Health Benefits of Vitamin B2

Health Benefits of Vitamin B2


Vitamin B2 (Riboflavin)

This vitamin is an orange-yellow crystal which is more stable than thiamin.  This is how Riboflavin got it’s name flavus which in Latin means yellow.  You will notice this when you take it, your urine is usually a bright yellow-green florescent colour since excess intake  – usually as little as 50mg – 100mg, is easily excreted in the urine.  (Remember, from last week, the Vitamin B family are all water soluble vitamins).

As a reminder since it is water soluble, it is not stored in the body, except for a little in the liver and kidneys, so it is needed on a daily basis.

What Affects Absorption?

Vitamin B2 is produced in the intestines, so those suffering with digestive issues or leaky gut syndrome can easily get deficient in this Vitamin and therefore would need to be supplementing with a high quality brand (taken together B complex).

Although stable to heat, acidic environments and oxidization, Vitamin B2 is affected by light, especially ultraviolet (sunlight), so foods high in this vitamin need to be kept out of the sunlight to retain good levels.


  • Eggs
  • Nuts
  • Dairy
  • Broccoli
  • Brewers Yeast
  • Organ meats
  • Oily Fish
  • Nori Seaweed
  • Dark Leafy Greens
  • Dried Peas
  • Wild Rice
  • Beans
  • Brussel Sprouts
  • Sunflower seeds
  • Asparagus
  • Avocado

Health Benefits

  • Energy production – metabolizes carbohydrates, fats and protein to be used as energy production
  • Boosts Mineral absorption in the body
  • Growth and overall good health
  • Promotes formation of red blood cells
  • Aids in healthy fetal development
  • Helps in slowing down progression of AIDS virus
  • Helps regulate thyroid activity
  • Development and function of the skin and lining of the digestive tract
  • Can help to prevent cataracts
  • Helps with migraines (200mg – 400mg)
  • Healthy skin, hair and nails
  • Can help with stress


Factors that increase the need for vitamin B2 are

  • oral contraceptives
  • strenuous exercise
  • women who take estrogen
  • certain antibiotics
  • stress
  • certain antidepressants

Needs vary from person to person depending on bio-individuality, however in general between 25mg – 50mg is a good level.  Over 100mg a day, I would consider a little excessive.


Deficiency is much more of a problem with vitamin B2 than toxicity.  Some researchers claim that vitamin B2 is the most common nutrient deficiency in North America.  Deficiency occurs when a person may have leaky gut, digestive issues and not eating foods rich in riboflavin.

Deficiency is also seen in people who abuse alcohol, the elderly, the poor and depressed patients.

Symptoms of deficiency include the following:

  • Sensitivity or inflammation of the mucous membranes of the mouth (cracks at corner of the mouth)
  • Red, sore tongue
  • Redness of the eyes, or photosensitivity (sensitive to the light)
  • Fatigue with or without dizziness
  • Dermatitis
  • Cataracts
  • Hair Loss
  • Weight Loss
  • General Lack of Vitality
  • Digestive problems
  • Splitting of nails
  • Impaired nervous system function
  • Anemia


There are no known toxic effects from taking too much vitamin B2, however higher doses can cause a loss from the urine of the other B vitamins.  The National Academy of Sciences have set no tolerable upper limit on the amount of vitamin  B2.








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About Michelle

Michelle Firrisi is a Registered Holistic Nutritionist and Clinical Herbalist. She lived most of her life in the Island of Guernsey, in the Channel Islands, UK.

She now lives in beautiful British Columbia, Canada. Michelle also holds an Honours Degree in Bachelor of Science Podiatric Medicine and practices Reiki, Massage and Shamanism. Her main speciality is in the areas of Addiction, Anxiety, Depression and reversing Mood Disorders with targeted Amino Acid Therapy & Nutrition.

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Statements and opinions written on this website are based on experience and designed for educational purposes only. It should not be taken as professional medical advice. This information is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent any disease. Before changing your diet or with all medical conditions consult a qualified medical professional.