Vitamin B2

Other Names

  • B Complex Vitamin
  • Complexe de Vitamines B
  • Flavin
  • Flavine
  • Lactoflavin
  • Lactoflavine
  • Riboflavina
  • Riboflavine
  • Vitamin B-2
  • Vitamin G
  • Vitamina B2

Dietary Sources

  • Milk
  • Meat
  • Eggs
  • Nuts
  • Enriched flour
  • Green vegetables

Recommended Use

  • Riboflavin is used for preventing low levels of riboflavin (riboflavin deficiency)
  • Cervical cancer
  • Migraine headaches
  • Treating riboflavin deficiency
  • Acne
  • Muscle cramps
  • Burning feet syndrome
  • Carpal tunnel syndrome
  • Blood disorders such as congenital methemoglobinemia and red blood cell aplasia.
  • Some people use riboflavin for eye conditions including
  • Eye fatigue
  • Cataracts
  • Glaucoma
  • Increasing energy levels
  • Boosting immune system function
  • Maintaining healthy hair, skin, mucous membranes, and nails
  • Slowing aging
  • Boosting athletic performance
  • Promoting healthy reproductive function
  • Canker sores
  • Alzheimer's disease
  • Ulcers
  • Burns
  • Alcoholism
  • Liver disease
  • Sickle cell anemia
  • Treating lactic acidosis brought on by treatment with a class of AIDS medications called NRTI drugs

Effectiveness of Vitamin B2

  • Preventing and treating riboflavin deficiency and conditions related to riboflavin deficiency.
    • 2- Cataracts, an eye disorder
    • People who eat more riboflavin as part of their diet seems to have a lower risk of developing cataracts.
    • Taking supplements containing riboflavin plus niacin seems to help prevent cataracts.
    • 3- High amounts of homocysteine in the blood (hyperhomocysteinemia)
    • Some people are unable to convert the chemical homocysteine into the amino acid methionine.
    • People with this condition, especially those with low riboflavin levels, have high amounts of homocysteine in the blood.
    • Taking riboflavin for 12 weeks seems to reduce homocysteine levels by up to 40% in some people with this condition.
    • Certain antiseizure drugs can increase homocysteine in the blood.
    • Taking riboflavin along with folic acid and pyridoxine seems to lower homocysteine levels by 26% in people with high homocysteine levels due to antiseizure drugs.
    • 4- Migraine headaches
    • Taking high-dose riboflavin (400 mg/day) seems to significantly reduce the number of migraine headache attacks.
    • Taking riboflavin does not appear to reduce the amount of pain or the amount of time a migraine headache lasts.
    • Lower doses of riboflavin (200 mg/day) do not seem to reduce the number of migraine headache attacks.
    • 5- Lactic acidosis (a serious blood-acid imbalance) in people with acquired immunodeficiency syndrome (AIDS).
    • Riboflavin may be useful for treating lactic acidosis in patients with acquired immunodeficiency syndrome (AIDS) caused by drugs called nucleoside analog reverse transcriptase inhibitors (NRTI).
    • 6- Preventing cervical cancer.
    • Increasing riboflavin intake from dietary and supplement sources, along with thiamine, folic acid, and vitamin B12, may decrease the risk of developing precancerous spots on the cervix.
    • 7- Liver cancer
    • Taking riboflavin along with niacin may reduce the risk of liver cancer in people less than 55 years-old.
    • Vitamin B2 does not seem to reduce the risk of liver cancer in older people.
    • 8- White patches inside the mouth (oral leukoplakia)
    • Low blood levels of riboflavin are linked with an increased risk of oral leukoplakia.
    • Riboflavin supplements for 20 months do not seem to prevent or treat oral leukoplakia.
    • 9- Sickle cell disease
    • Taking riboflavin for 8 weeks improves iron levels in people with low iron levels due to sickle cell disease.
    • Riboflavin does not seem to improve levels of hemoglobin, the iron-containing protein in the blood.

    Safety

    • Riboflavin may be safe for most people when taken by mouth.
    • In some people, riboflavin can cause the urine to turn a yellow-orange color.
    • When taken in high doses, riboflavin might cause diarrhea, an increase in urine, and other side effects.

