Vitamin B2 – RiboflavinPosted 9 years ago under Uncategorized
Vitamin B2 ( riboflavin) works with other B vitamins to change carbohydrates into glucose and to metabolize proteins and fats. In fact, B6 and B9 require B2 in order function properly. B2 helps make red blood cells and incorporate iron into red blood cells. It is also an important nutrient for one of the body’s most important anti-oxidants, glutathione.
Riboflavin is the vitamin that gives B complex vitamins its yellow to orange color and is responsible for turning your urine bright yellow or orange. Riboflavin is sometimes used as a food coloring. (At least it is one that is good for you!)
B2 is not stored in the body. Therefore it is important to eat a healthy diet that supplies the daily need for this essential nutrient.
Foods rich in vitamin B2
Natural food sources high in vitamin B2 include the following: beet greens, spinach, asparagus, crimini mushrooms, collard greens, sweet potato, green peas, eggs, turkey, tempeh, sardines, tuna, yogurt, and more. Soybeans are the highest source, but as soy can interfere with hormones, it is best to only eat it in a fermented form.
B2 is very stable in regards to heat (as long as it is not prolonged) and refrigeration, but not to light. As usual, whole foods (such as whole grains) retain more vitamin B2 and processing depletes it. B2 is available in small amounts in many foods, therefore a diverse diet rich in raw, organic vegetables, whole grains, and other whole foods should easily provide the daily allowance.
Vitamin B2 deficiency
A mild vitamin B2 deficiency results in cracked lips, swelling and inflammation of the mouth, throat, and tongue as well as skin inflammation. Deficiency is associated with iron deficiency anemia, hypertension, high homocysteine levels, cataracts migraines, and Parkinson’s disease.
A very small number of the population is deficient in B2, due to it being a nutrient found in so many foods. But heavy drinkers and alcohols and the elderly are at a much greater risk than the general population for a deficiency.
And as always, it is best to take B2 along with the other B vitamins in a B complex supplement because any long term use of a singular B vitamin will cause an imbalance in the others.
Interactions with medications
According to the University of Maryland Medical Center, the following drugs may suppress absorption of Vitamin B2 or cause you to lose more in your urine:
- Anticholinergic Drugs “used to treat a variety of conditions, including gastrointestinal spasms, asthma, depression, and motion sickness.”
- Tricyclic Antidepressants (Imipramine (Tofranil), Desimpramine (Norpramin), Amitriptyline (Elavil), Nortriptyline (Pamelor)
- Antipsychotic Medications — phenothiazines (such as chlorpromazine or Thorazine)
- Thiazide Diuretics (water pills)
And Vitamin B2 can interfere with the following drugs: Tetracycline and Doxorubicin.
Long term use of high doses of B2 could lead to eye damage if sunglasses are not worn to protect the eyes from UV rays, according to the University of Maryland Medical Center.