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) Vitamin B2 is a Mild 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 (R).

Under various circumstances, it shows anti-inflammatory properties (R).

2) 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).

3) 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).

4) Vitamin B2 Protects the Eye 

Increased consumption of Riboflavin leads to a significant decrease in age-related cataracts (R).

Consumption also leads to less age-related opacity in the eyes (R).

Combined use of Riboflavin and UVA photochemical therapy has a positive effect in patients with eye inflammation (R1R).

5) Vitamin B2 Prevents Cardiovascular Disease

In a patient with a certain genotype, Riboflavin effectively reduces blood pressure (R, R2).

Elderly who had oral Riboflavin supplementation had reduced homocysteine, which causes heart disease (R).

Riboflavin and folate work together to reduce homocysteine levels (R).

6) Vitamin B2 May Prevent Cancer 

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

B2 consumption also reduced the risk of colon cancer among women (RR).

There is little association between B2 intake and prostate cancer prevalence (R), breast cancer (R), and lung cancer (R).

7) Vitamin B2 Plays a Protective Role in Bones

B2 and other B vitamin play a protective role in bone health (R).

In an experimental study, those who had the lowest intake of Riboflavin had a higher chance of getting fractures (R).

Increased intake of Riboflavin leads to more bone mass density in the neck (R).

8) Vitamin B2 Protects the Liver

Riboflavin may be used as a liver-protective agent against toxic effects of CCl4 and other chemical agents in the liver (R).

Riboflavin also reduces liver injury following liver ischemia and reperfusion in mice (R).

9) Vitamin B2 Protects Against Autoimmune Disorders

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

In mice, B2 helped suppress a motor disability model after the autoimmune disorder, multiple sclerosis (R).

10) Vitamin B2 Reduces Nightly Leg Cramps

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

11) Vitamin B2  Helps with Pregnancy

In mice, vitamin B2 supplementation leads to more pregnancy, more weight of the pups, and increased hemoglobin (R).

Checking Your Vitamin B2 (Riboflavin) Levels

You can request that your doctor test your riboflavin. Conventional doctors will look at high or low riboflavin levels and not mention anything. Sometimes, a lab result may be in the reference range, but not actually be in the optimal range. Reference ranges are not the same as optimal ranges. This is why even riboflavin in the ‘normal’ range can be unhealthy and indicate that certain processes in the body aren’t optimal. Lab Test Analyzer will let you know if your riboflavin levels are optimal and what you can do to get them there if they aren’t.

Technical

  • B2 deficiency is related to a rise in lactate (indicative of a problem in metabolism) (R).
  • HMG-1 is a nuclear protein which, after being released to the intercellular space, has a highly pro-inflammatory effect and acts as a late mediator of lethal damage (R).
  • Low levels of thyroxine seen in psychiatric patients with B2 deficiency is indicative of a mental illness (R).

Dosage

The recommended allowance of Vitamin B2 is 1.3mg/day for men and 1.1mg/day for women (R).

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

  • 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.

Sources

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Vitamin B2 Deficiencies

When iron intake is low, deficiency in B2 may facilitate the development of anemia (R).

A deficiency in vitamin B2 and B6 can leave lesions on the mucous areas of skin because of defective collagen maturation (R1, R2).

Vitamin B2 is a cause of severe allergic reactions (anaphylaxis) (R).

In elderly men with diabetes mellitus, cognitive decline is associated with low intakes of B2 (R).

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 (R).

Irregular Vitamin B2 (Riboflavin) Levels?

If you have not yet tested your riboflavin levels, I recommend that you ask your doctor to do it. If you already have your blood test results and you’re not sure what to make of them, you need to check out Lab Test Analyzer. It does all the heavy lifting for you. No need to do thousands of hours of research on what to make of your various blood tests.

Check out Lab Test Analyzer!

Get personalized up-to-date science-backed lifestyle, diet, and supplement recommendations based on your lab tests!

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