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Healthy Diet Plans >>  Dietary Supplements >>  Riboflavin


Vitamin B2 or Riboflavin is an easily absorbed micro nutrient required for wide variety of cellular processes. Vitamin B2 is required, like all other vitamins in the metabolism of fats, carbohydrates and proteins. Riboflavin plays an important role in energy production. Natural dietary sources of riboflavin are: asparagus, cottage cheese, milk, yogurt, meat, eggs, fish and okra. Each of these food items contains at least 0.1 mg of the vitamin for every 85-300g serving.
Riboflavin is continuously excreted as urine in healthy individuals and therefore deficiency of this vitamin is a common syndrome if dietary intake is insufficient. Intake of riboflavin supplements therefore assume importance incase of dietary insufficiency.

This vitamin is considered an important nutrient because of the role it plays in energy production. Riboflavin also helps in red blood cell formation, release of energy from foods and nervous system functioning. Riboflavin also plays a crucial role in essential oxidation reduction reactions. Riboflavin coenzymes play an important part in conversion of Vitamin B6 and folic acid such that they can benefit the body. Riboflavin also aids the memory and thing processes apart from various important chemical processes within the body. Deficiency of this important vitamin could lead to disorders such as: fissures at the mouth corners, anemia, corneal ulcers, eye weakness, neuropathy of extremities, skin rashes, sore tongue and less than normal growth in children.

While healthy individuals who eat a balanced meal may not require dietary supplements, it is important to assess the dietary sources and monitor the dietary intake to ensure deficiencies do not affect the system. Intake of riboflavin through dietary sources is limited for vegetarians and can therefore mean lower levels of riboflavin in the body. Various clinical trials indicate the use of riboflavin as treatment for patients with alcohol dependence, mental disorders and in phototherapy treatment for neonatal jaundice. Growing evidence also indicate the efficacy of riboflavin supplements in eliminating migraine headaches. Some other disorders with relatively less scientific evidence indicating treatment of disorders by intake of riboflavin supplements include disorders such as: anorexia, cataract, cognitive functions, depression, malaria and pre-eclampsia.

Specific groups of people who have higher chances of developing riboflavin deficiency include senior citizens, those afflicted by chronic illnesses, the poor who are unable to afford consuming natural dietary sources and those with alcohol dependence. It is considered safe to supplement riboflavin in large amounts. The suggested intake as per the U.S. Recommended Dietary Allowance (RDA) for infants and children is 0.3mg to 1mg and adults require 1- 1.3 mg to ensure deficiency of this vitamin does not affect the functioning of the system.

Submitted on January 16, 2014