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4 Benefits and Side Effects of Vitamin B2 [Updated Feb/2023]

Vitamin B2, also known as riboflavin, is a yellow crystal, belongs to the B group water-soluble vitamins, mainly as a coenzyme (involved in hundreds of redox reactions), is carbohydrates, lipids, proteins and other nutrients into energy necessary, its importance can be known

In addition, vitamin B2 is important for mucocutaneous membranes, cornea, nerve myelin sheath and red blood cell production, helping to protect the overall health of the nervous system, skin, nails, eyes and hair

Vitamin B2 deficiency is prone to symptoms such as tiredness, dry skin, angular cheilitis, and eye fatigue, and other B vitamins (such as vitamin B6nicotinic acid and folic acid) cannot function properly. It can generally be supplemented from natural sources such as meat, dark green vegetables, dairy products and eggs

What are the recommended empirical benefits of vitamin B2?

  1. Migraine

Migraine is a common neurological disease in general outpatient clinics (the prevalence rate of men and women is about 6% and 18%), headache is the main symptom, but severe cases can even be accompanied by nausea, photophobia, sensitivity to sound and light, visual impairment and other symptoms, which greatly reduces the quality of life of patients and causes serious socio-economic losses.

A controlled study (3-month study of 55 migraine patients) found that high-dose vitamin B2 (riboflavin/400 mg) helped reduce the frequency and frequency of migraine attacks compared with placebo.Note 1

Another retrospective study (41 children and adolescents) also showed that vitamin B2 (doses of 200 or 400 mg) helped reduce seizure frequency by 50% and seizure intensity by 21% (observed in 68.4% of participants) compared with the baseline period.Note 2

The mechanism behind it is thought to be related to riboflavin’s participation in the metabolism of mitochondria, and too low riboflavin will cause mitochondrial dysfunction (one of the causes of migraines).

  1. Cataract

Cataract is one of the phenomena of aging, mainly caused by qualitative changes (turbidity) of crystal proteins, resulting in light that cannot form a clear image on the retina, and vision becomes blurred or ghosted.

Cataract is almost a disease encountered at an early age, according to statistics, after the age of 80 almost 50% of the incidence, but symptoms vary from person to person, mainly because the disease progresses slowly, most people often have difficulty detecting the deterioration of vision.

An Australian Cross-Sectional Study (2900 men and women) found that cataract development was associated with nutritional intake, and that the top quintile with the highest riboflavin intake reduced cataract incidence by 50% (compared to the lowest quintile).Note 3

Another 5-year observation (408 participants) also found that dietary riboflavin intake was inversely correlated with lens opacification.Note 4

However, to date, there have been no double-blind controlled studies with precise designs, so further validation is needed.

  1. Colorectal Cancer

Colorectal cancer is the most commonly detected type of cancer (about 9% of all cases), with a similar incidence of men and women, and the age of occurrence increases significantly after the age of 40, almost 90% of cases occur after the age of 50, but in recent years due to changes in eating habits (craving high-fat or red meat foods), even cases under 20 years old often appear.Note 5

A large observation (88,045 menopausal women) found that dietary intake of more riboflavin and vitamin B6 was associated with significantly lower rates of colorectal cancer (compared to those with lower intake).Note 6

  1. Multiple sclerosis

Multiple sclerosis is a kind of autoimmune disease (unknown cause, may be related to genetic, viral, environmental factors), mainly attacked by the myelinated axons of the central nervous system, causing a variety of different disabling symptoms, including limb sensory impairment, vision loss, limb motor dysfunction, etc.Note 8

Multiple sclerosis most commonly occurs in adults aged 20 to 40 years, twice as common in women as men, and is most common in Northern Europe.

A double-blind controlled study (6 months, 29 migraine patients) found that riboflavin (10 mg) reduced scores on the Expanded Disability Status Scale as well as placebo and did not improve disability symptoms.Note 7


Are there any side effects of vitamin B2 (riboflavin)?

Vitamin B2 is very safe and non-toxic at recommended doses, but when the dose exceeds the body’s needs, the urine will appear golden yellow and is harmless. In addition, too high a dose may also cause uncomfortable symptoms such as itching, sensitivity to light, and tingling.

Safety precautions

Medications: If tetracycline, be aware that using it with vitamin B2 may interfere with drug absorption

Tricyclic antidepressants, anticholinergics, antipsychotics, epilepsy medications, and diuretics may reduce vitamin B2 absorption

If the liver and kidney function is poor, please discuss with a medical staff before use

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