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Relax Your Muscles with Riboflavin

Vitamin B2, or riboflavin, is critical to the metabolism of energy, fats, proteins and carbohydrates. Findings indicate riboflavin is a muscle pain reliever. Vitamin B2 instills the yellow or yellow-orange color to food preparations. It fortifies pasta, sauces, baby food, cereal, processed cheese, energy and fruit drinks, and milk products. Riboflavin is also used as a food coloring. Riboflavin is the only vitamin that colors urine, which becomes most evident when high-dose B-complex supplements are used.  Typically, vitamin B2 is excreted in the urine of healthy people. Thus, when nutritional intake of vitamin B2 is too low, a deficiency is common. A riboflavin deficiency is always associated with inadequate intake of other vitamins. Riboflavin deficiency can be a primary symptom of a lack of riboflavin in the diet, or a secondary symptom. A secondary symptom results from conditions that cause malfunction of absorption by the intestines, the body’s inability to utilize the vitamin, or excess vitamin excretion. Chapped or red lips, dryness at the mouth corners, inflammation of the mouth lining or tongue, ulcers of the mouth, or a sore throat can be indicators of riboflavin deficiency. Skin that is dry or scaly, fluid filled mucous membranes, and iron deficiency anemia result from insufficient vitamin B2. Bloodshot, watery, photosensitive and itchy eyes are also symptoms. Overt symptoms of riboflavin deficiency are not common in developed countries.  Those susceptible to vitamin B2 deficiency include the elderly, those with eating disorders, and women using oral contraceptives. Persons at high risk include those suffering from diabetes, inflammatory bowel disease, HIV and heart disease.  Evidence does not suggest toxicity results from high intakes of vitamin B2. A diet that includes tomatoes, milk, cheese, eggs, meat, leafy green vegetables, wheat bran, kidneys, liver, yeast, mushrooms, legumes and almonds provides needed riboflavin. Liver, kidneys and yeast extract are particularly rich in riboflavin.


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