Vitamin B2 (Riboflavin)

Understand vitamin B2 and vitamin B2 targets in the Nutrient Explorer

What it is

Vitamin B2 is a water-soluble vitamin

What it does

Vitamin B2 is used by the body to create two critical coenzymes involved in metabolism and energy production.

Recommended intake

The recommended intake for vitamin B2 is 1.6mg per day for men and women who aren’t pregnant or lactating. Pregnancy and lactation can increase intake requirements for vitamin B2.

Likelihood of tracking completeness: Very low

Vitamin B2 is not a nutrient that food manufacturers are required to disclose on nutrition labels. The vast majority of food and beverage manufacturers do not voluntarily list vitamin B2 content on nutrition labels, so most branded products in the MacroFactor database lack information on vitamin B2. So, if you’d like to accurately track your vitamin B2 intake, you’ll need to make a point of mostly tracking “common foods,” which come from research-grade databases that have full nutrient reporting.

For more on when you can track using branded foods versus common foods when you’re trying to accurately monitor your intake of particular nutrients, you should check out this article.

Likelihood of insufficient intake: Low

Most adults in developed countries consume adequate amounts of vitamin B2.

For more on nutrients with a greater likelihood of insufficient or excessive intake, you should check out this article.

Signs of deficiency

Vitamin B2 deficiencies can cause a wide array of problems, including skin disorders, mouth and throat swelling, swollen and cracked lips, itchy eyes, hair loss, liver and nervous system issues, anemia, and cataracts.

Good sources

Good sources of vitamin B2 include mushrooms, organ meat (liver and kidneys, in particular), seaweeds and algaes like nori and spirulina, leafy green vegetables like spinach and beet greens, eggs, asparagus, and blueberries.

Learn more

If you’d like to learn more about micronutrients generally, there’s a five-part series on the MacroFactor website you might enjoy.

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