- Vitamin B2 (also known as Riboflavin) deficiencies are not common, as this vitamin can be found in many foods that are present in a well-rounded diet.
- Riboflavin eye drops can be used to help abate symptoms from a condition called keratoconus that affects the cornea and vision in general.
- Riboflavin supplements have been found to aid children who experience migraines by reducing the frequency and intensity of the headaches.
Liquid Vitamin B2 Supplement
Vitamin B2, or riboflavin, can be found in plant and animal based foods including milk, meat, eggs, nuts, enriched flour, and certain green vegetables. The function of riboflavin in the human body has to do with ensuring proper development of the skin, lining of the digestive tract, blood cells, and brain function (1) - so clearly, it’s a very important mineral.
If someone has a riboflavin deficiency, they will do well to quickly find a way to improve their body's riboflavin level, and in many cases this is made possible through a riboflavin supplement. People who take a liquid vitamin B2 supplement typically take it for migraines, high levels of homocysteine in the blood, and for general riboflavin deficiency.
Vitamin B2 drops also have a few other unique uses. Riboflavin drops can also be used to abate acne, muscle cramps, and certain other issues - but not enough research has been done on these conditions to have enough clear data.
Although riboflavin can be found in quite a few foods, it’s not uncommon for people who don’t consume a balanced diet to not get enough of it in their daily lives. This is where vitamin B2 liquid comes in. If someone takes vitamin B2 liquid form, the dosage for adult males is about 1.3 mg daily, for adult women it’s about 1.1 mg daily, during pregnancy it’s about 1.4 mg daily, and during the breastfeeding period it’s about 1.6 mg daily. For children, the amount of riboflavin liquid that’s taken depends on their age.
Taking a riboflavin supplement will increase the riboflavin present in the body, but before adding any such supplement into your diet, it’s important to discuss doing so with your health provider to make sure that you’re getting the right dosage and treating the right condition.
Vitamin B2 Deficiency
Although vitamin B2 deficiency is rare, it does still occur (2). Vitamin B1 and B2 help convert food into energy, and vitamin B2 specifically can help with eyesight.
The reason that a vitamin B2 deficiency is so rare is because it’s present in so many foods. In fact, many foods are fortified with this vitamin. In fact, many people get most of their B2 from breakfast cereals because they are fortified with it, along with other whole grains like fortified bread, pasta, and rice. You can also get a good amount of B2 from pork, fish, legumes, nuts, seeds, eggs, lean meats, and green vegetables.
The symptoms of a riboflavin deficiency include confusion and cracks around the mouth. Other symptoms include sore throat, swelling of the mouth and throat, swollen tongue, hair loss, skin rash, anemia, itchy red eyes, and in severe cases, cataracts.
People who have thyroid disorders are at a higher risk of having a riboflavin deficiency, and deficiencies often occur in tandem with other nutrient deficiencies, like in people who are malnourished.
Other groups of people who are at a higher risk for deficiency are vegans and vegetarians, because of their low intake or no intake at all of dairy and meat products, pregnant women - especially those who don’t consume much dairy or meat. Pregnant women need more riboflavin because a growing fetus has a higher need for it.
Another one of the main B2 deficiency causes is the misuse of alcohol.
Riboflavin is a very important vitamin to have in the body, as it assists with many enzymes that make daily bodily functions possible. Not having enough in your system can cause serious health problems. In certain animal studies, research has shown that brain disorders, heart disorders, and some cancers can develop from having a long-term riboflavin deficiency (3).
B2 (Riboflavin Chewable)
People who need more riboflavin in their diet but choose to forgo liquid vitamin B2 sometimes choose riboflavin gummies or riboflavin powder (1).
Incorporating vitamin B2 (riboflavin gummies) into your diet is typically done to treat low levels of vitamin B2 in someone’s system who doesn’t get enough of it in the foods that they eat. Most people who eat a well-rounded diet don’t need B2 (riboflavin chewable), but for those who have certain conditions like stomach/intestinal problems, prolonged infection, liver disease, alcoholism, or cancer, it is needed. Riboflavin plays a key role in the health of your eyes, skin, nerves, and red blood cells.
The way to take this chewable vitamin is by mouth. All you must do is read the directions on the packaging and if you have any questions that can’t be answered by the literature, ask your doctor or your pharmacist. If you’ve been prescribed this vitamin, take it as your doctor directed.
