Riboflavin is the second among B complex group of vitamins to be identified and so named as vitamin B2. The main use of riboflavin is in cellular oxidation. Riboflavin also plays a very important role in maintaining the structural integrity of the mucosal layers of the body. In the energy metabolism Riboflavin plays as a co-factor with many enzymes and is essential in maintaining vitamin-health of individuals.
Richest food sources of Riboflavin:
Among plant and animal foods the richest sources of Riboflavin are green leafy vegetables, eggs, liver, milk and kidneys.
Plant sources of Riboflavin:
Riboflavin is widely distributed in the plant kingdom. But some of the plant foods are particularly rich in Riboflavin like green leafy vegetables. Other plant sources of Riboflavin are different cereals (whole as well as milled, unlike thiamin which is present mainly in whole cereals and very less in milled cereals). Pulses are not very rich source, but it can be important source if consumed in larger quantity, as is seen in countries like India and other south Asian countries. The Riboflavin contents of pulses can be increased significantly by germination. For germination pulses (with husk) are soaked in water for approximately 24 hours and cooked after that. Excess cooking can cause loss of riboflavin in the foods. Read more…
The daily recommended requirement of riboflavin is 0.6 mg per 1000 Kcal of energy intake. If a person is consuming 3000 Kcal of energy per day he/she will require approximately 1.8 mg of riboflavin per day. There is no body store of riboflavin and it has to be consumed daily to prevent deficiency disorders of riboflavin. Vitamin-health is incomplete without recommended intake of riboflavin every day.
Deficiency of riboflavin:
The deficiency of riboflavin is known as “ariboflavinosis”. Deficiency of riboflavin is common in many areas of the world. It is more common, especially in the developing countries where rice is the staple food. The reason is, riboflavin is destroyed during cooking of rice as riboflavin is a water soluble vitamin. Ariboflavinosis is sometimes used as an index of malnutrition (state of nutrition) during clinical survey of malnutrition.
The most common symptom associated with riboflavin deficiency is angular stomatitis (inflammation of angle of the mouth) and this occurs frequently among malnourished children (so used as index of malnutrition in malnutrition surveys). Other clinical signs of riboflavin deficiency are glossitis, nasolabial deformity etc. But these are not specific signs of riboflavin deficiency, unlike angular stomatitis. Read more…