Riboflavin Facts

What is Riboflavin?

Riboflavin is a water-soluble vitamin, also known as vitamin B2, which helps us get energy from carbohydrates. It is important for growth and red blood cell production. It also helps to convert the amino acid, tryptophan, to the B vitamin, niacin.

Riboflavin requirements

The RDAs for healthy adults are 1.3 mg/day for males and 1.1 mg/day for females. People who are very physically active may require a little more riboflavin, although riboflavin supplements do not increase exercise performance.

What happens when Riboflavin intake is too high?

There are no Tolerable Upper Intake Levels for riboflavin because the body excretes any excess you take in.

What happens when Riboflavin intake is too low?

Riboflavin is found in a wide variety of foods, so deficiencies are rare in healthy adults. However, symptoms of a deficiency can include a sore, red tongue, as well as skin and eye disorders including cataracts. Alcoholics have an increased risk of riboflavin deficiency due to poor intake, poor absorption, and poor utilization by the body.

Which foods are high in Riboflavin?

Whole grain and enriched grain foods, and fortified cereals provide most of the riboflavin in the US diet. Other excellent sources of riboflavin are milk, cheese and other dairy products, eggs, almonds, salmon, halibut, chicken, beef, some organ meats, broccoli, asparagus, and spinach.
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