Vitamin B2: The Glowing Vitamin
5-minute read•July 11th, 2018
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: Converting nutrients into energy; keeping your eyes and skin healthy; supporting normal brain functioning.
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 heavily involved in energy metabolismEnergy metabolism is the process of generating energy from nutrients like carbohydrates, fats and protein.. It also plays an important role in the growth, development and normal functioning of cells.
The key functions of vitamin B2 are:
- Helping convert the food you consume into energy: Vitamin B2 is a building block for two major coenzymes, flavin mononucleotide and flavin adenine dinucleotide. These coenzymes are central for energy production, cell growth and development. They also support the formation of vitamin B3 in the body.
- Ensuring good eye health: Riboflavin is one of the components of the retina The retina is a layer at the back of the eyeball. It contains cells that detect light and send nerve impulses to the brain, which then forms a visual image.: It protects its surface from damage and promotes the functioning of photoreceptors.
- Promoting normal brain functioning: Riboflavin is an important factor in iron absorption and the metabolism of essential fatty acids into brain lipidsBrain lipids regulate the function of proteins in neurons. They can also act as signal transmitters within or between cells.. These processes are essential for the functioning of the brain.
- Keeping skin healthy: By helping maintain collagenCollagen is the main protein in connective tissues, including the skin. It is responsible for firmness and elasticity. levels, vitamin B2 supports skin health.
Some studies show that vitamin B2 might be effective in preventing migraines.Source: Neurology Journal One of the common causes of migraine is mitochondrial dysfunctionA mitochondrion is an integral part of most cells, apart from red blood cells. It is responsible for cell respiration and energy production. A mitochondrial dysfunction affects these processes and, consequently, the function of the cell. which a sufficient vitamin B2 intake can help avoid. However, at this point there is insufficient evidence to propose vitamin B2 as a migraine treatment.
You should never store milk in a glass bottle. Light, whether ultraviolet or visible, deactivates riboflavin.
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:
|Food||RDA (%)*||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. Severe vitamin B2 deficiency can negatively impact the metabolism of other nutrients, particularly other vitamins from the vitamin B complex.
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.
If you remember three things about vitamin B2, make them these three:
- Vitamin B2 helps you turn food into energy. It supports the normal functioning of your brain 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.