What is Vitamin B2?
Riboflavin is part of the vitamin B complex that is known as the “G” factor. It is soluble in alcohol, relaxes smooth muscle and acts as a vasodilator. Riboflavin is also soluble in water and is a yellow, green fluorescent compound. That is the bright orange color that is seen in the urine after taking a multiple vitamin supplements.
Why do we need it?
We need to have a good amount of vitamin B2 for a variety of reasons:
- Acts as a cofactor in oxidation-reduction reactions involved in carbohydrate metabolism
- Essential for cellular respiration and utilization of cellular oxygen
- Necessary for converting Vitamin B6 into its active form
- Important in conversion of niacin into tryptophan
- Involved in the breakdown, utilization and metabolism of carbohydrates, fats and proteins
How do we get it?
We can get a good amount of this vitamin from the following foods:
- Wheat germ
- Green leafy vegetables
- Whole grains
How do we know if we are deficient in it?
Some early signs of deficiency include:
- Cracks and sores in corner of mouth and lips
- Red sore tongue
- Feeling of sand or grit under eyelids
- Burning and itching of eyes
- Increased light sensitivity
- Loss of visual acuity
Deficiency can be caused by:
- Congestive Heart failure
- Chronic stress
Source: The Nutritional Therapy Association