, also called riboflavin, is a water-soluble vitamin. Water-soluble vitamins are stored in the body in very limited amounts and are excreted through the urine. Therefore, it is a good idea to have them in your daily diet. Vitamin B2 is a component of two enzymes: flavin mononucleotide (FMN) and flavin adenine dinucleotide (FAD). These coenzymes are important in energy production.
Riboflavin’s functions include:
Assisting in energy production
Helping to synthesize normal fatty acids and amino acids
Helping the nervous system to function efficiently
Aiding in cellular growth
Assisting in the metabolism of certain other vitamins
Age Group (in years)
Recommended Dietary Allowance
0.5 milligrams (mg)
Riboflavin deficiency occurs as part of multiple nutrient deficiency states. Since riboflavin occurs in a wide variety of foods, deficiency symptoms are rare. Symptoms have been reported when daily riboflavin intake falls below 0.6 milligrams (mg). Symptoms of riboflavin deficiency include:
Cracks in the corner of the mouth (cheilosis)
Inflammation of the mucous membranes of the mouth
Sore or inflamed tongue (glossitis)
Reddening of the eyes
Eyes that tire easily, burn, itch, or are sensitive to light
Dimming of vision
Unusual skin inflammation (dermatitis) characterized by simultaneous dryness and greasy scaling
, hysteria, or other psychiatric problems caused by nerve tissue damage or decreased neurotransmitter production
Malformations and retarded growth in infants and children
Riboflavin is relatively nontoxic. Although no adverse effects have been associated with high intakes of riboflavin from food or supplements, the potential may exist. Therefore, caution may be warranted with excessive amounts of riboflavin.
Major Food Sources
Beef liver, braised
3.5 milligrams (mg)
Yogurt, skim with dry milk solids
1 2/3 cups
1 1/3 cups
Enriched corn tortilla
Whole grain bread
Populations at Risk for Riboflavin Deficiency
The following populations may be at risk for riboflavin deficiency and may require a supplement:
DiDonato S, Geller, C, Peluchetti D, et al. Normalization of short-chain acylcoenzyme A dehydrogenase after riboflavin treatment in a girl with multiple acylcoenzyme A dehydrogenase-deficient myopathy.
The American Dietetic Association's Complete Food & Nutrition Guide.
3rd ed. Hoboken, NJ: John Wiley & Sons, Inc; 2006.
Facts about dietary supplements. National Institutes of Health website. Available at:
Please be aware that this information is provided to supplement the care
provided by your physician. It is neither intended nor implied to be a
substitute for professional medical advice. CALL YOUR HEALTHCARE PROVIDER
IMMEDIATELY IF YOU THINK YOU MAY HAVE A MEDICAL EMERGENCY. Always seek the
advice of your physician or other qualified health provider prior to
starting any new treatment or with any questions you may have regarding a