Vitamin-B2, the breakdown your protein, fat and carbohydrates...

Are you healthier if you have light yellow urine, bright yellow urine, or clear urine? The reason why your urine may be bright yellow is due to the vitamin called riboflavin, Vitamin-B2. That yellow color is caused by flavin (means yellow) compounds contained in riboflavin, and the more of them that you excrete, the healthier you are when it comes to riboflavin status in the body.

Vitamin-B2 is a water-soluble vitamin similar to vitamin B6 in that it functions as part of a group of enzymes that are involved in the breakdown and utilization of protein, fat, and carbohydrates. Indigestion is a sign that the breakdown of food is not occurring properly, possibly from not enough of this vitamin. Once inside the body, the riboflavin cofactors called FAD and FMN participate in numerous biochemical reactions in the body.

There are two primary forms of riboflavin: riboflavin and riboflavin-5-phosphate. These are found in food and also in supplements on the market. Once inside the body, riboflavin works through FAD and FMN to activate and control parts of your metabolism.

In fact, during weight loss, ketones cannot be broken down successfully without riboflavin. Riboflavin also works with enzymes to oxygenate the cells.

Vitamin B2 is also important for the maintenance of skin, hair, nails and good vision. Studies show that in some cases, cataracts can be improved with riboflavin supplements.

Vitamin B2: Deficiency Symptoms Can Make Life Miserable

When there's a deficiency of vitamin B2, the eyes burn and the eyes become sensitive to light. Cracks and sores appear in the corners of the mouth. The tongue looks red and is sore. Changes occur in the cornea and the pupil dilates. The eyes water and the vision starts to fail. There is an oiliness around the nose, mouth, forehead and ears. Vaginal itching starts. The person feels sluggish, dizzy, has difficulty urinating and digesting food, has no energy or endurance, and starts to grow bald and develop cataracts. He or she may develop cataracts as well.

One key to finding a vitamin B2 deficiency is discovering reduced plasma red blood cell levels of glutathione reductase. Serum levels that are low of glutathione reductase are confirmatory for diagnosis.

How Much Vitamin B2 Do Your Need?

Requirements vary depending on body size, metabolic rate and how much growth of the body is occurring. Children who are growing at high rates need high amounts. Generally 1.2 to 1.6 mg is needed per day for adults. Pregnant moms need 1.5 mg and if breastfeeding, the amount increases to 1.7 mg. These amounts are small compared to what you generally receive in supplements. It's common to find a multivitamin/mineral supplement that has 5 mg up to 100 mg in it of the key B vitamins, which include vitamin B1, B2, B6 and niacin. For this reason, it's a good idea to give multi-vitamins to your children, and take them yourself.

Food Sources of Vitamin-B2

Organ meats that very few people seem to eat anymore such as liver, tongue, and kidneys are great sources of riboflavin. Asparagus, chard, and bananas are good fruit and vegetable sources. Milk products including cottage cheese and yogurt are also high in vitamin B2, as are eggs and brewer's yeast.

Should You Worry about Vitamin B1 Toxicity?

There is no known toxicity for riboflavin. However, if one vitamin from the B vitamin family is taken in high doses, the balance of others will be upset and deficiencies of several other B vitamins will occur.

1. Dunne, Lavon. Nutrition Almanac, McGraw-Hill Publishing, 2002.
2. Wikipedia.

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