Basic facts about vitamin B2

Vitamin B2 is sensitive to cooking and lost in cooking water. It is also sensitive to light. In order to protect it, foods should be stored away from light and it is preferable to purchase fresh produce. It plays a role in energy release from foods (supports normal energy metabolism) and in maintaining normal skin and eyesight.

Vitamin B2-rich foods, per 100 g* Vitamin B2 content
Nutritional yeast 4 mg
Soya steak 0,25 mg
Cooked calf’s liver 3,1 mg
Cooked beef kidneys 2,97 mg
Wheatgerm 0,56 mg
Roast pork 0,243 mg
Cucumber 0,025 mg
Soft-boiled eggs 0,51 mg
Pasteurised skimmed milk 0,16 mg
Cooked lentils 0,061 mg
Smoked mackerel 0,272 mg
Lettuce 0,13 mg
Hazelnuts 0,158 mg
Smoked herring, in oil 0,197 mg

Find out more about vitamin B2

Vitamin B2 or riboflavin is water-soluble and characterised by its yellow colour. It is relatively insensitive to heat as it is broken down from high temperatures (285°C). However, riboflavin is sensitive to light. It is one of the rare vitamins to be produced by the body (in the gut flora); however, the amounts produced are insufficient to meet the body’s requirements. Dietary sources are therefore necessary. It is extensively absorbed in the upper part of the small intestine, but practically no reserves are stored, meaning that daily dietary intake is necessary. Excess vitamin B2 is excreted in urine and is responsible for its yellow colour.

Roles of vitamin B2

Vitamin B2 has many roles in the body: riboflavin acts as a coenzyme or enzyme prosthetic group in many redox reactions. Energy release: vitamin B2 is involved in the general metabolism of carbohydrates, fat and protein and, more specifically, in the oxidation of glucose, responsible for energy release. Cellular respiration: riboflavin is involved at a cellular level (mitochondria) in breaking down the components of food. This breakdown results in the production of a substance suitable for use for cell function. Vitamin B2 helps maintain normal skin.

Requirements in vitamin B2

Requirements are higher for pregnant and breastfeeding women. Caution, deficient intake during pregnancy increases the risk of birth defects. However, although sufficient amounts are necessary during these two periods, excessive doses of vitamin B2 should be avoided. For infants, breast milk is a sufficient source for their requirements.

Age / Status DRI for vitamin B2
Infants 0,4 mg
Children aged 1 to 3 years 0,8 mg
Children aged 4 to 12 years 1 à 1,4 mg
Teenagers aged 13 to 19 years 1,4 à 1,6 mg
Women 1,5 mg
Men 1,6 mg
Pregnant women 1,6 mg
Breastfeeding women 1,8 mg
Elderly people 1,6 mg


Product availability varies from country to country.

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