Riboflavin functions as the precursor
(building block) for two coenzymes that are important in energy production.
Flavin mononucleotide (FMN) and flavin adenine dinucleotide (FAD) are the two
coenzymes that act as hydrogen carriers to help make energy as adenosine
triphosphate (ATP) through the metabolism of carbohydrates and fats. Riboflavin
is also instrumental in cell respiration, helping each cell utilize oxygen most
efficiently; it is helpful in maintaining good vision and healthy hair, skin,
and nails; it is necessary for normal cell growth.
Supplemental riboflavin is commonly used to treat and help prevent visual
problems, eye fatigue, and cataracts. It seems to help with burning eyes, excess
tearing (watery eyes), and decreased vision resulting from eye strain.
Riboflavin is also used for many kinds of stress conditions, fatigue, and
vitality or growth problems. For people with allergies and chemical
sensitivities, riboflavin-5-phosphate may be more readily assimilated than
Riboflavin is given for skin difficulties such as acne, dermatitis, eczema, and
skin ulcers. B2 is also used in the treatment of alcohol problems, ulcers,
digestive difficulties, and leg cramps, and supplementing it may be advantageous
for prevention or during treatment of cancer. There is, however, not much
published research to support these common uses.
Like most of the B-vitamins, deficiency is of significant concern. Some
authorities claim that vitamin B2 deficiency is the most common nutrient
deficiency in America. However, because some is produced by intestinal bacteria,
it may not cause symptoms as severe as other vitamin deficiencies.
Find out more about Vitamin B2