Vitamin B2: The Glowing Vitamin

It can be difficult to think of the B-complex vitamins separately, as their functions are strongly interconnected. Together, they make sure that your body turns the food you eat into energy. Vitamin B2, however, has its ways of standing out. Not only with its additional functions in the body, but also more literally. Not convinced? Put it under a black light.

Let’s go through what you should know about vitamin B2.

Short on time?

Names: Vitamin B2, riboflavin

Best known for: Has a beneficial effect on normal energy-yielding metabolism; helps to reduce tiredness and fatigue.

Good sources: Eggs and organ meat are among the best sources. Also found in fish, green vegetables and some fruits.

Recommended dietary allowance (RDA): 1.6 milligrams per day. No maximum intake levels have been established.

Good to know: Under ultraviolet light, vitamin B2 is naturally fluorescent and it also loses its function.

Vitamin B2 (riboflavin) in Jake:
Jake Light and Original: 33% of RDA
Jake Sports: 25% of RDA
Vitaminbars: 25% of RDA

What is vitamin B2?

Also known as riboflavin, vitamin B2 belongs to the group of water-soluble vitaminsVitamins can be fat-soluble and water-soluble. Vitamin B2 is water-soluble. This means it can be dissolved in water and is not stored in the body.. This means that storage of vitamin B2 in the body is minimal and it’s important to obtain a sufficient daily amount from your diet.

Health benefits of vitamin B2

Vitamin B2, together with the rest of the B-complex vitamins, is involved in energy metabolismEnergy metabolism is the process of generating energy from nutrients like carbohydrates, fats and protein..

The key functions of vitamin B2 are:

  • Riboflavin contributes to the maintenance of normal red blood cells
  • Has a beneficial effect on normal energy-yielding metabolism
  • Supports the condition of the eye
  • Makes a contribution keeping the skin healthy

How much vitamin B2 do you need?

Healthy adults need 1.6 mg of vitamin B2 per day. The recommended daily intake is increased to 1.9 mg for pregnant women.These amounts reflect the recommended dietary allowance (RDA) set by the European Food Safety Authority (EFSA). The recommended dietary allowance (RDA) is an average daily level of intake sufficient to meet the dietary requirements of 97% – 98% of healthy individuals. Getting the vitamin B2 you need can be as simple as having a portion of beef liver.

Vitamin B2 in foods

The foods richest in vitamin B2 are milk, eggs and organ meat (like kidneys and liver). However, smaller amounts of vitamin B2 can also be obtained from fish, green vegetables, some fruits and grains.

These are the best sources of vitamin B2:

FoodRDA (%)*Vitamin B2 (mg)
Beef liver, pan fried (85 g)181%2.9
Milk, 2% fat (120 ml)31%0.5
Yoghurt, plain, fat-free (130 g)38%0.6
Egg (one, whole)13%0.2
Almonds, dry roasted (28 g)19%0.3

* Based on the recommended dietary allowance (RDA) established by EFSA for healthy adults (1.6 mg/day)

Steam or microwave your food to avoid losing precious vitamin B2. As a water-soluble vitamin, vitamin B2 dissolves in cooking water. So, when you boil your food, you’re throwing away a big part of its vitamin B2 content.

What if you’re not getting enough vitamin B2?

Becoming deficient in vitamin B2 is rare in developed countries. When it does occur, symptoms include skin disorders, hyperemiaHyperemia is an excess of blood flow to the tissues in the body., swollen lips and hair loss.

How much vitamin B2 is too much?

Although you might end up with bright yellow urine, no negative health effects have been documented following overconsumption of vitamin B2. As a result, no tolerable upper intake level (UL) has been established.

Take-aways

If you remember three things about vitamin B2, make them these three:

  • Vitamin B2 helps you turn food into energy and helps keep your skin and eyes healthy.
  • You can get vitamin B2 mostly from animal-based sources: organ meat, milk and eggs. However, fish, grains and some vegetables can also help you meet your daily needs of vitamin B2.
  • If you’re not getting enough vitamin B2, it could have negative consequences for your health, including excess blood (hyperemia), skin disorders and hair loss.