Vitamin B2 Riboflavin
B2, or riboflavin, is an essential nutrient for human nutrition. Riboflavin is the precursor to flavin mononucleotide (FMN) and flavin adenine dinucleotide (FAD). These serve as cofactors for flavoenzymes, which are involved in a wide array of reactions, such as cellular respiration. They also act as an intermediate hydrogen acceptor during the mitochaondrial electron transport chain. A direct result of this chain is the production of cellular energy. Riboflavin studies have shown evidence of antioxidant activity as well as involvement in the metabolism of homocysteine. Rich sources of B2 are organ meats, milk, cheese, yogurt, leafy green vegetables, and whole grains.
Riboflavin should not be combined with anticholinergic drugs or probenecid due to decreased absorption and function of riboflavin. Vitamin B2 may help to improve iron responses in those with anemia although this may only be significant to those also riboflavin deficient. The following drugs may contribute to vitamin B2 deficiency as they interfere with the absorption and function of riboflavin when used for an extended period of time: antibiotics, antidepressants, tricyclic, chlorpromazine, oral contraceptives, psyllium, doxorubicin, and quinacrine. Supplementation may be a good option if on these drugs for prolonged periods of time. As with any drug or supplement, consult a health care professional before use.
Riboflavin has no reported side effects, even when taken in high doses. Some people may see a yellow-orange discoloration of their urine however, this has no effect on body function. Vitamin B2 is normally recommended at doses around 1-4 mg per day or for deficiencies 5-30 mg daily. However, some people may use up to 400 mg per day, if recommended, and still the body has good toleration to the supplement.
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