Vitamin B2, also known as riboflavin, is a water-soluble nutrient that is an essential part of maintaining health. Vitamin B2 aids in the smooth running of a number of vital bodily functions such as metabolism, the formation of red blood cells, reproduction, respiration and antibody production. Vitamin B2 is also fundamental for the growth, repair and development of skin, hair, nails and tissue.
Do I Need a Vitamin B2 Supplement?
By eating a balanced diet and maintaining a healthy lifestyle, you can reduce and often eliminate the risk of developing vitamin B2 deficiency. Should you suffer from a vitamin B2 deficiency, it may be necessary to take a supplement to increase your intake. This deficiency is characterized by the following symptoms:
- Digestive problems
- Inflammation of the tongue
- Itching, burning and fatigue of the eyes
- Sensitivity to light
- Throat swelling and soreness
- Skin cracking
- Oily hair and skin
- Split nails
If you're consuming less than the recommended daily allowance of riboflavin, which is 1.7mg per day for an adult male and 1.3mg per day for an adult female, you may be at risk of developing vitamin B2 deficiency and in this instance, incorporating additional B2 supplements into your diet will go a long way toward keeping the above symptoms at bay.
There do exist a number of other cases where vitamin B2 supplements should be taken. Consuming alcohol regularly and in copious amounts can lead to a deficiency in riboflavin. In addition to this, women taking birth control pills and those taking antibiotics will need to supplement their riboflavin intake, as these substances lower the body's ability to absorb vitamin B2 effectively, leading to reduced levels of the nutrient in the body. Pregnant and lactating women also need to boost their riboflavin intake with supplements.