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VITAMIN B2 (RIBOFLAVIN)  Also known as:  Riboflavin

What does it do? Vitamin B2 is needed to process amino acids and fats, activate vitamin B6 and folic acid, and help convert carbohydrates into ATP, the fuel the body runs on. Under some circumstances, vitamin B2 can act as anantioxidant.

Where is it found? Dairy, eggs, and meat contain significant amounts of vitamin B2. Leafy green vegetables and whole and so-called enriched grains contain some vitamin B2.

Who is likely to be deficient?
Vitamin B2 deficiency can occur in alcoholics. Also, a deficiency may be more likely in people with cataracts or sickle cell anemia.

How much is usually taken? Ideal levels remain unknown, but the recommended daily allowance might be higher than necessary. Vegans (vegetarians who eat no dairy or eggs) generally consume less than 1 mg per day of vitamin B2, yet they do not usually show any signs of deficiency. The amounts found in many multivitamin supplements (20–25 mg) are more than adequate.

Are there any side effects or interactions? At supplemental and dietary levels, vitamin B2 is nontoxic.

Vitamin B2 works with vitamins B1, B3, and B6; consequently, vitamin B2 should be taken as part of a B-complex supplement.

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