Vitamin B2, more commonly known as riboflavin, is essential for normal tissue respiration, healthy mucous membranes and converting carbohydrates into energy. Vitamin B2 also helps to create red blood cells and is particularly important in babies and young children. Vitamin B2 plays an important role in maintaining eye health, and the normal functioning of the digestive system.
Riboflavin or Vitamin B2 can be found in foods such as milk, eggs, yogurts, fish and meat. Asparagus is one of the few fruits or vegetables high in Vitamin B2, an important point if you're a vegetarian.
The European Commission daily recommendation for Vitamin B2 or riboflavin is 1.6mg for both men and women. In the United States, the RDA for vitamin B2 is 1.7mg. The UK recommended daily allowance of Vitamin B2 is 1.3mg for men and 1.1mg for women.
Specific vitamin B2 deficiency is rare, and usually only occurs in a general vitamin deficiency caused by the abuse of alcohol or malnutrition. As long as you're eating a fairly balanced diet, you needn't worry about your levels of riboflavin.
However, in the cases where a deficiency does occur, symptoms are mainly focused around the mouth. Sufferers can develop mouth ulcers, crack lips, sore throat and inflammation of the tongue. Other reported symptoms of riboflavin deficiency include itchy, bloodshot eyes and an increased sensitivity to bright light.
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