement is as part of a B Complex vitamin or a multi-vitamin.