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name of the term : Vitamin B2

Short introduction

  • Vitamin B2, riboflavin or lactoflavin, is a water-soluble vitamin of the B-complex.
  • Vitamin B2 is yellow or orange-yellow in colour and used as a natural food colouring.
  • Excess of this vitamin is excreted through the urine (characteristic of water-soluble vitamins), causing urine to turn to a yellow colour several hours after taking it.

Main natural sources

  • Milk and milk products, lean meat, yeast and liver, eggs, green leafy vegetables.

Main function

  • Component of coenzymes (helper enzymes) participating in many body reactions.
  • Contributes to: energy production and iron metabolism, maintenance of skin, mucous membranes (lining cavities and canals of e.g. respiratory, digestive, urogenital tract) and red blood cells.
  • Important for vision, protection against oxidative damage (disturbance in balance between the production of free radicals and antioxidant defences that may lead to chronic diseases), nervous system functioning and reduction of fatigue.

Deficiency disease

  • Most healthy people who eat a well-balanced diet get enough vitamin B2.
  • At risk: children from low socio-economic backgrounds, elderly people, and vegans.
  • Symptoms include: fatigue, digestive problems. Effects on skin, mucosa and eyes e.g. burning of lips, mouth and tongue, eye fatigue, sore throat and inflamed mucous membranes. Symptoms in children also include mouth sores or angular stomatitis and gum ulcerations.

Recommended daily intake

Latest Dietary Reference Intakes  (DRIs)
Institute of Medicine (IOM)

Age categoryPer day
Pregnancy
Lactation
1.4 mg (RDA)
1.6 mg (RDA)
Infants 6 – 12 months0.4 mg (AI)
Children
 1 – 3 years
 4 – 8 years
0.5 mg (RDA)
0.6 mg (RDA)
Males
 9 – 13 years
14 – 18 years
19 – 30 years
31 – 50 years
50 – 70 years
> 70 years
0.9 mg (RDA)
1.3 mg (RDA)
1.3 mg (RDA) 
1.3 mg (RDA) 
1.3 mg (RDA) 
1.3 mg (RDA) 
Females
 9 – 13 years
14 – 18 years
19 – 30 years
31 – 50 years
50 – 70 years
> 70 years
0.9 mg (RDA)
1.0 mg (RDA)
1.1 mg (RDA)
1.1 mg (RDA)
1.1 mg (RDA)
1.1 mg (RDA)

 

AI = Adequate Intake.
RDA = Recommended Dietary Allowance.

Synonyms : Riboflavin, B2, Lactoflavin

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