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Like many other B vitamins, vitamin B2 goes by another name. You may see it called riboflavin. Also like other B vitamins, getting this in your diet is essential. Here’s all you need to know about vitamin B2 and its benefits.

The Basics of Riboflavin

There are eight B vitamins, and riboflavin is one of them. It’s found in dairy products, grains, and some plants. Like other B vitamins, it supports the metabolism. In this case, it breaks down the good to ensure the body can absorb all other nutrients, while also supporting the tissues within the body. With a healthy metabolism, the organs can work effectively to keep the whole system running.

Fruits and vegetables highest in vitamin B2
Fruits and vegetables highest in vitamin B2 (Click the image for a poster sized version.)

It’s a water-soluble vitamin, which means it dissolves in water and breaks down easily. The vitamin is carried around the bloodstream with excess being passed through from your body in your urine. There’s no point consuming more than the recommended daily amount, as the excess will just be removed from the body as soon as possible.

While the body can store some vitamin B2, only a small amount is stored for later use. You’ll need to consume it throughout the day to make proper and efficient use of this vitamin.

Because B2 acts as a catalyst, those who don’t get enough will find it harder to absorb other nutrients, as the digestive system simply doesn’t work effectively. Sore throat, chapped lips, and inflammation around the mouth and gums are typical indications of a vitamin B2 deficiency.

Why You Need Vitamin B2 in Your Diet

Like the other B vitamins, riboflavin is essential for boosting energy levels within the body. It’s needed by the metabolism to break down all the nutrients within the food. This is the only way the body can absorb all the carbs, fats, and proteins that come through your body on a daily basis.

The nutrients are then converted into necessary components to keep the body running. Carbs are used for energy stores for when the body needs it. Fats help to support liver health and the protein tryptophan is converted into niacin to help support muscular and tissue health.

This vitamin also supports the mucous membranes within the digestive system. A healthy gut is essential for overall health, as around 80% of the immune system is located within the gut. A healthy digestive system also means that other nutrients are absorbed easier. Riboflavin will help the body absorb iron and other B vitamins.

At the same time, the vitamin helps to keep the adrenal glands working effectively. The right hormones are passed through the body, keeping stress levels to a minimum and boosting the hormones that keep you happy and healthy. Those hormones affect your metabolism, as well as the way every organ in the body works.

Some research has also been positive for eye health. The addition of B2 in the body can help to prevent migraines and cataracts. More research is needed, but so far the results are positive.

Getting Vitamin B2 in Your Diet

You can get excellent levels of B2 through –

  • eggs
  • milk
  • cheese
  • yoghurt and all other dairy products.

If you want to avoid animal products, you can opt for –

  • fortified cereals
  • nuts
  • legumes
  • avocados and
  • cayenne pepper!

It’s also available in many whole grain breads. Look out for those that are fortified with it for best results. The average adult needs between 1.1mg and 1.3mg of riboflavin per day to remain healthy.

Are you getting your daily share of vitamin B2?

You can download and print a large format version of our Vitamin B2 graphic here

Ready to move on to our post on vitamin B3?