You are using an older browser version. Please use a supported version for the best MSN experience.

Vitamin Directory - Riboflavin

[Do Not Use]DK Publishing logo[Do Not Use]DK Publishing 2/07/2014 DKBooks


Daily requirement
men: 1.3mg per day
women: 1.1mg per day

This water-soluble vitamin, also known as vitamin B2, is necessary for the release of energy from carbohydrates. Riboflavin is needed for normal growth and development. It helps to build up glucose molecules into the complex carbohydrate glycogen, which is stored in the liver for future use; helps digest fats; is involved in changing the amino acid tryptophan into niacin (B3); helps protect the nervous system; and also maintains mucous membranes—the mucus-secreting layer that lines body regions such as the respiratory tract.

Riboflavin deficiency

A deficiency of riboflavin can be primary—due to not getting enough of the vitamin from the diet—or secondary, which may be a result of conditions that affect absorption in the intestine, the body not being able to use the vitamin, or an increase in the excretion of the vitamin from the body.

Signs and symptoms of riboflavin deficiency include cracked and red lips, inflammation of the lining of the mouth and tongue, mouth ulcers, cracks at the corners of the mouth, and a sore throat. A deficiency may also cause dry and scaling skin, fluid in the mucous membranes, and iron-deficiency anemia. The eyes may also become bloodshot, itchy, watery, and sensitive to bright light.

Good sources


This is found naturally in all these foods, which contain at least 0.1mg of the vitamin per 3–101/2oz (85–300g):



Cottage cheese






image beaconimage beaconimage beacon