3 Important Health Benefits of Riboflavin (Vitamin B2)

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Also known as Riboflavin

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Domonique D. Hargrove B.A., M.S, NCEP Certified

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Vitamin B2 also called riboflavin after ribose the sugar which forms part of its chemical makeup and flavus for its typical yellow color is a water-soluble vitamin necessary for human metabolic processes in the body including cell function growth and the production of energy.

Vitamin B2 is needed for the formation of every single one of our red blood cells and antibodies. Riboflavin is essential for ensuring proper growth and development of our reproductive system and for the necessary growth of all your body tissues such as your skin, ligaments, eyes, nasal passages, nerves and are all-important immune system.

Riboflavin also helps produce healthy skin, nails and hair and aids in regulating thyroid activity which controls how rapidly the body uses food energy and is a major factor controlling how energetic you feel.

Riboflavin helps in the absorption of minerals like Iron, Folic Acid, Vitamin B1 B3 B6 and others. Riboflavin also helps to enhance our body’s natural immune system by increasing our reserves of antibodies.

All the B vitamins are often referred to as the B-Complex of nutrients or vitamins and they help the body metabolize protein and fat. They convert carbohydrate food into glucose fuel for which is essential for life. Riboflavin is necessary for normal development and function of many organs especially the skin, the linings of the stomach and intestines and blood cells. According to the University of Maryland Medical Center riboflavin also has an antioxidant effect.

Oxidants are harmful particles in the body sometimes called free radicals. These particles cause damage to cells overtime and are strongly implicated as one of the major factors in the degeneration of formally healthy tissue and the aging process itself. Free radicals can even damage DNA and when they do cells reproduce defectively which can sometimes lead to cancer.

As an antioxidant vitamin B2 is thought to help preserve youthful good health both itself and in synergy with other antioxidants and nutrients. Since it’s water soluble Vitamin B2 is not stored in the body fat like other nutrients and therefore excess amounts are flushed out in the urine. So to maintain healthy riboflavin levels we need not only a sufficient supply of riboflavin we also need a regular supply.

Eating a natural healthy diet usually gives us the necessary amount of B2 without supplementation. Excellent riboflavin sources include milk, eggs, green vegetables, almonds, mushrooms, soy beans, yogurt, cereals and greens enriched with vitamin B2, asparagus popcorn banana and most animal-based foods.

Vegans and vegetarians especially should take care to get enough of this vital nutrient.

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