Vitamin-b2 - Riboflavin - The 'Beauty' Vitamin

Vitamin B2 or riboflavin is the second member of the B complex group. The word riboflavin is derived from two sources: ribose, referring to ribose sugar found in several vitamins and enzymes, and flavin meaning yellow. Since that part of the B complex vitamins which remained intact even after heating, contained a molecule similar to that of ribose sugar and was yellow in color, it came to be known as riboflavin.

Riboflavin is a crystalline compound with a beautiful yellow-orange hue. It is soluble in water. Though readily decomposed by heat in an alkaline solution, it is not destroyed by boiling in an acid solution. This vitamin is very sensitive to both visible and ultraviolet light. Considerable loss may occur if foods are exposed to light. Thus sun-drying of foods destroys most of their riboflavin content. Ordinary cooking does not affect riboflavin, but cooking in a large quantity of water causes some of this vitamin to be drained out from the food. Sulpha drugs and alcohol can destroy vitamin B2.

Riboflavin is absorbed into the bloodstream through the walls of the small intestine. It is carried to the tissues of the body and incorporated into the cell enzymes. The liver is the major site of storage and it contains about one-third of the total riboflavin in the body. The liver, kidneys, and heart have the richest concentrations of this vitamin. However the body does not store large quantities of it. Riboflavin is excreted primarily in the urine. Bile and sweat are other minor routes of excretion.

Recommended Daily Allowance - Vitamin B2

Men 1.5 mg
Women 1.2 mg
Children 1.3 mg
Infants 60 mcg

Vitamin B2 Benefits - Functions in the body

Riboflavin is essential for growth and general health. It functions as a part of a group of enzymes which are involved in the metabolism of carbohydrates, fats, and proteins. It is involved in a number of chemical reactions in the body and is therefore essential for normal tissue maintenance.

Riboflavin aids digestion and helps in the functioning of the nervous system. It prevents constipation, promotes a healthy skin, nails, and hair, and strengthens the mucous lining of the mouth, lips, and tongue. Riboflavin also plays an important role in the health of the eyes and alleviates eye strain. This vitamin is particularly helpful in counteracting the tendency towards glaucoma. An ample supply of vitamin B2 provides vigour and helps to preserve the appearance and feeling of youth.

Vitamin B2 Deficiency Symptoms

A deficiency of vitamin B2 (riboflavin) may result in bloodshot eyes, abnormal sensitivity to light, itching and burning of the eyes, inflammation in the mouth, a sore and burning tongue, and cracks on the lips and in the corners of the mouth. It may also result in dull or oily hair, an oily skin, premature wrinkles on the face and arms, and split nails. Riboflavin deficiency also leads to the malfunctioning of the adrenal glands. It can be contributing cause to such disorders as anaemia, vaginal itching, and cataract.

Vitamin B2 Rich Food Sources

Vitamin B2 (riboflavin), though widely distributed in vegetables and animal foods, is present only in small amounts in most of them. Foods rich in riboflavin are green vegetables such as lotus stems, turnip greens, beets, radish leaves, colocasia and carrot leaves; fruits such as papaya, raisins, custard apples and apricots; foods of animal origin such as sheep liver and eggs, skimmed and wholemilk powder of cow's milk. Other well-known sources of this vitamin are almonds, walnuts, chilgozas, pistachio nuts, and mustard seeds. An average person may not be able to get an optimum amount of riboflavin unless he consumes a generous amount of milk. Milking of rice and wheat results in considerable loss of riboflavin since most of the vitamin is present in the germ and bran, which are removed during this process.

Leave your comments

Health News

Surgeon Removes Eight Pound Liver Tumor

The cancerous tumor in Marcus Muhich's liver weighed 8 pounds and was nearly a foot across. Doctors at three major academic medical centers in the Midwest told Muhich his high-grade tumor was inoperable. Then he was referred to Dr... [ read article ]

NIPPV Linked To Increased Hospital Mortality Rates In Small Group Of Patients

Although increased use of noninvasive positive-pressure ventilation (NIPPV) nationwide has helped decrease mortality rates among patients hospitalized with chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), a small group of... [ read article ]

FDA Approves Label Update For PREZISTA® To Include 192-Week Data In HIV-1-Infected Adult Patients

Starting Treatment Janssen Therapeutics, Division of Janssen Products, LP, announced that the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has approved a label update for PREZISTA® (darunavir) tablets to include 192-week data from the ARTEMIS study... [ read article ]

Recommended Stuff

Our Latest Blog Entries...