    Precautions & Warnings

  • Pregnancy and breast-feeding
      • Riboflavin may be safe for pregnant or breast-feeding women when taken in the amounts recommended.
      • The recommended amounts are 1.4 mg per day for pregnant women and 1.6 mg per day in breast-feeding women.
      • Riboflavin is may be safe when taken by mouth in larger doses, short-term.
      • Riboflavin is safe when taken at a dose of 15 mg once every 2 weeks for 10 weeks.
  • Hepatitis, Cirrhosis, Billary obstruction
      • Riboflavin absorption is decreased in people with these conditions. 

    Vitamin B2 interactions with medication

    Moderate Interactions (Be cautious with this combination)

  • Antibiotics (Tetracycline antibiotics)
      • Riboflavin might decrease the amount of tetracyclines that the body can absorb.
      • Taking riboflavin along with tetracyclines might decrease the effectiveness of tetracyclines.
      • To avoid this interaction, take riboflavin 2 hours before or 4 hours after taking tetracyclines.
      • Some tetracyclines include demeclocycline (Declomycin), minocycline (Minocin), and tetracycline (Achromycin).

    Minor Interactions (Be watchful with this combination)

  • Drying medications (Anticholinergic drugs)
      • Some drying medications can affect the stomach and intestines.
      • Taking these drying medications with riboflavin (vitamin B2) can increase the amount of riboflavin that is absorbed in the body.
      • But it's not known if this interaction is important.
  • Medications for depression (Tricyclic antidepressants)
      • Some medications for depression can decrease the amount of riboflavin in the body.
      • This interaction is not a big concern because it only occurs with very large amounts of some medications for depression.
  • Phenobarbital (Luminal)
      • Riboflavin is broken down by the body.
      • Phenobarbital might increase how quickly riboflavin is broken down in the body.
      • It is not clear if this interaction is significant.
  • Probenecid (Benemid)
      • Probenecid (Benemid) can increase how much riboflavin is in the body.
      • This might cause there to be too much riboflavin in the body.
      • But it's not known if this interaction is a big concern.

    Interactions with Herbs and Supplements

  • Blond psyllium
      • Psyllium reduces absorption of riboflavin from supplements in healthy women.
      • It isn't clear whether this occurs with dietary riboflavin, or whether it's really important to health.
  • Boron
      • A form of boron, called boric acid, can reduce the solubility of riboflavin in water.
      • This might reduce the absorption of riboflavin.
  • Folic acid
      • In people with a condition called methylenetetrahydrofolate reductase (MTHFR) deficiency, taking folic acid might make riboflavin deficiency worse.
      • Folic acid might lower blood levels of riboflavin in people with this condition.
  • Iron
      • Riboflavin supplements may improve the way iron supplements work in some people who don't have enough iron.
      • This effect is probably important only in people with riboflavin deficiency.

    Interactions with Foods

  • Food
      • Absorption of riboflavin supplements may be increased when taken with food.

    Doses

    • For treating low levels of riboflavin (riboflavin deficiency) in adults: 5-30 mg of riboflavin (Vitamin B2) daily in divided doses.
    • For preventing migraine headaches: 400 mg of riboflavin (Vitamin B2) per day. It may take up to three months to get best results.
    • For preventing cataracts: a daily dietary intake of approximately 2.6 mg of riboflavin (Vitamin B2) has been used. A combination of 3 mg of riboflavin (Vitamin B2) plus 40 mg of niacin daily has also been used.
    • The daily recommended dietary allowances (RDAs) of riboflavin (Vitamin B2) are:
    • Infants 0-6 months: 0.3 mg
    • Infants 7-12 months: 0.4 mg
    • Children 1-3 years: 0.5 mg
    • Children 4-8 years: 0.6 mg
    • Children 9-13 years: 0.9 mg
    • Men 14 years or older: 1.3 mg
    • Women 14-18 years: 1 mg
    • Women over 18 years: 1.1 mg
    • Pregnant women: 1.4 mg
    • Breastfeeding women: 1.6 mg