Vitamin B-2

Vitamin B2 or Riboflavin:

Vitamin B-2 is also called as riboflavin.

Functions of Vitamin B2:

Vitamin B2 is essential for the proper functioning of cells in the body, proper growth and development. It is also involved in the conversion of food into energy required by the body.

Amount of Vitamin B2 required:

Requirements of Vitamin B-2 depends on sex and age. On average recommended amounts of vitamin B-2 in milligrams on daily basis are listed below:


Life StageRecommended Amount
Birth to 6 months0.3 mg
Infants 7–12 months0.4 mg
Children 1–3 years0.5 mg
Children 4–8 years0.6 mg
Children 9–13 years0.9 mg
Teen boys 14–18 years1.3 mg
Teen girls 14–18 years1.0 mg
Men1.3 mg
Women1.1 mg
Pregnant teens and women1.4 mg
Breastfeeding teens and women1.6 mg


Sources of Vitamin B2:

Naturally Vitamin B2 is found in some foods. Vitamin B-2 is also added to many fortified foods. A variety of foods can be consumed to get recommended amounts of vitamin B-2. These include the following:

·         Low fat milk, lean meats, organ meats such as liver and kidney, eggs.

·         Green vegetables like spinach, broccoli, asparagus.

·         Gain products, bread and fortified cereals.


(mg) per
Beef liver, pan fried, 3 ounces2.9171
Breakfast cereals, fortified with 100% of the DV for riboflavin, 1 serving1.7100
Oats, instant, fortified, cooked with water, 1 cup1.165
Yogurt, plain, fat free, 1 cup0.635
Milk, 2% fat, 1 cup0.529
Beef, tenderloin steak, boneless, trimmed of fat, grilled, 3 ounces0.424
Clams, mixed species, cooked, moist heat, 3 ounces0.424
Mushrooms, portabella, sliced, grilled, ½ cup0.318
Almonds, dry roasted, 1 ounce0.318
Cheese, Swiss, 3 ounces0.318
Rotisserie chicken, breast meat only, 3 ounces0.212
Egg, whole, scrambled, 1 large0.212
Quinoa, cooked, 1 cup0.212
Bagel, plain, enriched, 1 medium (3½”–4” diameter)0.212
Salmon, pink, canned, 3 ounces0.212
Spinach, raw, 1 cup0.16
Apple, with skin, 1 large0.16
Kidney beans, canned, 1 cup0.16
Macaroni, elbow shaped, whole wheat, cooked, 1 cup0.16
Bread, whole wheat, 1 slice0.16
Cod, Atlantic, cooked, dry heat, 3 ounces0.16
Sunflower seeds, toasted, 1 ounce0.16
Tomatoes, crushed, canned, ½ cup0.16
Rice, white, enriched, long grain, cooked, ½ cup0.16
Rice, brown, long grain, cooked, ½ cup00


Dietary supplements of Vitamin B2:

Vitamin B-2 can be obtained from multimineral/multivitamin supplements, dietary supplements of B-complex and supplements composed of only vitamin B-2. More than recommended amounts of vitamin B-2 is also present in some supplements but body is unable to absorb more than 27 mg of vitamin B-2 at a time.

People Suffering from Vitamin B2 deficiency:

People in the United States, mostly get sufficient amount of vitamin B2 from the foods they eat. In this country deficiency of vitamin B2 is rare. Although some groups of people feel trouble in getting enough amount of vitamin B-2 than others. Some of these are discussed below:

·         Athletes who are strictly vegetarian and avoid the use of eggs and dairy foods

·         Breastfeeding women, pregnant women and their babies

·         People who are strictly vegan

·         People who don’t consume dairy foods

·         People suffering from infantile Brown-Vialetto-Van Laere syndrome which is a result of genetic disorder that causes deficiency of vitamin B2.

Deficiency of Vitamin B2:

Vitamin B2 deficiency will develop if a person doesn’t get enough amount of vitamin B-2 in the foods. If a person is suffering from certain diseases or hormonal disorders it can also result in vitamin B-2 deficiency.

Symptoms of Vitamin B2 deficiency:

Deficiency of vitamin B2 can result in:

·         Skin disorders

·         Cracked and swollen lips

·         Sores at the corners of mouth

·         Hair loss

·         Liver disorders

·         Sore throat

·         Reproductive system problems

·         Nervous system problems

Severe and long-term vitamin B2 deficiency results in shortage of red blood cells a condition termed as anemia. Symptoms of anemia include feeling tired and weak. It also results in clouding of eye lens a condition termed as cataracts which effects vision.

Health Effects of Vitamin B2:


Scientists are studying the health effects of vitamin B2 for better understanding. Some of these are discusses below:

Migraine Headache:

Certain studies showed that supplements of vitamin B-2 help in preventing migraine headache, but some other studies don’t support this evidence. Supplements of vitamin B-2 usually render very few side effects so some health care professionals recommend using vitamin B-2 under the proper guidance of health care providers for preventing migraine headaches.

Harmful Effects of Vitamin B2:

Vitamin B1 has not been shown to cause any harmful effects.

Interactions of Vitamin B2 with other medicines:

Interactions of vitamin B2 with other medications is not known yet. But it is always important to tell pharmacist, doctor or health care provider about any prescription, dietary supplements or over-the-counter medicines that a person is taking. They will properly guide about the interactions of dietary supplements with the medications and tell about that how body uses, absorbs or breakdown nutrients.

Healthful Eating and Vitamin B-2:

According to the Dietary Guidelines of federal government for Americans most of the nutrients should be obtained from healthy foods. Foods are composed of dietary fibers, minerals, vitamins and some other substances that provide health benefits. In certain cases, dietary supplements and fortified foods may help in providing nutrients that may be otherwise consumed in less-than- recommended amounts.


This fact paper by Office of Dietary Supplements gives a piece of knowledge that should not replace the medical prescription. We foster you to communicate with your healthcare adviser (doctor, pharmacist, dentist etc.) for your interest in, queries about, or use of supplements and what could be best for your health.