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Riboflavin (vitamin B2) - fact sheet, daily requirement & more

Vitamin B2 Fact Sheet (Riboflavin)

You want to know more about vitamin B2? Then you've come to the right place. Because I summarize the most important information about the vitamin, which is also called riboflavin. From the compact vitamin B2 profile about intake, daily requirement, importance for the body, overdose, deficiency symptoms, analytics to ways to cover the daily requirement of riboflavin. Towards the end there is special information for vegans and vegetarians, as well as explanations about dietary supplements.

Here is in advance a short Overview for you:

  1. Profile
  2. Recording
  3. Daily requirement
  4. Meaning
  5. Overdose
  6. Deficiency
  7. Analytics
  8. Foods
  9. Vegan
  10. Food supplement

Notice: This article is not a substitute for medical advice, but merely provides general information about vitamin B2 or riboflavin. Please consult your doctor if you feel unwell or want to prevent health problems with medical care.

Vitamin B2 STECKBRIEF at a glance

Assignment: Group of water-soluble vitamins
Synonyms: Riboflavin, lactoflavin
Important for: Fat, carbohydrate, protein metabolism, immune system, growth, protection of nerve cells, antioxidant effect.
Daily requirement: Men 1.3-1.4 mg/day, women 1.0-1.1 mg/day₁
Recording: through food intake or dietary supplements
Overdose: not known in humans
Deficiency symptoms: Among other things, skin rash, skin cracks, hypersensitivity to light.
Food: Meat and dairy products, almonds, whole grain products
Nutritional supplement: mainly in vitamin B complexes or combination preparations

How to absorb vitamin B2?

Riboflavin and vitamin B12 in mushrooms

An important fundamental aspect of B2 recording is the Low memory capacity of riboflavin of only about six weeks.2 Because of this, you should make sure that you get a constant supply of riboflavin. This works best with the right preparation methods for B2-containing foods.

Since riboflavin belongs to the water soluble vitamins, you can optimize the absorption of B2 by trying to avoid using water in the preparation or by continuing to use the water. For example, when preparing broccoli, you could either steam or sauté it. Alternatively, you can boil it and puree it together with the cooking water to make a soup. This way you retain as much vitamin B2 as possible in your meal.

The cooking itself is rather unproblematic with riboflavin, because the vitamin is very heat stable is. On the other hand, it is important that you store riboflavin-containing foods packed in as dark a place as possible, as B2 photosensitive is. Riboflavin-containing foods such as whole grain products, yeast flakes, and nuts and seeds should therefore rather be stored in the cupboard or pantry.3

What is the daily requirement of riboflavin?

The following table shows the reference values for riboflavin recommended by the German Nutrition Society (DGE).

1 to under 4 years0,70,7
4 to under 7 years0,80,8
7 to under 10 years1,00,9
10 to under 13 years1,11,0
13 to under 15 years1,41,1
15 to under 19 years1,61,2
19 to under 51 years1,41,1
from 511,31,0
Recommended daily intakes of riboflavin according to DGE.1

For pregnant women, the requirement increases to 1.3 mg per day from the fourth month and to 1.4 mg daily from the seventh month and during lactation.1

For which body functions is B2 needed?

Like many other B vitamins, riboflavin is included in many Metabolic processes involved. It influences fat, carbohydrate, protein and probably also iron metabolism. Other areas of influence are the formation of red Blood cells and Antibodies and the health maintenance of Skin, hair and nails.4

Riboflavin also serves as a Protection of nerve cells and is used for the Growth needed.

The functions of vitamin B2 at a glance:

  • Fat, carbohydrate and protein metabolism
  • Antibody formation
  • Red blood cell formation
  • Preservation of skin, hair and nails
  • Protection of nerve cells and growth.

Is an overdose of riboflavin possible?

As already mentioned, riboflavin is water-soluble. This also means that excess riboflavin is simply excreted in the urine. A study conducted by the American Academy of Neurology confirms that it is No negative effects at an extremely high dosage of riboflavin.5

In the case of an absolutely excessive intake of the vitamin, it can only lead to a basically harmless, yellowish discoloration of urine come. This is because vitamin B2 has a yellow color. This is also where the name riboflavin comes from, as flavus in Latin yellow, blonde means.

When does a vitamin B12 deficiency occur?

As with many other Nutrients favors Alcoholism the risk of deficiency. Other potential risk factors are chronic inflammatory Intestinal diseases, Chemotherapy and one-sided or Inadequate nutrition.

Symptoms of riboflavin deficiency are Light hypersensitivity and skin problems such as rashes or cracks. The latter then frequently occur in the corner of the mouth. In severe cases, growth or neurological disorders may also occur.

Analytics for the determination of vitamin B2 supply

If you want to determine your B2 value, there are several possibilities, all of which will lead you to your goal. You can use the Riboflavin excretion in urine, the B2 concentration in serum or the Enzyme activity of glutathione reductase in the red blood cells.

If you choose to measure riboflavin excretion in your urine, the reference value for good B2 supply is 70-100 µg/dl. If you have your blood serum tested for your B2 concentration, a good supply is 80-120 µg riboflavin per g creatine. Less than 40 µg of riboflavin per g of creatine is considered a deficiency.

To measure the enzyme activity of glutathione reductase, the increase in activity is measured after administration of the coenzyme FAD. If there is a stimulation of more than 40 %, you have a B2 deficiency. If there is less than 20 %, you are well supplied.

