Vitamin B2 Deficiency

General text about the lack of vitamins can be found here.


Vitamin B2 is also known as riboflavin. Our body is unable to produce this substance and we must receive it in food. It occurs in large quantities in yeast, nuts, milk, eggs, meat and animal liver. Riboflavin is part of many enzymes and thus it plays a complex role in cell metabolism and essential nutrients.


The main cause is vitamin deficiency due to reduced dietary intake. In this case, vegetarians are in bigger risk as we obtain the vitamin mainly (but not only) from animal sources. Another group of patients with insufficient intake of B vitamins are chronic alcoholics and patients with anorexia nervosa. In addition, vitamin B2 deficiency may be related to disorders of nutrient absorption in the digestive tract.


The manifestations of deficiency are relatively vague and nonspecific. The affected person may suffer from sore mouth corners, sore lips, dry tongue and brittle nails. Children with chronic riboflavin deficiency experience disorders of growth and physical development.


Suspicion of vitamin B2 deficiency may grow due to clinical symptoms and the presence of possible risk factors (see Causes). The exact level of vitamin in blood is not measured, but we can indirectly state it from the amount of riboflavin excreted into urine. 


It is always the best solution to take the missing vitamins in diet. If necessary, it is possible to take the vitamin i n dietary supplements. Vitamin B2 is soluble in water and it is excreted by urine. Therefore, it is almost impossible to get overdosed with this vitamin.


Jiri Stefanek, MD  Author of texts: Jiri Stefanek, MD
 Sources: basic text sources