Benefits, deficiency signs, dosages & food sources
Vitamin B2 (also known as riboflavin) is also one of many nutrients used in the recycling of glutathione. Glutathione is one of the most important antioxidants in the body and plays a big role in detoxification, and it is usually found to be quite low in patients with eczema, psoriasis, and dermatitis.
Cracked corners of the mouth and lips and a waxy type of dermatitis can also be indicators of riboflavin deficiency.
Riboflavin is the vitamin responsible for the fluorescent yellow colour your urine turns when taking a B vitamin supplement. Like the other B vitamins, riboflavin also plays a role in energy production and is crucial for the growth and repair of tissues such as the eyes and the skin.
Riboflavin is also an important cofactor required for proper function of MTHFR, which is an important folate metabolizing enzyme. Therefore vitamin B2 deficiency can hamper the body’s use of folate, and especially people with the MTHFR 677TT genotype can benefit from taking vitamin B2.
Benefits of vitamin B2
- Vitamin B2 acts as an antioxidant
- Works with other B vitamins to reduce inflammation
- Essential for healthy skin, hair and eyes
- Essential for digestive health
- May help to prevent headaches
Do you experience any of the following on a regular basis or on a reoccurring basis?
Vitamin B2 deficiency signs
Broken capillaries on face
Dermatitis or eczema (skin inflammation)
Increased sensitivity to light
Oily or dull hair
Cracked corners of mouth
Sore or gritty feeling in eyes
If you answered yes to 3 or more signs you could have a deficiency. As with all health questionnaire results, also check with your doctor to rule our more serious health problems.
Vitamin B2 dosages and food sources
Dosages (milligrams per day)
Eczema-friendly food sources
Also known as Riboflavin
0.3 mg from breastmilk or hypoallergenic (dairy-free) infant formula
1–4 years: 0.4-0.5mg
5–12 years: 0.8-0.9mg
13-18 years: 1.1-1.3mg
1 cup (8oz) soybeans: 0.49mg
150g (5.3oz) cooked beef: 0.38mg
150g (5.3oz) grilled white fish: 0.30mg
½ cup (4oz) cooked turkey: 0.23mg
1 cup (8oz) sweet potato: 0.21mg^
1 cooked egg: 0.21mg
1 cup (8oz) green beans: 0.12mg
1 cup (8oz) Brussel sprouts: 0.12mg
1 scoop Skin Friend AM: 0.6mg (child dose)
2-3 scoops Skin Friend AM: 1.2mg - 1.8mg (teen and adult dose)
AI: Adequate Intake as per Australian Government guidelines – shown on the table as the lowest dose (no set RDIs). The higher range is the therapeutic dose.
^Contains salicylates (not suitable during weeks 1–3 of the FID Program)
Important notes about B-group vitamins
When taking any kind of B vitamins keep the following nutrition rules in mind:
- As B-group vitamins are acidic, avoid mega-doses above 10 mg, especially if you have eczema, rosacea or TSW.
B-group vitamins should be taken together… In order to prevent deficiencies of other B vitamins, take vitamin B2 in supplement form along with other B vitamins, not as a single nutrient supplement.
Authors: Layland, K. and Fischer, K., 2017 'Vitamin B2 benefits, deficiency signs, dosages & food sources', Eczema Life Clinic.
Australian Government Department of Health and Ageing, 2006, ‘Nutrient reference values for Australia and New Zealand’, version 1.1 (updated March 2017).
Sebrell, W.H. and Butler, R.E., 1938. Riboflavin deficiency in man: a preliminary note. Public Health Reports (1896-1970), pp.2282-2284.
Stanton, R, 2007, Vitamins, Rosemary Stanton’s complete book of food and nutrition, pp 472.
Juhlin, L., Edqvist, L.E., Ekman, L.G., Ljunghall, K. and Olsson, M., 1981. Blood glutathione-peroxidase levels in skin diseases: effect of selenium and vitamin E treatment. Acta dermato-venereologica, 62(3), pp.211-214.
Bamji, M.S., 1969. Glutathione reductase activity in red blood cells and riboflavin nutritional status in humans. Clinica Chimica Acta, 26(2), pp.263-269.
Holmes MV, Newcombe P, Hubacek JA, et al. Effect modification by population dietary folate on the association between MTHFR genotype, homocysteine, and stroke risk: a meta-analysis of genetic studies and randomised trials. Lancet. 2011;378(9791):584-594.
Wilcken B, Bamforth F, Li Z, et al. Geographical and ethnic variation of the 677C>T allele of 5,10 methylenetetrahydrofolate reductase (MTHFR): findings from over 7000 newborns from 16 areas world wide. J Med Genet. 2003;40(8):619-625.
Linus Pauling Institute, 2000, ‘Riboflavin’, Oregon State University, retrieved from http://lpi.oregonstate.edu/mic/vitamins/riboflavin
Boehnke, C., et.al., 2004. High‐dose riboflavin treatment is efficacious in migraine prophylaxis: an open study in a tertiary care centre. European Journal of Neurology, 11(7), pp.475-477.