Vitamin B2 (Riboflavin)

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Riboflavin, also known as Vitamin B2, can be found in certain foods such as milk, meat, eggs, nuts, enriched flour, and green vegetables, and is frequently used in combination with other B vitamins as part of the Vitamin B Complex.  It is the vitamin that causes your urine to turn a brilliant yellow colour.

Riboflavin’s main role in health is to act as an anti-oxidant enzyme in numerous metabolic reactions.  It is especially critical in the metabolism of fats, carbohydrates and the conversion of the amino acid tryptophan into Vitamin B3 (niacin).

Healthy adults need about 1 mg of riboflavin per day.  Children require less, and doses are set according to age.  Spinach and crimini mushrooms are excellent sources of riboflavin; eggs, yogurt, asparagus, squash and green beans are also very good sources.  Most people are able to get more than enough riboflavin from the food they eat.

People who may be at risk for Vitamin B2 deficiency include those who drink a lot of alcohol, and female athletes undergoing heavy training.  Riboflavin supplements may interact with these medications and substances:

  • tricyclic antidepressants
  • phenobarbital (Luminal)
  • probenicid (Benemid)
  • psyllium

Talk to your doctor, ND or pharmacist about how these medications may affect Vitamin B2.

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