Riboflavin’s key functions involve oxidation-reduction reactions by the use of two coenzymes. What these coenzymes do is make energy through the metabolism of carbohydrates and fats in addition to promoting growth, maintaining the mucous membranes, skin, and eyes.

Riboflavin also plays an essential role in the body’s antioxidant system. It aids in the protection of free-radical damage. It is also required in the activation of vitamin B6.

Vital for Normal Reproduction

Riboflavin is vital for normal reproduction, growth, repair and development of the skin, eyes, connective tissue, mucous membranes and immune and nervous systems. Riboflavin is in the production of and regulation of certain hormones, aiding in emotional health and well being.

Researchers found that this power vitamin can help reduce the frequency and severity of recurrent migraines, which affect up to 18 million Americans yearly.

In every day life, riboflavin helps us draw energy from the food we eat and keeps hair and skin in good condition, but alcohol and birth-control hormones can sap the body’s reserves, making us vulnerable to fatigue, plus nerve and skin problems like cancer sores and chapped lips.

Diseases Riboflavin May Aid

  • Iron deficiency anemia
  • Migraine headache
  • Congestive heart failure
  • High homocysteine
  • Cataracts
  • Parkinson’s disease
  • Hypertension
  • Alcoholism
  • Infection
  • Overactive thyroid

Good Food Sources of Riboflavin

  • Milk and milk products
  • Animal protein sources, such as meat, poultry, and fish
  • Whole-grain and enriched cereals, pastas, and breads
  • Vegetables such as broccoli, asparagus, and spinach

Symptoms of Riboflavin Deficiency

  • Skin disorders, primarily near the nose and mouth
  • Sensitive, itching eyes
  • Emotional changes, such as depression

Resource: National Research Council. Recommended Dietary Allowances, 10th Edition. Washington.

Read More: Essential Nutrients