Riboflavin also known as Vitamin B2 is important in the breakdown of carbohydrates, fats and proteins and converts them into an energy form for our body to use. In the body, riboflavin is primarily found as an integral component of the coenzymes, flavin adenine dinucleotide (FAD) and flavin mononucleotide (FMN). Coenzymes derived from riboflavin are also called flavins. Enzymes that use a flavin coenzyme are called flavoproteins.
Just like Vitamin B1 Thiamine, it acts as a coenzyme in the process. It is also significant in the maintenance of the skin and mucous membranes, the cornea of the eye and for nerve sheaths. Riboflavin also acts as a coenzyme for oxidation-reduction reactions throughout the body. As we know the oxidation reactions may cause damage to our body cells, therefore, reducing them can help us fight against the most deadly disease - Cancer.
Vitamin B2 Riboflavin Health Benefits
One main benefit of vitamin b2 riboflavin is to gain energy. People always need energy to study, work, exercise and perform a variety of other tasks. Eating more food does not necessarily mean gaining more energy. Molecules of oxygen and food enter a cell and are carried into the mitochondria, where they are converted into energy. Two of the enzymes in the mitochondria helps to accelerate the conversion process - flavin mono nucleotide and flavin adenine dinucleotide. Both of the two enzymes contain riboflavin. Without riboflavin and some other B vitamins, our body fails to release energy from protein, fat, and carbohydrates during metabolism. Therefore, the amount of riboflavin directly relates to the amount of energy we have.
A quick note to people who takes protein supplements and work out regularly\ - extra riboflavin may prove beneficial. Riboflavin is involved in 3 key energy production areas: 1) glucose metabolism, 2) fatty acid oxidation, 3) moving of hydrogen ions through krebs cycle. Studies have found that high than RDA levels of riboflavin is needed after exercise to return blood levels of Riboflavin to normal.
As we have mentioned in the introduction, riboflavin does a nice job to regulate cell growth and reproduction. By reducing the unnecessary oxidation reactions in the body, in combination with hydrogen molecules, riboflavin may also help you make healthy red blood cells.
Just like Vitamin A, riboflavin also provides your body the "double barrelled protection". It helps your immune system by keeping the mucous membranes that line your respiratory and digestive systems in good shape. If invading germs still sneak in, riboflavin may also help you to make antibodies to fight them off. It may also preserve integrity of your nervous system, eye, skin, nail and hair. It might even help your memory - older people with high levels of riboflavin do better on memory tests.
Riboflavin is also an important member in the vitamin B family. Both niacin and pyridoxine need riboflavin to function properly. Riboflavin activates Pyridoxine and is also essential for conversion of tryptophan to niacin. This means if you are deficient in riboflavin, you might have deficiency symptoms for one of the other vitamins.
The RDA for riboflavin, revised in 1998, was based on the prevention of deficiency. Clinical signs of deficiency in humans appear at intakes of less than 0.5-0.6 milligrams (mg)/day. Daily recommendations for dietary vitamin B2 are listed below.