What does Vitamin B2 (Riboflavin) do to your body?


​​Vitamin B2 is also known as riboflavin. It is a water-soluble vitamin that is essential for many processes within the body. It is used to metabolize carbs, protein, and fat. It also assists in bone growth and red blood cell production. Vitamin B2 plays a role in the prevention and decreased risk of many diseases. These include cancer and migraines. Consuming adequate amounts of vitamin B2 through food or supplements, such as through dates, is a good idea. One can see the many health benefits of these vitamins as discussed in this article.

Health Functions

Vitamin B2 helps break down proteins, carbohydrates, and fats. This mechanism helps maintain the body’s energy supply. Vitamin B2 helps convert carbohydrates into adenosine triphosphate (ATP). This is a compound that is responsible for storing energy in the muscles. This shows vitamin B2’s role in overall energy capabilities.

 Vitamin B2 also has a lot of other health functions. This includes maintaining a healthy membrane within the digestive system and keeping your liver healthy. It also helps in absorbing and activating iron, folic acid, and other B vitamins. These other compounds all have their own health functions. The benefits of vitamin B occur through the help of two coenzymes. They are called flavin mononucleotide (FMN) and flavin adenine dinucleotide (FAD).

Disease Risk Reduction

Vitamin B2 has a role in boosting your immunity. Therefore, it can help reduce the risk of generalized sickness. As an antioxidant, it may help reduce the risk of cancer. Antioxidants work by neutralizing free radicals in the body. It can also reduce the risk for DNA damage. This is because vitamin B2 acts together with other enzymes to prevent them from being changed. One study showed that lung cancer risk was severely lowered in those who consumed adequate vitamin B2.

Vitamin B2 also helps with migraine headaches. Research shows that vitamin B2 supplements can help reduce the amount and intensity of migraines. Vitamin B2 is needed in the mitochondria, which is the powerhouse of the cell. Because mitochondrial dysfunction might cause migraines, the two may be related. 

Groups at Risk

One study showed that elderly people are at risk. This is due to their overall poor food and nutritional intake. Those who utilize certain drugs or consume excess alcohol may also be at risk. Finally, those who have increased daily vitamin B2 needs (such as pregnant and breastfeeding women) are also at risk of vitamin B2 deficiency.

 Vegetarians and vegans, as well as those who do not drink milk, may be at risk of vitamin B2 deficiency. This is because they might have little to no intakes of meat and dairy products. Meat and dairy products are good sources of vitamin B2. Therefore, their diet puts these groups at risk.

 Signs and symptoms of vitamin B2 deficiency include, but are not limited to, skin disorders and hair loss. They may also cause a sore throat and itchy eyes. Severe symptoms include reproductive disorders.

Intake Recommendations

​​Vitamin B2 can be found in many different foods. These include grains, plants, and dairy products. Fruit, such as dates, may also contain vitamin B2. Individuals are recommended to consume sources of vitamin B2 each day. This is because the body cannot store adequate amounts. Research shows that adults who have a balanced diet are likely to meet their daily recommendations. This is because vitamin B2 can be found in many different food groups.

The table found below includes the recommended dietary allowances (RDAs) for Riboflavin in milligrams (mg).

Age

Male

Female

Pregnancy

Lactation

0-6 months

0.3

0.3

N/A 

N/A

7-12 months

0.4

0.4

N/A

N/A

1-3 years

0.5

0.5

N/A

N/A 

4-8 years

0.6

0.6

 N/A

N/A 

9-13 years

0.9

0.9

 N/A

N/A 

14-18 years

1.3

1

1.4

1.6

19+ years

1.3

1.1

1.4

1.6

Conclusion

Vitamin B2 is crucial to many functions within the body. This includes carbohydrate breakdown and energy production. It also helps fight damage from free radicals. Through these, vitamin B2 consumption decreases the risk of many diseases. Therefore, it is important for individuals to consume adequate amounts of the vitamin each day. Some populations, such as the elderly, are at risk of inadequate consumption. The same goes for those who do not follow a balanced diet. Therefore, they may benefit from eating dates to supplement their vitamin B2 needs. Eating a well-balanced diet with variety can also help. Through these, one will be able to see vitamin B2’s health benefits!

Written by:

Allison Tallman, MS, RDN, CNSC

Registered Dietitian

Reviewed by:
Registered Dietitian
Share:
Share on facebook
Facebook
Share on email
Email
Share on linkedin
LinkedIn
Share on tumblr
Tumblr

Related post

dates
Thank you for subscribing to our 7DVARIETY Daily Newsletter
Trusted Source

PubMed Central

Go to source