Nutrient Information: Riboflavin (Vitamin B-2)

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Nutrient Key Information 
Nutrient Name: Riboflavin (Vitamin B-2)
Nutrient Category: Vitamins and Other Components
Measuring Unit: mg
Nutrient Summary: Riboflavin is also called Vitamin B2. It functions as coenzymes for numerous oxidation–reduction reactions. It plays major roles in energy production, cellular function, growth, and development.
Nutrient Function: • Breakdown fats, proteins, and carbohydrates, convert food into energy
• Play important role in growth and development
• Help red blood cell formation
• One of the riboflavin coenzymes assists the enzyme that converts vitamin B6 to its coenzyme form. So a severe riboflavin deficiency can impair vitamin B6 activity.
• Required for the formation of niacin

Riboflavin is converted to coenzymes primarily in the tissues of small intestine, liver, heart, and kidneys, very little is stored in the body. The excess is excreted primarily in the urine.

As a B vitamin, Riboflavin is water-soluble. Water-soluble vitamin moves directly into the blood, and not well stored in the body.

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Food Sources

• Organ meats, such as livers and kidneys
• Nuts, such as almonds
• Enriched grain products (e.g., bread, cereal, pasta, rice)
• Milk and milk products such as yogurt
• Eggs
• Lean meats, such as beef
• Mushrooms
• Dark green, leafy vegetables, such as spinach, asparagus, broccoli
• Seafood, such as tuna and oysters
• Poultry
• Soybeans

1. Ultraviolet rays from sun or fluorescent light may destroy or inactivate riboflavin, so storing foods in dark non-glass containers or dark cabinet can minimize the riboflavin loss.
2. Riboflavin is soluble in water. About twice as much riboflavin content is lost if boiling foods in hot water than being cooked by steaming or microwaving.

Sample Foods High in: Riboflavin (Vitamin B-2)
View Additional Food Sources
Food Description Nutrient Amount1 Daily Value%2
Beef, variety meats and by-products, liver, cooked, pan-fried
Category: Beef Products
3.425 mg 263.46%
Nuts, almonds, dry roasted, with salt added
Category: Nut and Seed Products
1.57 mg 120.77%
Grapes, muscadine, raw
Category: Fruits and Fruit Juices
1.5 mg 115.38%
Cheese, goat, hard type
Category: Dairy and Egg Products
1.19 mg 91.54%
Beef, plate steak, boneless, outside skirt, separable lean and fat, trimmed to 0" fat, all grades, cooked, grilled
Category: Beef Products
0.831 mg 63.92%
Corn flour, masa, enriched, white
Category: Cereal Grains and Pasta
0.805 mg 61.92%
1 Nutrient amount is in 100 gram food
2 Use FDA 2000 calorie diet as Daily Value reference

Additional Nutrient Information
Nutrient Summary Riboflavin is also called Vitamin B2. It functions as coenzymes for numerous oxidation–reduction reactions. It plays major roles in energy production, cellular function, growth, and development.
Deficiency Health Effects Riboflavin deficiency symptoms:
• Swelling and excess blood of the mouth and throat, and sore throat caused by inflammation of the membranes in the mouth and throat
• Cheilosis: lip cracks especially in the corners of the mouth
• Liver disorders
• Problems with reproductive and nervous systems

Long-term riboflavin deficiency may cause:
• Anemia
• Clouding of the eye lens (cataracts)

Riboflavin deficiency may lead to vitamin B6 and niacin deficiencies.

Diseases such as cancer, cardiac disease, and diabetes mellitus may exacerbate riboflavin deficiency.
Effects if Above Upper Limit There is no sufficient data on adverse effects of excess riboflavin intake, so the Upper Limit value of riboflavin is not defined, however caution is still needed for high intakes.

The body absorbs little riboflavin from single doses beyond 27 mg, when excess amounts are consumed, they are either not absorbed or the small absorbed amount is excreted in urine.
External References Learn more at:
• The National Academies of Science, Engineering, Medicine publication: Dietary Reference Intakes
• NIH (National Institutes of Health) articles: Riboflavin (Vitamin B2)

Daily Value Age Group Recommended Daily Values
Toddler 1 to 3 years old: 0.5 mg
Child 4 to 8 years old: 0.6 mg
Male 9 to 13 years old: 0.9 mg
Male 14 to 18 years old: 1.3 mg
Male 19 to 30 years old: 1.3 mg
Male 31 to 50 years old: 1.3 mg
Male 51 to 70 years old: 1.3 mg
Male Senior 71 or older: 1.3 mg
Female 9 to 13 years old: 0.9 mg
Female 14 to 18 years old: 1 mg
Female 19 to 30 years old: 1.1 mg
Female 31 to 50 years old: 1.1 mg
Female 51 to 70 years old: 1.1 mg
Female Senior 71 or older: 1.1 mg
Female Pregnancy (>18): 1.4 mg
Female Lactation (>18): 1.6 mg
FDA (Based on 2000 calorie daily diet): 1.3 mg

Dietary Reference Intakes The nutrient Dietary Reference Intakes and nutrition facts is from Institute of Medicine of National Academies 2006. Dietary Reference Intakes: The Essential Guide to Nutrient Requirements. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press.
US FDA Nutrition Education Nutrition facts knowledge are based on U.S. FOOD & DRUG Administration Nutrition Education Resources & Materials.
National Institutes of Health Nutrition facts knowledge are based on National Institutes of Health Dietary Supplement Fact Sheets.
Disclaimer The nutrient information provided here should not take the place of medical advice. We encourage you to talk to your healthcare providers (such as your doctor) about your dietary requirements which are best for your overall health. We also recommend you to read organization or professional reference documents or articles mentioned, but not limited to, in this page. Any mentions and reference links in this page don't represent our endorsement of their services and advice.

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