Riboflavin Capsules: Benefits, Dosages, Side Effects

What is Riboflavin?

B vitamins convert food into fuel to produce energy. We refer to these vitamins as B-complex. They help your body metabolize proteins, carbohydrates, fats and more. These vitamins maintain your eyes, skin, hair and liver (x).

In 1872, Alexander Wynter Blyth was the first to observe milk riboflavin as a yellow-green fluorescence pigment. Not until 1930 did riboflavin become identified (x).

Riboflavin helps the development, growth and function of the cells in your body. Also known as vitamin B2, it can turn the food you consume into the energy your body needs. The nutrient helps metabolize steroids, fats and drugs. It’s water soluble, flushing through your urine without being stored in your body. So, you must replenish riboflavin daily, maintaining a healthy diet (x, x).

Foods That Provide Riboflavin

Riboflavin is in some foods naturally or added to fortified foods, including:

  • Dairy milk
  • Eggs
  • Cheese
  • Yogurt
  • Lean pork and beef
  • Organ meats
  • Salmon
  • Chicken breast
  • Almonds
  • Soybeans
  • Brussel sprouts
  • Spinach
  • Wheat germ
  • Wild rice
  • Brewer’s yeast
  • Fortified bread and cereal

Light destroys the supplement. That’s why milk manufacturers no longer store milk in glass bottles. Keeping food away from light is best so riboflavin remains in the content. Heat doesn’t destroy riboflavin, though it gets lost in water when you boil or soak food. Steaming and roasting preserve the riboflavin more than scalding and frying foods (x).

Riboflavin Deficiency

Riboflavin is primarily in meats and fortified foods. The nutrient is necessary for physical performance, normal development, lactation and reproduction (x).

Vegans and vegetarians who avoid consuming meat and dairy products may be deficient. Pregnant women or nursing mothers and their babies may also be deficient. Expecting mothers may need to increase the vitamin for the growing fetus.

Older people, athletes and alcoholics may have a deficiency as well. Even those who consume small amounts of dairy products or meat may need to supplement their body with riboflavin capsules (x).

Indicators of Deficiency

Riboflavin deficiency rarely occurs and is uncommon in the United States. Individuals with thyroid disorders may have a higher chance of deficiency. Symptoms include:

  • Sore Throat
  • Cracked Lips
  • Swelling of the throat and mouth
  • Swollen tongue
  • Skin rash
  • Anemia
  • Hair loss
  • Itchy red eyes

With a yellow-green, fluorescent color that causes the urine to turn yellow, you know your body has absorbed the nutrient. If you are deficient, please talk to your physician about supplementing with riboflavin capsules (x).

Benefits of Riboflavin

Most of the riboflavin your body consumes releases in your stomach as a usable form. Its absorption occurs rapidly in the small intestine. In the inner lining of the bowels, the nutrient converts to active forms that benefit your body. The blood transports these forms through the small intestine to various tissues, so your body can function. Here is a detailed breakdown of the benefits of taking riboflavin capsules (x).

Energy Production

Your body needs riboflavin because it’s part of the components that help metabolize carbohydrates, fats and proteins for energy. The B vitamin facilitates the function of many proteins. It also plays a role in reducing oxidation for energy production (x).

Riboflavin liberates energy into ATP (Adenosine Triphosphate). ATP drives cellular functions, carrying energy within cells. It’s the primary energy fuel of the cell (x).

A Dutch study with 23 healthy males had a restricted intake of thiamin, riboflavin, and vitamins B6 and C. They had a low vitamin intake of 32.5% of the Dutch Recommended Dietary Allowances (RDA) for these vitamins. Their physical performance reduced within a few weeks (x).

Other studies show that riboflavin deficiencies show work impairment or that riboflavin capsules increase performance in healthy people. Some studies show that vigorous exercise may exhaust riboflavin (x).

Antioxidant Properties

Along with boosting energy, riboflavin is an antioxidant to support the immune system and helps maintain many aspects of the body by reducing oxidative stress. Oxidative stress causes free radicals in the body. Free radicals cause many chronic health concerns, such as diabetes, cancer, cardiovascular diseases and neurodegenerative diseases (x).

