What does it do?
Riboflavin is a water-soluble B vitamin that helps produce energy in all cells in your body and is critical for the metabolism of fats, carbohydrates and protein. Ultraviolet light, such as sunlight, destroys riboflavin. You may have heard the story about why milk went from being delivered in glass containers to opaque or cardboard containers: to prevent sunlight from destroying the vitamins contained inside. If so, you were hearing about riboflavin!
What are the best food sources?
Major sources of riboflavin include milk and other dairy foods. Eggs, green leafy vegetables and enriched bread and grain products also contain smaller amounts.
What are some recipes that are good sources of riboflavin?
What happens if you don’t get enough?
Riboflavin deficiency, known as ariboflavinosis, is usually accompanied by other nutrient deficiencies and may specifically lead to deficiencies of vitamin B6 and niacin. It is not known how common riboflavin deficiency is in the United States because its symptoms—which include sore throat, magenta tongue, cracks and sores on the outside of the mouth, dry and flaky skin, and dandruff—are not as severe as the other nutrient deficiencies that may accompany it. Thus, ariboflavinosis may be underdiagnosed.
What happens if you get too much?
It’s not likely that you will experience adverse effects from consuming too much riboflavin for a couple of reasons: limited absorption by the gastrointestinal tract, and because excess amounts are excreted by the body. However, studies have not specifically looked at the harmful effects of excess riboflavin, so stay within the range of recommended intakes.
How much do you need?
The following table lists the recommended intake for healthy people based on current scientific information.