Riboflavin vitamin B

What it does:

  • Helps produce energy in all cells of your body.
  • Helps change the amino acid called tryptophan in your food into niacin. (Protein is made of many different amino acids.)

If you don't get enough: Except for people who are severely malnourished, a deficiency isn't likely. Deficiency symptoms include eye disorders (including cataracts); dry and flaky skin; and a sore, red tongue. Contrary to popular myth, riboflavin deficiency doesn't cause hair loss.

If you consume excess amounts: No reports suggest problems from consuming too much.

How much you need: Like thiamin, the RDA for riboflavin is tied to your energy needs. Adult men need 1.3 milligrams daily and adult women need 1.1 milligrams daily. During pregnancy, the recommendation is 1.4 milligrams; during breast-feeding, the amount goes up to 1.6 milligrams daily.

Where it's mostly found: Milk and other dairy foods are major sources of riboflavin. Some organ meats— liver, kidney, and heart—are excellent sources. Enriched bread and other grain products; eggs; meat; green, leafy vegetables; and nuts supply smaller amounts. Because ultraviolet light, such as sunlight, destroys riboflavin, most milk is packed in opaque plastic or cardboard containers, not clear glass.

Riboflavin (mg) 3.5


Beef liver, braised (3 oz.) Yogurt, fat-free with dry milk solids (1 cup) Milk, fat-free (1 cup) Spinach, cooked (^ cup) Egg, large (1) Enriched corn tortilla (1) Whole-grain bread (1 slice)

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