Many studies confirm that riboflavin has an antioxidative nature. The supplement can protect your body from oxidative stress, particularly lipid peroxidation (cell death) and reperfusion injury, heart muscle damage or loss of function after a heart attack (x).

A study on mice with ischemic liver, an acute injury that causes insufficient blood flow to the organ, showed that riboflavin has potent antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties, protecting the liver against liver damage (x).

Skin and Hair Health

Riboflavin helps maintain healthy skin and prevents problems such as acne, dermatitis and eczema. The capsules even support the mucous membranes inside the mouth and digestive tract (x).

The supplement also helps maintain collagen levels for healthy skin and hair. Collagen allows your skin to maintain a healthy glow and youthful appearance (x).

Riboflavin prevents wrinkles and fine lines. Otherwise, a deficiency causes you to age quicker and experience hair loss (xx).

Eye Health

A rainbow trout study showed deficiency in riboflavin causes retinal diseases. It also showed health issues with the cornea (x). Another study shows that cataracts form in animal eyes deficient in the B vitamin (x).

An Australian study of women and men showed the chances of age-related cataracts were 50 percent less likely to have cataracts in people with high riboflavin intake compared with people with low riboflavin intake (x).

Night blindness may be associated with a lack of riboflavin, based on a study in India. Riboflavin may influence dark adaptation through elements in the retina independently or through interaction with vitamin A (x).

An uncommon eye disorder called progressive keratoconus responds positively to riboflavin drops and ultraviolet light exposure. It enhances cross-linking surgery, a treatment for progressive keratoconus (xx).

Red Blood Cell Production

Red blood cells transport oxygen throughout your body, particularly in the bone marrow. Riboflavin is one of the three B vitamins that contribute to the production of these cells.

In the 1950s, studies showed that riboflavin influenced the production of red blood cells and successfully treated aplastic anemia. Aplastic anemia is when the body cannot make enough blood cells associated with cancer and its syndromes (x).

Studies with primate animals fed a riboflavin-deficient diet manifested disruptions in the production of red blood cells in the bone marrow. It also influences the kinetics of iron usage (x).

A recent study suggests riboflavin deficiency may interfere with iron usage and influence the body’s blood status. Further work shows that reducing the body’s riboflavin affects the mobilization of ferritin (protein) iron (x).

Studies in humans support the idea that riboflavin status influences iron usage. It also may include affecting the level of iron adsorption. Remedying the deficiency in pregnant or lactating women, adult males and children improved the response to iron supplements (x).

Riboflavin influences how your body handles iron and red blood cell production.

Growth and Development

Riboflavin is necessary for the growth and development of your body, especially during early years. The capsules work with other vitamins and support proper cellular function so the body can develop properly (x).

B vitamins help enzymes perform their daily tasks within the body. If there’s a deficiency, it can lead to health problems. Studies show that brain and heart disorders and cancers develop from long-term deficiency (x).

Nervous System Function

Riboflavin supports the central nervous system and ensures proper growth and development. The vitamin also helps to reduce oxidative stress and inflammation of the nerves. Such stress and inflammation can cause migraines and other neurological disorders.

In the central nervous system, B2 is essential for myelin synthesis. Myelin forms a whitish insulation sheath around the nerve fibers, increasing the speed of nerve impulses. A deficiency of riboflavin can disturb the myelin, causing neurodegenerative diseases.

Successful tests using riboflavin as a prevention and treatment for migraines prove fruitful using high doses of riboflavin (x).

The National Headache Foundation reported that a European study shows riboflavin may help prevent migraines. After taking daily doses of 400 mg for a month, the B vitamin reduced migraine frequency. They even increased the amount over the next two months (x).

However, Nutritional Neuroscience culminated nine articles based on controlled and clinical trials using riboflavin to treat migraines. The positive results showed that B2 400 mg daily for three months affected days, frequency, duration and pain score on migraine attacks (x).

Therapeutic administration of the vitamin has occurred with patients with multiple sclerosis, stroke, and Parkinson’s disease. Though the administration was not uniform in their application and was scientifically inaccurate, the positive results show riboflavin is a therapeutic intervention vitamin for neurology (x).

