Riboflavin (vitamin B-2) was originally recognized as a growth factor in 1879 and named vitamin B-2 according to the British nomenclature system.

Here’s what we know today.

  • Riboflavin has two active coenzyme forms.
    • Riboflavin 5′-phosphate (R5P)
    • Flavin adenine dinucleotide (FAD).
  • Dietary sources include milk, eggs, meats, yogurt, broccoli, almonds, cheese, soy, fortified grains, and dark green vegetables, in descending order of concentration.
  • Bacteria in the colon also synthesize riboflavin.
  • Riboflavin or its coenzymes contributes to cellular growth, enzyme function, energy production, and carbohydrate, fat, and amino acid synthesis.

The bottom line?

  • Research supports the use of riboflavin in…
    • Anemia
    • Cataracts
    • Hyperhomocysteinemia (a condition that damages the blood vessel lining)
    • Migraine prophylaxis
    • Alcoholism
  • A riboflavin deficiency can result in…
    • Angular stomatitis (inflammation at the corner of the mouth)
    • Seborrhea (scaly, flaky, itchy, red skin)
    • Glossitis (swelling and color change of the tongue)
    • Nervous disorders
    • Anemia

1/21/09 20:26 JR

Hi, I’m JR

John Russo, Jr., PharmD, is president of The MedCom Resource, Inc. Previously, he was senior vice president of medical communications at www.Vicus.com, a complementary and alternative medicine website.