The right test: A simple standard marker is urinary excretion. However, if you want to check more values than just your B2 supply, the serum value is a good choice because the laboratory can then check many other values with the blood sample.

What foods contain vitamin B2?

A balanced diet that covers energy requirements usually also covers the B2 requirement. If you want to consciously pay attention to your B2 intake, then there are various foods that have a particularly high content. Generally contain Whole grain and soy products large amounts of B2. However, they are not in the list because it is a food group and not a single food.

For ethical, ecological and health reasons, I generally recommend a vegan, whole food dietbut I would like to inform you as comprehensively as possible about riboflavin and also list some animal foods here.

Liver and offal in particular often contain high amounts of vitamins and trace elements. Since liver in particular also accumulates toxins, you should definitely buy organic or even better Demeter quality if you want to eat liver. The following list consists of good sources of riboflavin:

  • Yeast flakes (3 mg per 100 gram)
  • Beef liver (2.9 mg per 100 gram)
  • Almonds (0.6 mg per 100 gram)
  • Mushrooms (0.4 mg per 100 gram)
  • Oyster mushrooms (0.3 mg per 100 gram)
  • Pumpkin seeds (0.3 mg per 100 gram)

What do vegans and vegetarians have to consider regarding vitamin B2?

According to the DGE, riboflavin is a potentially critical nutrient in vegan diets.6 Up to now, there have been different results in studies of riboflavin supply. On the one hand, the EPIC-Oxford study, a very large-scale study by Oxford University, came to the conclusion that vegans suffer from a B2 deficiency with a similar frequency as vegetarians and people with a mixed diet.7

In contrast, there is the result of a study by the Institute of Food Science at the University of Hanover. The study examined vegans within Germany and came to the conclusion that on average too few Calcium, Iodine, Vitamin B12 and riboflavin were included. Therefore, in the study recommended to secure the intake of these nutrients through a food supplement.8

Should vitamin B2 be supplemented?

As you can see, the studies on B2 supply are divided. Of course, this is mainly due to the fact that there is no "one vegan diet". You can eat a balanced and healthy vegan diet and then you will probably not need a dietary supplement. On the other hand, there is a vegan diet with many industrially processed products, sugar, alcohol and little fruit and vegetables. There is the then of course no wonder if it comes to a nutrient deficiency.

If you are unsure about your nutrient supply, it may be that supplementation can be useful. Often, the effect of the Calming, that you're covered, wonders. Since you also have no risk of overdose when supplementing B2, you really can't go wrong.

There are few isolated preparations for vitamin B2. It is often a component of vitamin B complexes or multi-nutrient preparations. If you are looking for a Multi-nutrient preparation I can offer you the Vivo Life specially for vegan diet produced supplement can be recommended. Alternatively, you can also use a Vitamin B Complex be useful, since many B vitamins influence each other:

Ensure riboflavin supply

Regardless of whether you eat a vegan, vegetarian or mixed diet: if you do so in a balanced way and in a way that meets your energy needs, a riboflavin deficiency should not occur. However, it also does not hurt regardless of the diet regularly check your blood values to detect any deficiencies at an early stage before they manifest themselves in symptoms.

Through a rich Diet without substitute products, regular exercise and fresh air, as well as avoiding environmental toxins, cigarettes and alcohol, you can incredibly many deficiencies and Prevent diseases. A dietary supplement may be useful for riboflavin if you want to be completely on the safe side.

Do you have any questions or suggestions about this post on vitamin B2? Then feel free to leave me a comment!

All the best,

Julian from CareElite

PS.: You want to know, why we live vegan? Check out the linked article to learn our reasons. And if you want to learn more about other nutrients, then next you should have a look at the article about Vitamin D.

1 Deutsche Gesellschaft für Ernährung e. V.: Riboflavin, [07.06.2021].

2 Institute of Medicine: Dietary Reference Intakes for Thiamine, Riboflavin, Niacin, Vitamin B 6, folates, vitamin B 12, Pantothenic Acid, Biotin, and Choline,, [07.06.2021].

3 Wikipedia: Riboflavin,, [07.06.2021].

4 N. Rittenau (2018): Vegan-Klischee ade! Scientific answers to critical questions about vegan nutrition. VENTIL Publishers.

5 J. Schoenen, J. Jacquy, M. Lenaerts: Effectiveness of high dose riboflavin in migraine prophylaxis. A randomized controlled trial,, [07.06.2021].

6 Deutsche Gesellschaft für Ernährung e. V.: Position of the German Nutrition Society - vegan nutrition, [07 JUN 2021].

7 G. K. Davey, E. A. Spencer, P. N. Appleby, N. E. Allen, et al. (2003): EPIC-Oxford: lifestyle characteristics and nutrient intakes in a cohort of 33 883 meat-eaters and 31 546 non-meat-eaters in the UK,, [07.06.2021].

8 A. Waldmann, J. W. Koschizke, C. Leitzmann, A. Hahn: Dietary intakes and lifestyle factors of a vegan population in Germany: results from the German Vegan Study,, [07.06.2021].

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Julian Hölzer

Julian Hölzer

Hi, my name is Julian and I am a trained vegan nutritionist. In 2016 I started to get involved with veganism and quickly learned how big an impact our diet has on the environment and how diverse plant-based diets can be. That's why I want to inspire you to get involved with veganism too.

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