Brain Foods

Brain Foods

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Vitamin B-2

Vitamin B-2


Vitamin B-2 Facts

Vitamin B-2 (Riboflavin) is a water soluble vitamin, meaning any excess is excreted and not stored in the body. It's also been known as Vitamin G. People have an increased need for Vitamin B-2 (Riboflavin) in stress situations, and it is the most common vitamin deficiency. Riboflavin naturally occurs in foods in two coenzyme forms that serve to activate enzymes involved in the formation of energy from the breakdown of carbohydrates, proteins, and fats. Its primary function is to work with other substances to metabolize carbohydrates, proteins, and fats for energy. Americans get approximately half of their Vitamin B-2 needs from milk and dairy products, followed by meats and whole or enriched grain products. It is most effective when in balance with the other B vitamins. Vitamin B-2 is easily destroyed by light, water when cooking, sulfa drugs, estrogen, and alcohol consumption.

How it Works

Vitamin B-2 (Riboflavin) is essential to the body for a wide range of functions. It has a profound effect on the thyroid hormone production, which is responsible for speeding up the metabolism and providing steady energy. It helps the body produce immune cells to fight infection, and along with iron, helps build red blood cells to transport oxygen to body cells. Vitamin B-2 also converts niacin and B-6 into active forms so the body can use them effectively. Riboflavin contains substances that assist other nutrients as powerful antioxidants, repair and maintain tissue, and heal wounds. It helps with healthy eye functions and healthy nerves.

Possible Benefits

Aids in growth and reproduction.
Benefits vision, alleviates eye fatigue, and prevents/delays onset of cataracts.
Reduces the frequency and severity of migraines by increasing energy to the brain.
Promotes healthy skin, nails, and hair.
Works as an antioxidant booster to fight free radicals, fight cancer, and strengthen the lens of the eye.
Helps eliminate sore mouth, lips, and tongue.
Helps metabolize carbohydrates, fats, and proteins for energy.
May be important for healthy nerves.
Valuable in treating skin disorders like rosacea.
Speeds healing of wounds, injuries, and after-surgery recovery.
May help with many nerve-related and other ailments: Alzheimers, numbness & tingling, epilepsy, multiple sclerosis.
May help with sickle-cell anemia if have riboflavin deficiency.
Beneficial for anxiety, stress, and fatigue.

Usage Guidelines

RDA for Vitamin B-2 is 1.7 mg a day, although the most common daily dose is 100-300 mg. Best taken in balance with the other B vitamins. There is no known toxicity levels of this water-soluable vitamin. Excessive dosages are excreted in the urine, with the only harmless side effect being the bright yellow color of the urine. Avoid taking with alcohol, which reduces its absorption. Deficiency symptoms may include cracking and sores in mouth corners, increased sensitivity to light, itchy, burning, teary eyes, low red blood cell count, groin area skin rash, and peeling skin around the eyebrows, nose, and earlobes. This riboflavin deficiency disease, ariboflavinosis also may include symptoms of decreased growth, inflammation and soreness of the lips and tongue, and greasy, scaly skin eruptions.

Some Natural Sources

Milk, yogurt, American cheese, cheddar cheese, liver, pork chop, beef, egg, tuna, collard greens, broccoli, spinach, macaroni, bread, liver, cereals, avocados, mushrooms, kidney, yeast and leafy green vegetables.


This information is based on reputable resources and scientific research but there is no guarantee that what we know today, will change with time. Readers should not use this information for self-diagnosis or self-treatment, but should always consult a medical professional regarding any medical problems and before undertaking any major dietary changes. This information is not meant to be substituted for medical advice.

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