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Vitamin B2 (Riboflavin)
Riboflavin, also known as vitamin B2, enables carbohydrates, proteins, and fats to release energy. Riboflavin is needed for normal reproduction, growth, and repair of skin, hair, nails, and joints. It is also important to the immune system, which protects your body against disease.
Here is a partial list of the illnesses that riboflavin helps prevent, and those that it helps to treat.
Riboflavin is also helpful in the following ways.
The best sources of riboflavin include brewer's yeast, almonds, organ meats, whole grains, wheat germ, wild rice, mushrooms, soybeans, milk, and spinach.
Riboflavin is added to flours and cereals. Riboflavin is destroyed by light and alkalis such as baking soda. It is not destroyed by heat, although it will leach into cooking water. Foods should be stored away from light to help retain their riboflavin content.
Riboflavin supplements are available in two forms: simple or activated. It is also found in multivitamin preparations and in B-complex vitamins, in 25-, 50-, and 100-mg tablets.
How to Take It
Recommended dietary allowances for riboflavin are listed below.
As with all medicines, check with a health care provider before giving riboflavin to a child.
Riboflavin toxicity is rare. Possible reactions to high doses include itching, numbness, burning or prickling sensations, and sensitivity to light. High doses of riboflavin can affect urinalysis test results.
Poor dietary habits in combination with birth control medications can interfere with the body's ability to use riboflavin.
Riboflavin can interfere with antibiotics that are sulfa-containing drugs.
Riboflavin may reduce the effectiveness of medications taken for malaria (such as chloroquine, mesloquine).
Riboflavin interacts with selegiline, a mediation used for Parkinson's disease.
Riboflavin may interact with doxorubicin, a medication used for the treatment of certain cancers.
Methotrexate, a medication used to treat cancer, can prevent the body from making riboflavin (as well as other essential vitamins).
Psychotherapeutic medications called phenothiazines (such as chlorpromazine) may lower riboflavin levels.
Tricyclic antidepressants (imipramine, amitriptyline) inhibit the body's use of riboflavin.
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