Diana Nelson

Vitamin B2. The Almighty Vitamin

A vitamin that you need in life! Consider vitamin B2 as your wellness seat belt.


Vitamin B2 is not only beneficial for you health but also for your beauty. A deficiency of vitamin B2 in the body is very insidious and shortens a human’s life span. It is a ‘skin’ vitamin. If we want to have healthy, young and smooth skin, we have to make sure that our diet is rich in vitamin B2. It is well known that a person’s health and general condition can be indicated by their skin.

Key functions – good stuff

Vitamin B2, or riboflavin, is one of eight B vitamins essential to human health. It can be found in grains, plants and dairy products. It is essential for breaking down food components, absorbing other nutrients and maintaining tissues.

1Ensures a healthy pregnancy

B2 may also be important in maintaining a healthy diet during pregnancy. According to a study conducted by the Women’s University Hospital in Heidelberg, Germany, riboflavin deficiency may be one of the factors causing pre-eclampsia, a condition that leads to high blood pressure in late pregnancy. In the riboflavin-deficient group, mothers were more likely to develop preeclampsia up to 28.8% than in the riboflavin-adequate group which had only a 7.8% likelihood.

2Distribution of energy

All B vitamins play a crucial role in converting nutrients into glucose, and vitamin B2 helps your body produce this energy-bearing substance, which is so important for your overall health and well-being.

3Protects your eyesight

Vitamin B2 is also important for eye health. According to the National Center for Biotechnology Information, this vitamin is needed to protect glutathione, which is a crucial antioxidant in the eye.

4Can help treat migraines

Those who suffer from migraines may benefit from taking a dose of vitamin B2. A study by the Department of Neurology at Humboldt University Berlin found that people who took high doses of riboflavin had significantly fewer migraines from 4 days a month to 2 days a month.

5Great for skin


Vitamin B2 can help improve skin tone and make skin more radiant! B2 promotes cell turnover and maintenance of collagen, which protects the structural integrity of the skin, reduces inflammation and accelerates wound healing. It also helps the secretion of mucus in the skin by preventing dryness and improving the absorption of zinc, another important mineral for skin health.

6Overall health

Vitamin B2 is very important in ensuring proper growth and development of the reproductive organs as well as the growth of body tissues such as skin, connective tissue, eyes, mucous membranes, nervous system and immune system. It also ensures healthy skin, nails and hair.

Specific features

Vitamin B2 is water-soluble, which means that it dissolves in water and is not deposited in the body. Unlike fat-soluble vitamins, which are stored in the body’s fatty tissues and can build up to potentially harmful levels when consumed in large quantities.

Bad news if there is a deficiency

Vitamin B2 deficiency poses a significant risk with a poor diet because the human body is constantly excreting this vitamin, so it does not build up. A person with B2 deficiency usually lacks other vitamins as well.

There are two types of vitamin B2 (riboflavin) deficiency:

Primary riboflavin deficiency occurs when a person’s diet is low in vitamin B2. Secondary riboflavin deficiency occurs for another reason, perhaps because the intestines cannot absorb the vitamin properly, the body cannot use it, or it is eliminated from the body too quickly.

Riboflavin deficiency symptoms may include:

  • Chapped lips

  • Sore throat

  • Swelling of the mouth and throat

  • Swollen tongue (glossitis)

  • Loss of hair

  • Skin rash

  • Anaemia

  • Itchy and red eyes

  • Cataracts in severe cases

People who drink too much alcohol are at greater risk of vitamin B deficiency.

Bad news if over-consumed or overloaded

Vitamin B2 toxicity is incredibly rare. As the body processes this nutrient very quickly, it is almost impossible to create the level of vitamin needed to cause toxicity. Temporary symptoms of overdose may include nausea, diarrhoea and vomiting, as the body tries to return the concentration of this nutrient to normal levels.

How much vitamin B2 do we need? Norms and recommendations

We all need to understand how much vitamin B2 we need per day, the Food and Nutrition Board of the National Academy of Sciences, Engineering and Medicine in the USA has developed guidelines for the human daily intake of this vitamin.

The best ways to get vitamin B2

The best way to get vitamins is naturally through food! Our recommendation is to look out for foods rich in this vitamin that can be on your plate on a regular basis.

Foods rich in vitamin B2, stats Source: USDA
Cost of vitamin B2 in different foods, stats Source: Healthypedia


Vitamin B2 intake should be through a balanced diet. You should avoid taking vitamin B1 supplements as there is a wide range of foods rich in vitamin B2 and these are much healthier and tastier than the chemical component in the capsule.

Also taking supplements carries the risk of incompatibility with medicines or even side effects in some people due to overdose. You should therefore consult a healthcare professional before taking vitamin B2 supplements.

The absorbtion of vitamin B2

Vitamin B2 is absorbed in the small intestine and the absorption is only 15%. It is then transported to the liver, where it is stored. The body does not store large amounts of vitamin B2, so it needs to be replenished daily through a healthy balanced diet.

Vitamin B2 absorption may be impaired in some people due to certain health conditions or medication. For example, people with celiac disease or inflammatory bowel disease may have difficulty absorbing vitamin B2, or those taking certain medicines such as antibiotics or antacids.

Interesting fact that vitamin B2 is quite unstable and is destroyed by UV rays, which must be taken into account when storing B2-containing products in transparent packaging.

Did you know?

  • The vitamin B2 found in fortified foods is synthetic, and this type of vitamin B2 has lower absorption rates. This synthetic vitamin is created by fermenting GMO bacteria, and your body flushes it out like a toxin.

Let’s sum up

The human body needs a daily dosage of Vitamin B2 since it cannot be stored in the body. Vitamin B2 plays a significant role in the production of energy in your body and represents an essential nutrient in your diet. By controlling its levels in the body, you can have a healthy pregnancy, great eyesight and healthy skin, and protect yourself from migraines.

Not enough? Here is more

In this video, Dr. Berg explains the important symptoms of vitamin B2 deficiency and what causes the very deficiency. Dr. Berg specializes in Healthy Ketosis and Intermittent Fasting. He is the director of Dr. Berg’s Nutritionals and one of the best-selling authors on Amazon.

Healthypedia FAQ

Since vitamin B2 is water-soluble, it usually doesn't take long for the body to start feeling the benefits of this nutrient.

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