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What does Riboflavin (B-2) do?

Under: FAQs, Original and Menstrual MigreLief Answers

Riboflavin is also known as vitamin B-2 and is involved in energy production in every cell, and studies suggest it can have dramatic health benefits. Riboflavin is a unique water-soluble vitamin that was initially isolated from milk whey in the year 1879.  Riboflavin deficiency is associated with various health disorders such as heart diseases, anemia, and bad skin health. Such a deficiency also negatively affects the absorption of other important minerals such as iron and zinc. Riboflavin may also protect against cancer and disorders of the nervous system.

Here are some amazing health benefits of riboflavin:

Fights Migraine Headaches

Riboflavin intake is an effective remedy for the treatment of migraines. It is known to improve brain mitochondrial function. Mitochondria are the powerhouses of cells.  Riboflavin helps maintain healthy levels of mitochondrial energy which have been shown to be low in many chronic migraine sufferers.  Riboflavin is a safe option for migraine sufferers and has no side-effects.  Like many B-Vitamins, it is water-soluble and can make urine turn yellow, which is normal.  (12)

Prevents Anemia

Riboflavin enhances the absorption of iron and iron status (the way your body uses and stores iron).  Riboflavin plays an important role in the production of red blood cells. It is very well-known that low red blood cells or hemoglobin in the blood is associated with the onset of anemia. Therefore a riboflavin deficiency can lead to anemia.  (3)

Helps Avoid Heart Failure

Research suggests that individuals with heart diseases are often deficient in riboflavin. An elevated level of homocysteine in the blood is a risk factor for heart diseases. Riboflavin promotes the breakdown of homocysteine and helps in lowering circulating levels of homocysteine in the body. Adding riboflavin to your diet by taking a dietary supplement or eating riboflavin-rich foods can help protect against heart failure and heart diseases.  (4,  5)

Promotes Healthy Growth and Development

Riboflavin deficiency is associated with poor absorption of iron and zinc. Iron and zinc are two important minerals that are required for proper growth and development in children. These minerals play a vital role in cell multiplication and growth of tissues and muscles. Iron and zinc are further required for proper cognitive development.

Insufficiency of these minerals is associated with overall bad health, low immune system, the easy onset of infections, and poor cognitive function.  (6)

Helps Protects the Nervous System

Riboflavin plays an essential role in protecting the nervous system against damage. It provides energy to the brain cells and prevents the onset of nervous disorders such as multiple sclerosis, Parkinson’s disease, and Alzheimer’s disease.

Deficiency of riboflavin is associated with increased free radical damage to the brain cells. Riboflavin intake enhances the activity of enzymes that boost the action of natural antioxidants present in the body. These antioxidants promote the elimination of free radicals and protect the brain cells against damage and death.

Studies have found that treatment with riboflavin supplements improved the overall condition of individuals with Parkinson’s disease. Hence, for normal functioning of the nervous system and for the treatment and prevention of nervous disorders, it is essential to add riboflavin to your diet. (7)

Important for Eye Health

Research has found that older individuals without riboflavin deficiency had a clear lens, whereas individuals with riboflavin deficiency had cloudy lens.

Riboflavin protects the lens of the eye against damage caused by dangerous free radicals. People who consume diets rich in riboflavin are at a low risk of developing cataracts.

Riboflavin is essential to produce glutathione, a potent antioxidant that protects the body against oxidative stress. Low levels of glutathione due to the insufficiency of riboflavin can cause oxidative damage to the eyes that results in clouding of the lens or cataracts. Enhancing your overall riboflavin intake can help prevent cataracts. (8)

Boosts Immunity

Riboflavin plays a key role in enhancing immunity. It reduces inflammation and boosts resistance to bacterial infections. Riboflavin is also required to produce antibodies that fight infections and illness. It strengthens the body and prevents the onset of diseases. It promotes growth and development, acts as an antioxidant and thus, improves overall health. (9)