Vitamin B2 is the release mechanism that extracts enewy yom protein, carbohydrate and fat. It helps cells to use oxygen qJlciently and is most needed during times if rapid growth, and when protein intake is high. It promotes good vision and heaIthy hair, skin and nails.
Availability in Food
Foods rich in vitamin B2 include liver, cheese, eggs, almonds, and green leafy vegetables. Little vitamin B2 is lost from food when it is cooked, but it can be destroyed by light, so foods that contain it should be stored in the dark. In addition, vitamin B2 can be made by bacteria that live in the intestine.
What if your intake is too low?
Vitamin B2 is easily absorbed in the small intestine, but only very small quantities are stored in the body, so foods that contain it should be eaten daily. Specific deficiency symptoms include sore, watery eyes that tire easily, burning feet, hair loss, weight loss, and the formation of cataracts. Other symptoms are the same as those of vitamin B6 deficiency, including cracked burning lips, soreness of the tongue, and greasy scaling skin on the face, especially at the sides of the nose.
When extra many be needed
- During rapid growth, especially adolescence
- When taking the birth-control pill or receiving hormone replacement therapy
- If you are an older person, especially if you have a small appetite
- If you regularly consume moderate or large amounts of alcohol, or smoke
- During pregnancy and lactation
- While taking antibiotics
- During times of particular stress or excessive activity
- When you are on a calorie-restricted diet for any reason (this includes s!immers and older people with small appetites)
(Pregnant and breastjeeding women should consult a doctor, midwife, or qualified nutritional therapist bifore taking any vitamin or mineral supplements.)
Can too much be toxic?
There are no known toxic effects of vitamin B2, but excessive supplementation should be avoided as this may cause other B-vitamins to be lost in the urine. Supplements of vitamin B2 can cause yellow discoloration of the urine; this is normal.
Using a supplement
If you wish to take a supplement, vitamin B2 is best taken as part of a balanced B-vitamin tablet or capsule, unless your doctor or nutritional health practitioner advises otherwise.