Vitamin B2 (Riboflavin) | Deficiencies, Excesses and Recommendations
Vitamin B2, commonly known as riboflavin, plays a crucial role in specific metabolic reactions. It is necessary for the body’s breakdown of carbohydrates, proteins and fats to produce energy.
Riboflavin is used by the body as an antioxidant for proper function of the immune system, and for the maintenance of healthy skin and hair.
Riboflavin is important for eye health, and is essential for the normal function, growth and development of the body’s cells.
This vitamin is also needed by the liver to metabolize drugs.
What Could Happen If I Don’t Get Enough B2?
Symptoms of riboflavin deficiency may include:
- Blurred vision
- Moist, scaly skin inflammation
- Cracks or sores on at the corners of the mouth
- Dryness, or cracking of the skin around the nose
- Sore throat, or swelling of the lining of the mouth and throat
- Fatigue (resulting from anemia due to malabsorption of iron)
These symptoms may be signs of other vitamin deficiencies or health issues. Talk to your doctor before purchasing a supplement to address any of the symptoms above.
A Vitamin B2 deficiency isn’t always the result of inadequate intake of the vitamin. It can be due to other causes, such as:
- Vegan diet
- Advanced age
- Alcohol use disorder
- Use of birth control pills or other drugs that may interfere with absorption of Vitamin B2.
What Could Happen If I Get Too Much Vitamin B2?
Although you could conceivably receive excess Vitamin B2 through supplements in oral or injection form, the body does not store this vitamin long term, and there aren’t any known toxicity symptoms (R).
Some sources have expressed the following potential concerns with excess Vitmain B2.
- Potential interference with the activities of Vitamin K
- Bleeding, if taken in conjunction with blood thinning drugs or other blood thinning supplements
Eat sufficient amounts of eggs, dairy products, mushrooms or fortified grains.
Little Change Recommended Supplements
If you choose to take a supplement, we generally recommend using a brand that submits to independent, third-party testing, or has been independently tested and approved by Consumer Labs.
Potential Life Enhancements
- May promote healthy reproductive function
- May reduce risk of anemia, cataracts, migraines, and thyroid dysfunction related to riboflavin deficiency.