Vitamin B2, like any other Vitamin B, helps in the production of energy. It also known as riboflavin based on its colour. The name is derived from the Latin word ‘flavus’ which means ‘yellow’. This water soluble vitamin cannot be stored in the body but is found mostly in the liver, kidneys and heart.

Why do we need Vitamin B2?

Vitamin B2 is essential for the conversion of energy from the food that we eat which mainly contains carbohydrates. It gets attached to the proteins and helps the aerobic energy production process to take place.

It also acts as an antioxidant and destroys the free radicals which damage the cells and DNA of our body that could speed up the process of ageing. Thus Vitamin B2 also helps in preventing the ageing process.

Riboflavin is also necessary to convert the complex vitamins such as Vitamin B6 and folate into simpler ones so that our body can use it up. It also helps in the body growth and production of red blood cells.

It also breaks the metabolism of the non-protein amino acid, homocysteine; a high level of which might increase the risk of cardiovascular disease.

How much Vitamin B2 is required per day?

A daily dosage of Vitamin B2 is required but the dosage depends on the age group and the condition the person is in. Infants should have a daily intake of 0.3 to 0.4 milligrams, children need to consume 0.5 to 1.3 milligrams per day, adults need to have 1.1 to 1.3 milligrams on a daily basis and there should be a daily consumption of 1.4 and 1.6 milligrams for pregnant and breastfeeding mothers.

From where can we get enough amount of Vitamin B2?

The best source of Vitamin B2 is from the food that we eat. Thus food items such as, mushrooms, spinach, yogurt, eggs, soybeans, almonds, carrots, brewer’s yeast, meats, whole grains, broccoli, spinach etc. are the types of food which should be ingested for a proper daily dosage of Vitamin B2.

What happens when our body lacks Vitamin B2?

When there is a deficiency of Vitamin B2, the body might suffer from cataract in which there is damage to the lens of the eye causing poor vision which could finally lead to blindness. Other symptoms of lack of Vitamin B2 deficiency are loss of skin, soreness around the lips, inability to think and respond properly, insomnia etc.

How do we know our body needs Vitamin B2?

When our body starts to show the following symptoms, we should know that our body needs Vitamin B2:

  • If our eyes become extra sensitive to the light.

  • If there is tearing, burning and itching in and around the eyes.

  • If the skin at the corners of the mouth start to crack.

  • If the skin around the nose and around the scrotum starts to peel off.
What factors lead to its deficiency?

Some of the major factors leading to the deficiency of Vitamin B2 in our body are:

  • Excessive alcohol consumption.

  • Heavy exercise also depletes the amount of Vitamin B2 in the body, especially for women who go for training for athletic events.
What are the symptoms of excess Vitamin B2 consumption?

When there is excess riboflavin in the body, it usually gets excreted in the urine. At this point of time, the urine turns bright yellow. There is nothing to worry for some excess amount of riboflavin in the body, but if it is in overdose then it might lead to kidney stones, itching, numbness, burning sensation on the skin etc., and the eyes might develop sensitivity to light.

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