Evidence Based
4 /5

11 Vitamin B2 (Riboflavin) Health Benefits

Written by Joe Cohen, BS | Reviewed by Genius Labs Science Team | Last updated:

SelfHacked has the strictest sourcing guidelines in the health industry and we almost exclusively link to medically peer-reviewed studies, usually on PubMed. We believe that the most accurate information is found directly in the scientific source.

We are dedicated to providing the most scientifically valid, unbiased, and comprehensive information on any given topic.

Our team comprises of trained MDs, PhDs, pharmacists, qualified scientists, and certified health and wellness specialists.

Our science team goes through the strictest vetting process in the health industry and we often reject applicants who have written articles for many of the largest health websites that are deemed trustworthy. Our science team must pass long technical science tests, difficult logical reasoning and reading comprehension tests. They are continually monitored by our internal peer-review process and if we see anyone making material science errors, we don't let them write for us again.

Our goal is to not have a single piece of inaccurate information on this website. If you feel that any of our content is inaccurate, out-of-date, or otherwise questionable, please leave a comment or contact us at [email protected]

Note that each number in parentheses [1, 2, 3, etc.] is a clickable link to peer-reviewed scientific studies. A plus sign next to the number “[1+, 2+, etc...]” means that the information is found within the full scientific study rather than the abstract.

Vitamin B2

Vitamin B2 is effective for riboflavin deficiency, migraine headaches, lowering the risk of developing cataracts and cardiovascular diseases.

What is Vitamin B2?

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.

Health Benefits of Vitamin B2

1) Anti-inflammatory

Riboflavin significantly reduces the expression of HMGB1 (high-mobility group protein B1), which is one of the factors responsible for inflammation in systemic inflammatory response syndrome (sepsis) in mice [1].

Under various circumstances, it shows anti-inflammatory properties [2].

2) Cognitive Function

Riboflavin is associated with improved cognitive test scores in primary school children in rural Kenya [3].

Higher dietary intake of riboflavin is associated with better abstract performance [4].

Riboflavin is a safe and well-tolerated option for treating migraines in adults [5]. It reduced the number of times migraines occur [6, 7].

Riboflavin treatment in a 16-year-old boy with L-2-hydroxyglutaric aciduria (LHGuria), a rare neurometabolic disorder improved his cognitive function [8].

3) Depression

In many depressed subjects, there was a concurrent Riboflavin deficiency [9].

In the elderly, depressed patients, B vitamins (B1, B2, and B6) improved depression [10].

In a Japanese cross-sectional study, increased dietary intake of Riboflavin meant decreased symptoms of depression in girls but not for boys [11].

Consumption of Riboflavin prevents depression after childbirth [12].

4) Eye Health

Increased dietary consumption of Riboflavin leads to a significant decrease in age-related cataracts [13].

Consumption also leads to less age-related opacity in the eyes [14].

The combined use of Riboflavin and UVA photochemical therapy has a positive effect on patients with eye inflammation [1516].

5) Cardiovascular Disease

In a patient with a certain genotype, Riboflavin effectively reduces blood pressure [17, 18].

Elderly who had oral Riboflavin supplementation had reduced homocysteine, which causes heart disease [19].

Riboflavin and folate work together to reduce homocysteine levels [20].

6) Cancer

Riboflavin consumption (in addition to vitamin B6) reduces colorectal cancer risk in postmenopausal women [21].

B2 consumption also reduced the risk of colon cancer among women [2223].

There is little association between B2 intake and prostate cancer prevalence [24], breast cancer [25], and lung cancer [26].

7) Bone Health

B2 and other B vitamin play a protective role in bone health [27].

In a study of people with MTHFR C677T “AA” genotype, those who had the lowest intake of Riboflavin had a 1.8-2.6X increased risk of getting fractures [28].

Increased intake of Riboflavin leads to more bone mass density in the neck [29].

8) Liver Health

Riboflavin may be used as a liver-protective agent from liver toxins [30].

Riboflavin also reduces liver injury following liver ischemia and reperfusion in mice [31].

