You might have noticed that unlike other vitamins, there are actually many distinct characters within the B-vitamin family, each with their own characteristics. Originally it was believed that there was only one vitamin B, however as time and research developed, we now understand them to be a group of distinct compounds.
In supplemental form, you can still find the b-vitamins working together in a complex or available on their own for their individual benefits.
Vitamin B2/ Riboflavin: Riboflavin is a water-soluble vitamin which contributes to several functions in the body required for normal psychological and nervous system function, mental performance, energy yielding metabolism and immune system stimulation. These biological effects have been studied for their anti-oxidant, anti-ageing and anti-inflammatory properties.
Oxidative damage contributes to the development of many diseases in the body. B2 can help us to protect cells from oxidative stress whilst regenerating antioxidants like glutathione.
B2 plays a role in the metabolism of macro-nutrients, drugs and other vitamins like folate and vitamin K. In fact, B2 has been shown to reduce the toxic effects of drug metabolism.
It is also involved in antibody production, cell respiration and red blood cell formation. It supports eye health by reducing eye fatigue and can help prevent cataracts. Additionally, riboflavin helps us to metabolise fats, proteins and carbohydrates and together with vitamin A, it supports the mucous membranes of our digestive tract. It is also needed for the absorption of iron and B6, and when taken together with B6 it may benefit carpal tunnel syndrome.
Additionally, riboflavin can support with dandruff and aids in the use of oxygen by the tissues in skin, hair and nails.
Some positive studies have found that in high doses, vitamin B2 can reduce the frequency and duration of migraines via its role in energy metabolism.
Deficiency: Cracked sores in the corner of your mouth, eye problems, an inflamed mouth or tongue, skin lesions, dermatitis, dizziness, eczema, hair loss, insomnia, light sensitivity, itchy eyes. blurred vision, poor digestion and slowed mental response.
Food sources: Cheese, egg yolks, fish, legumes, meat, milk, poultry, spinach, whole grains, and yogurt. Lower levels are also found in avocado, broccoli, brussels sprouts, currants, kelp, leafy green vegetables, mushrooms and nuts.
Herb sources: Alfalfa, burdock root, catnip, chamomile, chickweed, eyebright, fennel seed, fenugreek, ginseng, horsetail, parsley, peppermint, raspberry leaf, red clover, rose hips and sage.
Alcohol, the oral contraceptive pill (OCP), light, antibiotics and exercise can deplete levels of riboflavin.
Taking 50miligrams a day or more of riboflavin for a long period of time may lead to cataracts and retinal disease.
Food Sources: Milk, liver, eggs, almonds, wheat germ, white mushrooms, wild rice, millet,
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