It’s important to take the correct dosage because the dosage is based on your medical condition and how your body should respond to treatment. In order to get the desired effects, it’s key to take this vitamin regularly to give it a chance to build up in your system.
A side effect of riboflavin chewables is having your urine turn bright yellow, but this is a harmless symptom that should not cause worry. When you stop taking the vitamin, this symptom will stop as well. It’s important to note that most people who take this vitamin don’t experience any negative side effects, and if you were prescribed this vitamin, your doctor has decided that the benefits outweigh the risks of you taking it.
Serious allergic reactions to this vitamin are very rare, but if you notice symptoms like rash, itching/swelling of the face, tongue, or throat, severe dizziness, or trouble breathing, get medical help right away.
Riboflavin Eye Drops
Riboflavin eye drops, or riboflavin ophthalmic, is a photosensitive solution that’s used during a procedure to treat a condition called keratoconus in adults and children over 14 years of age (4).
Keratoconus is a type of degenerative eye disease that affects the cornea, which is the outermost layer on the surface of the eye. The way the cornea works is that it directs light towards the back of the eye in order to focus the vision. In people with keratoconus, the cornea turns thin and weak, and that causes it to bulge outwards. This then causes incoming light to be channeled in too many directions, which causes distorted vision. Progressive keratoconus can cause severe vision problems, and these could eventually lead to vision loss or an eventual corneal transplant.
Using riboflavin drops keratoconus works together with ultraviolet light as part of a procedure called corneal collagen crosslinking. Corneal collagen crosslinking is when a professional applies riboflavin cornea drops and UV light to the eye. The drops are placed over the eyes for several minutes at a time, then the UV light is placed right in front of the cornea. The riboflavin that’s present will enhance the light, which causes a reaction in the collagen fibers inside the cornea. This procedure is meant to help stiffen and strengthen the cornea to slow down or stop completely the progression of keratoconus.
It should be noted that after you’ve had this procedure, you should avoid rubbing your eyes for five days after in order to avoid any ill effects. Although you are awake during this procedure, doctors will apply numbing drops to the eye and you will be given anesthesia or a sedative to help you relax, as this type of procedure can be stressful to some people.
Riboflavin For Kids
Riboflavin for kids has shown to be useful in clinical studies for children who suffer from migraines (5). About 8 million kids in the United States alone suffer from chronic migraines, and this condition has become one of the most common acute and recurring headache patterns that’s experienced by children. So, using vitamin B2 dose child to combat this issue seems pertinent.
About 5% of elementary-age children experience migraines and the physical and emotional stress that goes along with them, which can disrupt and impair the everyday life of a child. Once a child reaches high school, that number jumps to 20% of children who experience such symptoms.
A child who experiences migraines has a 50% chance of inheriting it, and those changes rise to 75% if both parents experience migraines as well. Before the age of 10, migraines affect boys and girls equally, but after age 12 and after puberty, girls are affected three times more by migraines than boys are.
The reason that riboflavin works for children’s migraines is because it can assist in the production of red blood cells. It can also extract energy from carbohydrates, proteins, and fat, along with increasing cellular energy production in the mitochondria cells. All of these functions put together can help with migraines, as the dysfunction of the mitochondria has been linked to migraines through several studies.
It’s been shown that high dose riboflavin has the potential to not only reduce the frequency of migraines, but it also can reduce the intensity of them in children as well. This treatment is one that’s low-cost and highly effective in children who suffer from migraines, and it’s also been linked to preventing migraines in adults. Riboflavin is also very tolerable, as the system handles it well because it’s something that’s already present in many children’s diets. Just be sure to consult with your doctor before turning to any supplements to help treat any medical issues.
- "Riboflavin - Uses, Side Effects, and More." WebMD, www.webmd.com/vitamins/ai/ingredientmono-957/riboflavin.
- Heitz, David. "Symptoms of Vitamin B Deficiencies." Healthline, 12 Aug. 2020, www.healthline.com/health/symptoms-of-vitamin-b-deficiency.
- "Riboflavin – Vitamin B2." Harvard School of Public Health, www.hsph.harvard.edu/nutritionsource/riboflavin-vitamin-b2/.
- "Riboflavin ophthalmic ." Drugs.com, 15 Mar. 2021, www.drugs.com/mtm/riboflavin-ophthalmic.html.
- "Riboflavin for Children with Migraine – What You Need to Know." Akeso Health Sciences, www.migrelief.com/children-migraines-promising-results-shown-in-riboflavin-prevention-study/.
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