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?

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