9) Autoimmune Disorders

In a case study, B2 treatment was effective in treating a progressive neurological disorder (Brown–Vialetto–Van Laere syndrome 2) [32].

In mice, B2 helped suppress a motor disability model after the autoimmune disorder, multiple sclerosis [33].

10) Nightly Leg Cramps

B2 (along with other B vitamins) helped reduce the length, pain intensity, and frequency of nocturnal leg cramps in the elderly [34].

11) Pregnancy

In mice, vitamin B2 supplementation leads to more pregnancy, increased weight of the pups, and increased hemoglobin [35].


The recommended allowance of Vitamin B2 is 1.3mg/day for men and 1.1mg/day for women [36].

The daily recommended dietary allowances (RDA) of riboflavin (Vitamin B2) are:

  • Infants 0-6 months, 0.3 mg
  • 7-12 months, 0.4 mg
  • children 1-3 years, 0.5 mg
  • 4-8 years, 0.6 mg
  • 9-13 years, 0.9 mg
  • men 14 years or older, 1.3 mg
  • women 14-18 years, 1 mg
  • women over 18 years, 1.1 mg
  • pregnant women, 1.4 mg; and breastfeeding women, 1.6 mg.

Vitamin B2 Deficiencies

When iron intake is low, deficiency in B2 may facilitate the development of anemia [37].

A deficiency in vitamin B2 and B6 can leave lesions on the mucous areas of skin because of defective collagen maturation [38, 39].

Vitamin B2 is a cause of severe allergic reactions (anaphylaxis) [40].

In elderly men with diabetes mellitus, cognitive decline is associated with low intakes of B2 [41].

B2 deficiency is related to a rise in lactate (indicative of a problem in metabolism) [42].

Side Effects

Riboflavin is Likely safe when taken by mouth. In some people, it can cause the urine to turn yellow-orange in color. When taken in high amounts it may cause diarrhea and increased urine.

Irregular Vitamin B2 (Riboflavin) Levels?

LabTestAnalyzer helps you make sense of your lab results. It informs you which labs are not in the optimal range and gives you guidance about how to get them to optimal. It also allows you to track your labs over time. No need to do thousands of hours of research on what to make of your lab tests.

LabTestAnalyzer is a sister company of SelfHacked. The proceeds from your purchase of this product are reinvested into our research and development, in order to serve you better. Thank you for your support.

About the Author

Joe Cohen, BS

Joe Cohen won the genetic lottery of bad genes. As a kid, he suffered from inflammation, brain fog, fatigue, digestive problems, anxiety, depression, and other issues that were poorly understood in both conventional and alternative medicine.Frustrated by the lack of good information and tools, Joe decided to embark on a journey of self-experimentation and self-learning to improve his health--something that has since become known as “biohacking”. With thousands of experiments and pubmed articles under his belt, Joe founded SelfHacked, the resource that was missing when he needed it. SelfHacked now gets millions of monthly readers.Joe is a thriving entrepreneur, author and speaker. He is the CEO of SelfHacked, SelfDecode and LabTestAnalyzer.His mission is to help people gain access to the most up-to-date, unbiased, and science-based ways to optimize their health.
Joe has been studying health sciences for 17 years and has read over 30,000 PubMed articles. He's given consultations to over 1000 people who have sought his health advice. After completing the pre-med requirements at university, he founded SelfHacked because he wanted to make a big impact in improving global health. He's written hundreds of science posts, multiple books on improving health, and speaks at various health conferences. He's keen on building a brain-trust of top scientists who will improve the level of accuracy of health content on the web. He's also founded SelfDecode and LabTestAnalyzer, popular genetic and lab software tools to improve health.

Click here to subscribe


1 Star2 Stars3 Stars4 Stars5 Stars
(20 votes, average: 3.95 out of 5)

FDA Compliance

The information on this website has not been evaluated by the Food & Drug Administration or any other medical body. We do not aim to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent any illness or disease. Information is shared for educational purposes only. You must consult your doctor before acting on any content on this website, especially if you are pregnant, nursing, taking medication, or have a medical condition.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.