You will require more vitamin B2 if you are losing weight or active, and even more if you are both losing weight and being active at the same time.
Benefits of vitamin B2 in your body
- Riboflavin helps convert carbohydrates into adenosine triphosphate (ATP) for use in your cells.
- You require almost twice as much riboflavin to burn fat compared to burning glucose for fuel.
- Riboflavin also plays an essential role in producing red blood cells and releasing energy from your food, as well as maintaining the health of your skin and digestive tract.
- Benefits of vitamin B2 in your body
- Popular vitamin B2 rich foods
- Highest Riboflavin (Vitamin B2) Recipes
- Vitamin B2 Deficiency Symptoms
- Satiety Response to Foods with Vitamin B2
- Multivariate Satiety Analysis
- Riboflavin Optimal Nutirent Intake
- Vitamin B2 Upper Limit and Side Effects
- Availability of Vitamin B2 in the Food System
- Vegans May Need to Pay Extra Attention to their Vitamin B2 Intake
- Fun Fact about Riboflavin in Vitamin Supplements
- Storage losses
- Vitamin B2 Processing losses
- The Nutrient Profile of High Riboflavin Foods
- How can I Calculate if I am Getting Enough Vitamin B2 (Riboflavin)?
Popular vitamin B2 rich foods
Popular food sources of vitamin B2 include:
- egg white,
- whole egg,
- cucumber, and
- cottage cheese.
Highest Riboflavin (Vitamin B2) Recipes
Some of our NutriBooster recipes highest in Vitamin B2 (Riboflavin) include:
- easy spinach & artichoke dip
- chicken liver & mushroom pate
- egg slice with liver
- chicken liver, eggs & greens (pictured below)
- bacon-wrapped chicken livers
Vitamin B2 Deficiency Symptoms
Symptoms of riboflavin deficiency include:
- iron-deficiency anemia,
- migraine headaches,
- congestive heart failure,
- high homocysteine,
- Parkinson’s disease,
- skin disorders,
- sores on your mouth and lips,
- swelling of mucous membranes, and
- vulval and scrotal dermatitis.
Satiety Response to Foods with Vitamin B2
Our satiety analysis of people using the Nutrient Optimiser shows a strong satiety response to food that contains more vitamin B2. In addition, people who consume foods that contain more vitamin B2 tend to eat about 29% fewer calories.
But more vitamin B2 is not necessarily better. We can see that the satiety benefit tapers off above quickly above 4.5 mg of riboflavin per 2000 calories.
The average intake of vitamin B2 of our Optimisers is 3.3 mg/2000 calories, with an 85th percentile intake of 5.0 mg/2000 calories. This is significantly higher than the Estimated Average Requirement of 1.1 mg/day and the Daily Recommended Intake of 1.3 mg/day.
A processed diet with vitamin B2 supplements does not have the same satiety effect as consuming whole foods containing more vitamin B2. Isolated supplements never seem to provide the same benefit as nutrient-dense whole food.
Multivariate Satiety Analysis
The multivariate analysis of our Optimiser data below shows that riboflavin has a statistically significant impact on calories when considered with all the other micronutrients. Moving from foods that contain low to high riboflavin corresponds with a 3.3% reduction in calorie intake.
Riboflavin Optimal Nutirent Intake
Based on the satiety response to B2, we suggest a stretch target for riboflavin of 6.0 mg/day for men and 4.8 g/day for women.
|riboflavin (B2) (mg)||5.0||4.0|
Vitamin B2 Upper Limit and Side Effects
It’s hard to overdose on vitamin B2 because it is water-soluble and easily excreted in the urine.
Availability of Vitamin B2 in the Food System
Riboflavin availability has increased with the fortification of grains and cereals since the 1940s and again in the 1970s. However, as shown in the chart below (data from USDA Economic Research Service), fortification provides enough B2 to meet the Daily Recommended Intake (i.e. 1.3 mg/day). Even with fortification, dietary vitamin B2 declined after the introduction of the USDA Guidelines for Americans in 1977.
Vegans May Need to Pay Extra Attention to their Vitamin B2 Intake
Without eggs, milk, liver, or a lot of fresh vegetables in their diet, vegans may struggle to get enough vitamin B2.
People who do not consume animal products should minimise processed foods that contain minimal vitamin B2 and focus on nutrient-dense, minimally processed whole foods.
People following a high-fat diet (e.g. keto or low carb) may also need to prioritise riboflavin, given that high-fat foods typically don’t contain a lot of it. As noted above, you also need more vitamin B2 to convert the fat in your diet to usable energy in your cells.
Fun Fact about Riboflavin in Vitamin Supplements
It’s vitamin B2 that causes the fluorescent pee when we supplement B vitamins, so vitamin manufacturers often like to add a little bit extra to make you feel you are getting your money’s worth.
However, our analysis indicates that there you won’t be getting any additional satiety benefit beyond around 6 mg/day of vitamin B2.
Isolated supplements alone are unlikely to provide significant benefits, particularly if you are already meeting the Dietary Reference Intake.
As always, you should prioritise food first before investing in supplementation.
Riboflavin is heat stable, so it doesn’t break down when you cook it. However, vitamin B2 leaches into the cooking water and degrades quickly when exposed to light (which is why milk cartons are opaque).
Vitamin B2 Processing losses
Between ten and twenty per cent of riboflavin is lost in the pasteurisation of milk and 10 to 20% in the cooking of meat.
The Nutrient Profile of High Riboflavin Foods
The nutrient fingerprint below shows the availability of nutrients in the foods that contain the most riboflavin. Riboflavin is relatively easy to obtain from nutrient-dense foods and meals.
If you’re interested in checking if you’re getting enough (but not too much) niacin in your diet, you can check your nutrient profile using our Free 7-Day Nutrient Clarity Challenge.
Level Up Your Nutrient Density
To help you level up your nutrient density, we’ve prepared a Nutritional Optimisation Starter Pack to ensure you are getting plenty of all the essential nutrients from the food you eat every day.
The free starter pack includes:
- Maximum Nutrient Density Food List
- Sample Maximum Nutrient Density Recipe Book
- Sample Maximum Nutrient Density Meal Plan.
To get started today, all you have to do is join our new Optimising Nutrition Group here.
Once you join, you will find the Nutritional Optimisation starter pack in the discovery section here.
Nutrient Density Index
- Vitamin A
- Vitamin E
- Thiamine (B1)
- Riboflavin (B2)
- Niacin (B3)
- Pantothenic acid (B5)
- Vitamin B6
- Folate (B9)
- Vitamin B12
- Vitamin C
- Vitamin D
- Vitamin K1