Vitamin B2 (Riboflavin)


BroccolliRiboflavin is a key component of the coenzymes:

   -FAD (flavin adenine dinucleotide): vital for reducing oxidized glutathione, recirculation of folate for methylation, and energy production.

   -FMN (flavin mononucleotide): Along with FAD, helps mitochondrial electron transport and oxidation-reduction for flavoproteins (cell energy).


Vitamin B2, along with B3, stabilize the MTHFR (methylenetetrahydrofolate reductase) enzyme, which is so important for proper methylation.  Anyone with the MTHFR defect (40% of the population) should be sure they are getting enough of this nutrient. 



Rarely are you just deficient with riboflavin. More likely you may be deficient in niacin(B3) and pyridoxine(B6), thus deficiency symptoms usually overlap with those of B3 and B6 deficiency.  The main symptoms of B2 (riboflavin deficiency seem to be inflammation around the mouth with cheilosis (cracks or sores on the outside of the lips), angular stomatitis (redness or sores at the corners of the mouth), red or sore tongue or throat, and seborrheic dermatitis (red skin).  Vascularization of the cornea (new blood vessels formed on the white part of the eye) and anemia (reduced red blood cells) have been reported. There has been some association with cataracts and migraine headaches, and replacing riboflavin has been associated with improving these conditions.



The best sources for Vitamin B2 (riboflavin) are fortified cereals, dairy, eggs, meat and fish, almonds, asparagus, broccoli and green leafy vegetables, and nutritional yeasts. Most multivitamins contain enough B2.



No toxic or adverse events have been reported for this very safe water-soluble B-vitamin.  There have been reports of the increased need for those taking oral contraceptives and those on antipsychotic chlorpromazine, tricyclic antidepressants, phenothiazides, the anti-malarial drug quinacrine and the chemotherapy agent adriamycin to increase their Vitamin B2 intake.

The adult RDA for riboflavin is 1.1-1.8 mg daily. Taking about 2 mg daily for adults ensures maximal protection against cataracts. 


Learn more about riboflavin here…  


Dr. Paul


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