Riboflavin (Vitamin B2)

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Riboflavin (Vitamin B2)
  Evaluated for:
Effectiveness Rating Effectiveness Rating
Migraine
+1 (Slight Evidence)
Depression
+1 (Slight Evidence)

PRO

  • Riboflavin (Vitamin B2) is required by all cells for basic function and metabolism. Good sources include beans, mushrooms, almonds, yeast, dairy products, and green leafy vegetables. Riboflavin is the source of the bright orange-yellow color in vitamins, as well as the bright yellow urine that results from many multivitamins.
  • Several 3-month studies showed that a daily dose of riboflavin decreased the frequency and duration of migraine headaches. These studies, which evaluated the total amount of migraine medication required to manage symptoms, demonstrated that patients using riboflavin required less migraine medication than patients not taking riboflavin. There was no change in the intensity of the headaches.
  • Riboflavin may have a beneficial effect on mood. Short-term studies showed a decreased incidence of depression in adolescents and adults taking a daily riboflavin supplement. These results are difficult to interpret, however, because study participants’ diets may also have had an effect on the results.
  • Riboflavin taken in the last trimester of pregnancy was associated with lower rates of postpartum depression.

CON

  • Taking riboflavin in amounts above the amount required by the body will give urine a yellow-green color. This is also sometimes seen with multivitamin supplements that contain riboflavin.
  • In very high doses, riboflavin may cause itching, numbness, burning or prickling sensations in the skin.
  • In one epidemiological study, excessive amounts of riboflavin, pantothenic acid, and biotin were associated with an increased frequency of genome damage.

* *ADVISORY* *
High doses of riboflavin may cause itching, numbness, burning or prickling sensations in the skin. In one epidemiological study, excessive amounts were associated with an increased frequency of genome damage.

CONCLUSION: If you elect to try Riboflavin, remember to include it in your list of medications when you visit your doctor and other health care providers.


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