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You are here : 3-RX.com > Medical Encyclopedia > Diet and Nutrition > Vitamin B2
      Category : Health Centers > Food, Nutrition, and Metabolism

Vitamin B2

Alternate Names : Riboflavin

Overview & Description | Functions and Sources

Riboflavin, also called Vitamin B2, is a water-soluble vitamin. It is one of the eight B vitamins. The B vitamin complex includes vitamins B1, niacin, B6, B12, folate, biotin, and pantothenic acid.


Because riboflavin is so key to health, a shortage in the diet can cause problems. Severe riboflavin deficiency with clinical symptoms is rare. Mild deficiencies are more common, especially with elderly people and individuals with anorexia nervosa.

Strict vegans, who eat no meat or dairy products, may have riboflavin deficiencies. Symptoms can include:

  • dry and scaly skin, especially on the face
  • cracks at the corners of the mouth
  • eye disorders
  • swollen tongue or gums
  • Children who do not get enough riboflavin over a long period of time can have poor growth. Vitamin supplements usually reverse symptoms within a few days to a few weeks.

    It is not possible to be poisoned by too much riboflavin. Because it is a water-soluble vitamin, any extra is passed in the urine.


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    Vitamin B2: Functions and Sources

    Author: Kimberly Tessmer, RD, LD
    Reviewer: Kathleen A. MacNaughton, RN, BSN
    Date Reviewed: 09/27/02

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