Vitamin B2 also known as Riboflavin is one of the eight water-soluble vitamins essential for our body. Let us check detailed information about vitamin B2 sources, benefits, chemical name, deficiency diseases in this post.
Chemical Name of Vitamin B2:
The chemical name of Vitamin B2 is Riboflavin and it is one of the eight water soluble vitamins required by our body. RIboflavin is the vitamin that is distributed widely and is an important constituent of the living cells. It is also known as additive E101.
Riboflavin is a micro nutrient which can be absorbed readily by our body and maintains the health of humans and animals. This vitamin is yellow in colour.
Vitamin B2 Sources | Vitamin B2 rich foods
Riboflavin is found in grains, plants, dairy products like milk, eggs, kidney, liver, and green leafy vegetables. Of all the above sources yeast and liver contain the highest concentrations.
Vitamin B2 Functions
- Vitamin B2 is essential in breaking down of complex food molecules and converting them into simpler and easily absorbable substances.
- Vitamin B2 is also useful to absorb other nutrients.
- Vitamin B2 maintains the tissues of our body.
- Vitamin B2 helps in carrying out of the oxidation-reduction reactions.
- Vitamin B2 acts as an anti-oxidant.
- Vitamin B2 helps in the production of energy to carry out the activities of the body.
- Riboflavin maintains the health of skin, nails and hair.
- Riboflavin helps in the growth and reproduction of our body.
- Riboflavin helps in the conversion of Vitamin B6 and folic acid into the active coenzyme forms.
- The flavin coenzymes acts as catalysts during the reactions involving the production of the energy.
- Riboflavin has an important role in the oxidation-reduction reactions in the cell. It also participates in the cellular respiration.
Deficiency of Riboflavin:
The deficiency of riboflavin results due to poor intake of the diet. Riboflavin deficiency is risk to the human body as our body excretes it continuously and does not store the riboflavin.
Types of Riboflavin Deficiencies:
There are two types of riboflavin deficiencies. Riboflavin deficiency is also known as “ariboflavinosis”.
- Primary Riboflavin Deficiency
- Secondary Riboflavin Deficiency
- Primary Riboflavin Deficiency is due to the poor intake of diet by the person.
- Secondary Riboflavin Deficiency is due to the ineffectiveness of the intestine of the person to absorb the vitamin or cannot use the vitamin effectively. It also may be due to the rapid excretion of the vitamin.
Vitamin B2 deficiency symptoms
- Angular Cheilitis, which means cracking of the corners of the mouth.
- Dry Skin
- Cracked lips
- Inflammation of the tongue and lining of the mouth
- Red lips
- Sore throat
- Ulcers of the mouth
- Iron deficiency anaemia
- Scrotal dermatitis
- Seborrheic dermatitis
Vitamin B2 Deficiency Diseases
Glossitis, Eye diseases, Migraine and cracking of mouth at angles.
Deficiency of this vitamin causes glossitis. Glossitis has symptoms of sore, red and glazed tongue. The deficiency also leads to the mouth cracks at the corners. The skin may become scaly and there may be watering of eyes and photophobia. In patients with photophobia, they face difficulty in seeing light.
The deficiency of riboflavin results in the decreased glutathione reductase activity, that leads to cataracts.
Daily requirements of Vitamin B2 : (in milligrams)
Men – 1.7 mg
Women – 1.3 mg
Pregnant mothers – 1.5 mg
Boys – 1.7 mg (16 to 18 years)
Girls – 1.3 mg (16 to 18 years)
Vitamin B2 benefits
- Vitamin B2 maintains the mucous membrane of the digestive system along with vitamin A.
- Vitamin B2 converts tryptophan into niacin, which is an amino acid.
- Riboflavin maintains the health of eyes, skin, nerves and muscles.
- Riboflavin prevents the development of cataracts.
- Riboflavin is very essential for the proper development of the fetus.
- Riboflavin helps in the production of hormones by adrenal glands.
- Riboflavin absorbs and activates iron, folic acid and other B-complex vitamins.
- Riboflavin prevents the deficiency of riboflavin, cervical cancer and migraines.
- Riboflavin helps in the treatment of acne, muscle cramps, carpal tunnel syndrome and burning feet syndrome.
- Riboflavin helps in the treatment of blood disorders like congenital methemoglobinemia and red blood cell aplasia.
- Riboflavin is also used for treating eye conditions like eye fatigue, glaucoma and cataract.
- Riboflavin helps in boosting up of the immune system and slows down the aging process.
- Riboflavin is also helpful in the memory loss, canker sores and in the treatment of Alzheimer’s disease.
- Riboflavin is useful in the treatment of ulcers, burns, alcoholism, liver disorders etc.