Riboflavin is a B vitamin. It can be found in certain foods such as milk, meat, eggs, nuts, enriched flour, and green vegetables. Riboflavin is frequently used in combination with other B vitamins in vitamin B complex products. Vitamin B complex generally includes vitamin B1 (thiamine), vitamin B2 (riboflavin), vitamin B3 (niacin/niacinamide), vitamin B5 (pantothenic acid), vitamin B6 (pyridoxine), vitamin B12 (cyanocobalamin), and folic acid. However, some products do not contain all of these ingredients and some may include others, such as biotin, para-aminobenzoic acid (PABA), choline bitartrate, and inositol.
Riboflavin is used for preventing low levels of riboflavin (riboflavin deficiency), cervical cancer, and migraine headaches. It is also used for treating riboflavin deficiency, acne, muscle cramps, burning feet syndrome, carpal tunnel syndrome, and blood disorders such as congenital methemoglobinemia and red blood cell aplasia. Some people use riboflavin for eye conditions including eye fatigue, cataracts, and glaucoma.
Other uses include increasing energy levels; boosting immune system function; maintaining healthy hair, skin, mucous membranes, and nails; slowing aging; boosting athletic performance; promoting healthy reproductive function; canker sores; memory loss, including Alzheimer's disease; ulcers; burns; alcoholism; liver disease; sickle cell anemia; and treating lactic acidosis brought on by treatment with a class of AIDS medications called NRTI drugs.
How it works
Riboflavin is required for the proper development and function of the skin, lining of the digestive tract, blood cells, and many other parts of the body.
EffectivePreventing and treating riboflavin deficiency and conditions related to riboflavin deficiency
Riboflavin is LIKELY SAFE for most people when taken by mouth. In some people, riboflavin can cause the urine to turn a yellow-orange color. When taken in high doses, riboflavin might cause diarrhea, an increase in urine, and other side effects.
Pregnancy and breast-feeding: Riboflavin isLIKELY SAFEfor pregnant orbreast-feeding women when taken in the amounts recommended. The recommended amounts are 1.4 mg per day for pregnant women and 1.6 mg per day in breast-feeding women. Riboflavin isPOSSIBLY SAFEwhen taken by mouth in larger doses, short-term. Some research shows that riboflavin is safe when taken at a dose of 15 mg once every 2 weeks for 10 weeks.Are there any interactions with medications?
Hepatitis, Cirrhosis, Billary obstruction: Riboflavin absorption is decreased in people with these conditions.
MinorDrying medications (Anticholinergic drugs)
Riboflavin might decrease the amount of tetracyclines that the body can absorb. Taking riboflavin along with tetracyclines might decrease the effectiveness of tetracyclines. To avoid this interaction, take riboflavin 2 hours before or 4 hours after taking tetracyclines.Some tetracyclines include demeclocycline (Declomycin), minocycline (Minocin), and tetracycline (Achromycin).Some drying medications can affect the stomach and intestines. Taking these drying medications with riboflavin (vitamin B2) can increase the amount of riboflavin that is absorbed in the body. But it's not known if this interaction is important.Medications for depression (Tricyclic antidepressants)
Some medications for depression can decrease the amount of riboflavin in the body. This interaction is not a big concern because it only occurs with very large amounts of some medications for depression.Phenobarbital (Luminal)
Riboflavin is broken down by the body. Phenobarbital might increase how quickly riboflavin is broken down in the body. It is not clear if this interaction is significant.Probenecid (Benemid)
Probenecid (Benemid) can increase how much riboflavin is in the body. This might cause there to be too much riboflavin in the body. But it's not known if this interaction is a big concern.