RIBOFLAVIN (VITAMIN B2)
Riboflavin is a type of water-soluble B vitamin. As a water-soluble vitamin, it is not stored within the human body. Therefore, it is a nutrient that needs to be replenished on a regular basis through the consumption certain foods or supplements. Riboflavin, also known as vitamin B2, is involved in the bodily functions necessary for proper growth and the production of red blood cells. It is also responsible for the release of energy from carbohydrates.
Riboflavin carries on its functions by teaming up with other B vitamins. In fact, it is often supplied together with other B vitamins in the form of B complex supplements. These B complex supplements normally include B vitamins such as B12 (cyanocobalamin), B3 (niacin), B1 (thiamine), folic acid, B6 (pyridoxine), B5 (pantothenic acid) and B1 (riboflavin).
What is Riboflavin used for?
Riboflavin is, generally, used for treating riboflavin deficiencies. Severe riboflavin deficiency can cause mucus membrane swelling, skin disorders, anaemia, sores in the mouth and on the lips, and sore throat.
However, it has also been used in the treatment and prevention of other medical conditions. For example, riboflavin is even used to treat migraines and cervical cancer. Other conditions treated with riboflavin include muscle cramps, carpal tunnel syndrome, blood disorders (congenital methemoglobineia and red blood cell aplasia), acne, sickle cell anaemia, and burning feet syndrome.
Riboflavin is also prescribed for eye conditions such as glaucoma, cataract, and eye fatigue. It is also used in the treatment of lactic acidosis, which is a side effect resulting from the use of NRTI drugs for AIDS. There have also been studies showing that Riboflavin can prevent the onset of Alzheimer’s disease.
Other than that, riboflavin is used to boost immune system functions, increase energy levels, promote healthy hair growth, healthy skin, slow down the ageing process, improve athleticism, and promote improve reproductive capabilities, and so on.
How to include Riboflavin in the diet
Foods rich in riboflavin include
• Green leafy vegetables
• Dairy products, milk
• Legumes, lean meats, and nuts.
• It is also not uncommon to find cereals and breads being fortified with riboflavin.
According to medical experts, infants below the age of 1 should consume 0.3 to 0.4 milligrams of riboflavin per day. Children between 1 and 13 years of age should consume around 0.5 to 0.9 milligrams of riboflavin per day. For teenagers and adults, the suggested intake is 1.1 to 1.3 milligrams a day.
Riboflavin is an important nutrient that plays a vital role in the overall healthy functioning of the human body and therefore, it must be consumed in the right quantities on a regular basis. Another key point to note is the riboflavin can be destroyed by light exposure.