Vitamin B2, chemically called Riboflavin, is a vitamin essential for good health, normal growth, and metabolism. Riboflavin is an orange colored, water soluble vitamin. Traces of riboflavin are regularly excreted through urine.
Vitamin B2 is a micro nutrient easily absorbed by the cells in the body. Riboflavin helps breakdown fat, proteins, and carbohydrates into smaller particles that are burned to obtain energy. Vitamin B2 riboflavin helps produce red blood cells and protects the nervous system. It helps reduce tingling and numbness, anxiety, stress, and fatigue, in addition to strengthening the immune system.
Although the human body has an efficient mechanism to absorb and conserve vitamin B2, sometimes one may have a vitamin B2 deficiency. A vitamin B2 deficiency can affect the metabolism of the body and influence the immune system and neural functions. The deficiency can cause abnormal sensitivity to light, various eye problems like itching, burning, and pale eyes. A vitamin B2 deficiency can also cause sore throat, mouth ulcers, pale tongue, cracks on the lips, dry and dull hair, wrinkles on the face, itchy skin, and sore and tasteless tongue. It can affect one's overall wellbeing.
Vitamin B2 deficiency in young children hinders normal growth. The deficiency in pregnant women can affect the growth and nervous system development of infants. If the symptoms of vitamin B2 deficiency are ignored it can lead to seborrheic dermatitis, nervous impairment, anemia, and swollen tongue.
Vitamin B2 helps in the treatment of migraine headaches. Problems like dry and itchy skin, acne, dermatitis, and eczema may be reduced or cured by the intake of vitamin B2. It aids in the treatment of anemia, cataracts, and rheumatoid arthritis. Vitamin B2 aids in the treatment of several nerve related conditions like Alzheimer’s disease, epilepsy, and sclerosis.
The sources of vitamin B2 are multiple and they contain varied proportions of riboflavin. Some of the sources are organ meats, dairy products like cheese, milk, yogurt, leafy vegetables, yeast, eggs, and cereals. Most whole grains, soy beans, almonds, nuts, mushrooms, and grains are good sources of vitamin B2. Many "ready to eat" food products like bread and cereals are fortified with vitamin B2 riboflavin.
Vitamin B2 deficiency can be cured by the oral intake of the recommended dosage of health supplements. An overdose can lead to orange urine. It can also cause reactions like itching, numbness, burning, or a pricking feeling.
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