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What are the benefits of riboflavin?

Riboflavin, also known as vitamin B2, is one of the eight B vitamins in the B-complex. Like other B vitamins, vitamin B2 plays a vital role in many biological reactions in your body, including those required for breaking down fats, proteins and carbohydrates. It's also essential to maintain the integrity of your mucous membranes, skin, eyes, liver, and nervous system and is involved in the metabolism of other vitamins such as B3, B6, B9 and B12. 

Riboflavin is an essential cofactor for two major coenzymes, flavin adenine dinucleotide (FAD) and flavin mononucleotide (FMN). FMN and FAD coenzymes play major roles in energy production, cellular function, growth, development and the metabolism of fats, drugs and steroids.

Benefits of riboflavin 

Benefits of riboflavin for eye health

Vitamin B2, along with other nutrients, is important for eye health. Due to its role in removing oxidised glutathione from your body, including from the eye lens, one of the benefits of riboflavin could be to protect against the development of cataracts. It has also been shown to help prevent cataracts when used in combination with UVA radiation as it triggers a reaction that strengthens the cornea by producing thicker collagen fibres.

In addition, individuals who are deficient in vitamin B2 can often experience sensitivity to light and decreased vision. Riboflavin deficiency has also been shown to increase the risk for certain eye problems, including glaucoma.

Benefits of riboflavin for migraines 

Although it is still unclear exactly what causes migraines, some evidence suggests that impaired mitochondrial oxygen metabolism in your brain may play a role in the development of migraine headaches, due to this possibly increasing the excitability of brain cells and making them hyper-responsive to migraine triggers.

Riboflavin has been found to reverse these mitochondrial defects, helping to prevent migraine attacks. One study from 1998 found that migraine-prone adults who took 400 milligrams (mg) of riboflavin per day had two fewer migraine attacks per month than people who took a placebo. A similar study reported similar results in children.

Benefits of riboflavin for the heart

Homocysteine is a common amino acid found in the blood. High levels of homocysteine is associated with many heart health conditions, and riboflavin has been found to reduce it.


Benefits of riboflavin as an antioxidant

Riboflavin is an antioxidant, which fight free radicals in your body. Free radicals can damage cells and DNA, and have been shown to contribute to the ageing process, as well as the development of a number of health conditions including heart disease and cancer.


Riboflavin, or vitamin B2, is an important water-soluble vitamin that plays a role in many aspects of health. Its benefits include improvements in heart health, relief from migraine symptoms, protection against vision loss and general eye health.


  1. Riboflavin/ultraviolet-a-induced collagen crosslinking for the treatment of keratoconus

  2. Effectiveness of high-dose riboflavin in migraine prophylaxis

  3. Riboflavin prophylaxis in pediatric and adolescent migraine

  4. Riboflavin Lowers Homocysteine in Individuals Homozygous for the MTHFR 677C→T Polymorphism

  5. Riboflavin (vitamin B-2) and health

  6. Vitamin B2 intake reduces the risk of colorectal cancer

  7. Dietary vitamin B2 intake and breast cancer risk




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