Vitamin B2

Author: Alberto Iuso
Date: 28/05/2007


Vitamin B2
Vitamin B2, or riboflavin is an intermediary the transfer of electrons in the cellular oxidation-reduction reactions which generate energy from protein, carbohydrate and fat. The riboflavin coenzymes are also important for the transformation of vitamin B6 and folic acid into their respective active forms, and for the conversion of tryptophan into niacin.

Chemical Structure

Principal Sources in Food
Riboflavin is very widely occurring in nature, present in all animal and plant cells. However, there are few sources which are rich in riboflavin. The highest concentrations are in yeast and liver but the most common dietary sources include:
Milk and milk products
Egg whites
Leafy green vegetables
Egg yolks

Vitamin B2 in the Body
Riboflavin is the precursor of flavoproteins:
Flavin mononucleotide - Produced in the mucosal cells of the intestine, FMN is a coenzyme.
Flavin adenine dinucleotide - This coenzyme is synthesised in the liver.
Deficiency in riboflavin usually occurs with deficiencies of the other water soluble vitamins.

Specific symptoms of riboflavin deficiency include:

Glossitis (magenta tongue)
Angular Stomatitis (fissures at the corner of the mouth)
Skin Rash

Riboflavin is sensitive to light but is heat stable.

There are two methods of manufacture of riboflavin:
Synthesis from oxylene, D-ribose and alloxan. (Usually the processes used are refinements of the method developed by Kuhn and Karrer in 1934)

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