Vitamin B2, also known as riboflavin, helps to preserve the health of your skin, the lining of your digestive tract, and your blood cells.
Riboflavin is recommended to help improve immune function, boost energy levels, maintain healthy skin, hair and nails, and treat certain types of anemia.
It is also important in producing energy and hunting down harmful free radicals by promoting the body’s recycling of the powerful antioxidant glutathione.
Therapeutically, riboflavin is associated with a lower risk of developing eye cataracts and a reduction in the frequency of migraine headache attacks has been seen in those taking vitamin B2 supplements.
There is never any concern about getting too much riboflavin, as any excess is quickly excreted in the urine.
Interesting Facts About Vitamin B2
An interesting fact about riboflavin is that vitamin B2 supplements will turn urine bright yellow. In fact, the “flavin” part of the word riboflavin comes from the Latin word for yellow, flavus.
Have you ever noticed that eating asparagus will turn your urine yellow? Asparagus is rich in riboflavin.
Riboflavin is even used as a food coloring because of its distinctive yellow color. Because it is fluorescent under UV light, riboflavin is used in some industrial applications to detect leaks.
Vitamin B2 Deficiency
Riboflavin deficiency shows up as painful inflammation and skin rashes on the tongue, throat, lips, corners of the mouth and genitalia. Other signs you’re not getting enough riboflavin include itchy, bloodshot eyes and anemia.
Because it is removed during the milling process, vitamin B2 is included in enriched flour products in the United States and other countries. This helps to prevent deficiency in places where enriched flour is widely used.
Riboflavin is damaged by exposure to light. Store dairy foods and other foods high in riboflavin in opaque containers to protect this important nutrient and get the most value from your food.
Food Sources of Vitamin B2
Some of the best sources of vitamin B2 are daily products. Milk, cheese and yogurt are all excellent ways to get your daily dose of riboflavin.
Non-dairy sources include spinach and other greens, asparagus, eggs, and mushrooms. For a meal rich in riboflavin, have a cheese omelette, a salad with chopped hard-boiled eggs, or asparagus with cheese sauce.
Liver and kidneys are good meat sources of riboflavin.
Want a fast, easy serving of vitamin B2? Have a cup of yogurt or a handful of toasted soybeans. A quarter cup of almonds is also a good source of riboflavin.