Riboflavin (B2) & Eye Health

The Optical Journal - Optical News With Independent Views

Riboflavin (B2) is a water-soluble vitamin required for a large number of cellular processes, including oxidation-reduction (redox) reactions responsible for energy production, metabolism of fats, carbohydrates, proteins and ketone bodies.

It’s also solely responsible for the fluorescent-yellow color in urine of people who supplement with high dose B-complex vitamins.

Vitamin B2 is an integral component of the coenzymes, flavin adenine dinucleotide (FAD) and the flavin mononucleotide (FMN).   Enzymes that are B2 dependent are called flavoproteins.

FAD-dependent enzymes participate in the redox cycle of glutathione (the master antioxidant) and play a major role in protecting organisms from highly reactive oxygen-containing chemicals that react easily with other molecules, resulting in cellular damage.  These destructive molecules are called reactive oxygen species (ROS).

Riboflamin (B2) Deficiency

Because the vitamin B2 dependent enzymes, flavoproteins, are involved in the metabolism of other B vitamins, including Vitamin B6, niacin and folic acid, B2 deficiency can affect many enzyme systems.

Ariboflavinosis is the clinical name for vitamin B2 deficiency.  It’s rarely found in isolation and occurs frequently in combination with deficiencies of other water-soluble vitamins.  Symptoms can include, sore throat, redness and swelling of the lining of the mouth and throat, cracks or sores on the outside of the lips and corners of the mouth, inflammation and redness of the tongue , and moist scaly skin particularly affecting the scrotum or labia majora and the nasolabial folds.

Riboflavin (B2) and Eye Health

B2 deficiency is linked to  formation of blood vessels in the clear covering of the eye (vascularization of the cornea).

Age-related cataract has proven to increase in those who are vitamin B2 deficient.  One Australian study of both men and women suggested the incident of age-related cataract was 50% less likely to have cataracts in those in the highest riboflavin intake than those in the lowest riboflavin intake.

Riboflavin (vitamin B2) drops  and ultraviolet light exposure are now being used to enchance  crosslinking and  treat patients with progressive keratoconus.

Riboflavin (Vitamin B2) has also been used in a number of studies to address the impaired mitochondrial oxygen metabolism in the brain linked to chronic migraine headaches.   Although the findings are preliminary, data suggests that riboflavin supplementation might be a useful therapy in migraine prevention.

Riboflavin (B2) Food Sources

Fortified cereals, milk, cheese, eggs, almonds, salmon, chicken, beef, broccoli, asparagus, spinach and fortified breads.

Given that fewer than 10% of the general public consume  even 5 servings of fruits and vegetables a day (the most recent recommendation is 9-13 servings a day to meet RDA),  riboflavin  (B2) supplementation as part of a B-vitamin complex, or as part of a full-spectrum multiple is recommended.

Riboflavin (B2) Safety

According to the Food & Nutrition Board at the Institute of Medicine, no toxic or adverse effects of high supplemental riboflavin intake in humans are known.

Ellen Troyer, MT MA Biosyntrx CEO / Chief Research Officer

Takeaway: Riboflavin, like the other B-vitamins, plays an important role in overall body health.  This is a classic example of why we at Biosyntrx prefer to recommend supplementation with a full-spectrum multiple designed to address the symphonic relationship between vitamins, minerals and antioxidants. Nutritional supplementation metabolic performance is brilliant and more productive when all the players show up. 

NW77th Eyewear - The Optical Journal