I care now, because I know what roboflavin does for the body…and what can happen if I don’t get enough.
What Does Vitamin B2 Do?
Riboflavin works in your body to:
- Process carbohydrates, fats and proteins
- Helps maintain the immune system by destroying toxic substances
- Form healthy hair, skin and nails
Riboflavin Deficiency – Something to Avoid
Now it seems like a deficiency of vitamin B2 wouldn’t be all that terrible, based on what it does for the body. Maybe the above is what riboflavin does for the body, but it also reacts with some of the other B vitamins. Symptoms of a vitamin B2 deficiency include:
- Inflamed tongue, mouth and/or lips
- itchy, watery eyes
- Lead to birth defects of the nervious system
- Opacity of the eyes, somewhat like cataracts
- Depression. personality shifts
- Psychiatric disorders
Foods Containing Roboflavin
Of course eating a healthy diet is one of the best ways to get vitamin B2 in your body. Good sources of riboflavin include:
- Organ meats
- Eggs and dairy products
- Green leafy vegetables
- Whole grains, including wheat germ
- Dried peas and beans
Unlike some of the other B vitamins, roboflavin is not destroyed by heat…but it can be leached by water. So, try not to soak your foods or cook them with lots of water.
Who is at Risk?
You may be at risk if you:
- Drink alcohol
- Take medications – OTCs, prescriptions or recreational drugs
- Are physically active
- Are pregnant
- Are a fad dieter
- Physically or emotionally stressed
Since riboflavin helps to break down toxins in the body, the more you take in from alcohol, smoking, medications, etc., the more your body needs.
How Much Riboflavin Do I Need?
The RDA (Recommended Daily Allowance) for vitamin B2 is somewhere between 1.2 mg and 1.7 mg for a healthy adult. However, I don’t know of anyone who doesn’t have at least one risk factor (which includes physical activity). It therefore makes especial sense to take a Riboflavin supplement.
Remember, because riboflavin isn’t stored in the body except in small amounts, your body needs to take it in daily. If you’re at risk, you stand to use up your body’s stores on a regular basis - at which point you start sliding towards a deficiency.
A vitamin B2 supplement is a good idea for just about anyone. Since riboflavin is non-toxic even in extremely high doses, you need not worry about taking in too much.