Check with your primary care physician before starting any new supplement.

Lower the Risk of Coronary Heart Disease and Stroke

Supplementing with riboflavin capsules can reduce homocysteine (amino acid) levels and blood pressure. Research proves that lowering homocysteine by 25 percent can lower the risk of coronary heart disease and stroke (x).

A Korean study examined people over 50, dividing them into two groups. One group took riboflavin and niacin (B3) at a recommended rate. The second group did not take the B vitamins. The study results showed that B2 and B3 could reduce the frequency of cardiovascular disease (x).

Heart International wrote an extensive report on riboflavin easing cardiac failure in type 1 diabetes. Heart failure is a common and serious health concern for people with diabetes. Many studies show that vitamin mediates diabetes and its cardiovascular complications through oxidative stress (x).

Riboflavin Recommended Dosages

The recommended dosage of riboflavin depends on your sex and age. The National Institutes of Health has an average daily recommendation based on milligrams (x):

Birth to 6 months                                0.3 mg

Infants (7 to 12 months)                      0.4 mg

Children (1 to 3 years)                        0.5 mg

Children (4 to 8 years)                        0.6 mg

Children (9 to 13 years)                      0.9 mg

Teen boys (14 to 18 years)                  1.3 mg

Teen girls (14 to 18 years)                  1.0 mg

Men                                                     1.3 mg

Women                                                1.1 mg

Pregnant teens and women                 1.4 mg

Breastfeeding teens and women         1.6 mg

But check with your primary care physician first before starting any new supplement.

Where to Buy Riboflavin Capsules?

You can purchase Riboflavin Capsules at BulkSupplements.com. The company is an industry-leading manufacturer and distributor of pure dietary supplements.

BulkSupplements.com is not just a consumer brand. It also supplies pure ingredients to other brands that distribute food and other supplement products. All products at BulkSupplements.com are manufactured and tested according to current and proper manufacturing practices.

Are you interested in trying riboflavin as a dietary capsule supplement for its potential to support your immune system, nervous system, cardiovascular system, eye health and energy production? Contact BulkSupplements.com to place an order today.

Riboflavin Side Effects

Because riboflavin is water-soluble, excess amounts of the B vitamin flush out of your body through your urine, it’s a pretty safe supplement, though there are minor side effects.

Increase Urination

B vitamins cause the body to urinate more. It’s pretty standard with riboflavin, so there’s no cause for concern. Just plan your intake so you’re near a bathroom half an hour after taking the capsules.

Turns Urine Yellow-Orange Color

If you notice your urine is a yellow-orange color, there is no cause for alarm. Your body is just flushing out the excess B vitamin.


Taking riboflavin may cause diarrhea. If it continues to occur, stop taking the supplement and talk with your doctor.

Sensitivity to Light

If you’re taking high doses of the supplement, wear sunglasses to safeguard your eyes from UV rays (x).

The Bottom Line

B vitamins handle the conversion of food into fuel. We categorize these vitamins as B-complex. They facilitate the metabolism of proteins, carbohydrates, fats and more in your body. These vitamins are essential for the health of your eyes, skin, hair and liver.

Riboflavin aids in the growth, function and formation of the cells in your body. Commonly known as vitamin B2, it aids in transforming the food you eat into energy for your body. The nutrient can break down steroids, fats and drugs. It’s water soluble, flushing through your urine without being stored in your body. It’s important to include riboflavin in your diet daily and eat a balanced diet.

Riboflavin not only increases energy but is also an antioxidant that helps protect the immune system and reduces the wear and tear on the body from oxidative stress. Oxidative stress contributes to free radicals in the body. Free radicals handle several persistent health conditions such as diabetes, cancer, heart illnesses and neurodegenerative diseases.

Taking B2 vitamin helps ensure you always have enough riboflavin. Combining B2 vitamin with other B-vitamins provides a safe source of energy and anyone who is seeking a natural boost should consider it.

These statements have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. These products are not intended to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent any disease.

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Author: BulkSupplements Staff