Vitamin B2, also called riboflavin, is a water-soluble vitamin present in most animal and plant tissues. It is one of the essential B vitamins, a family of compounds that help support adrenal function, calm and maintain a healthy nervous system, and facilitate key metabolic processes, including the conversion of food into energy. Riboflavin has many functions:
- It is necessary for energy production and normal cell function and growth
- It is crucial in helping folate and vitamin B6 undergo the chemical changes that make them available for the body’s use
- Emerging research shows that riboflavin can act as an antioxidant, potentially helping to prevent cancer and slow cholesterol buildup by controlling the proliferation of harmful molecules known as free radicals
- Some studies have shown riboflavin to be effective in migraine prevention
Riboflavin is the vitamin that is generally the culprit in turning urine a more yellow or even yellow-green color. There is no cause for alarm if this occurs and generally is a good sign you are getting enough. Discuss with your doctor whether you should decrease dosing or not.
Dietary sources of riboflavin include dairy products (such as milk, cheese and yogurt), eggs, meats, liver, dark greens (such as asparagus, broccoli, spinach and turnip greens), fish, poultry, and buckwheat. Keep in mind that riboflavin is easily destroyed by exposure to light, so buy milk and yogurt in paper cartons or containers.