What is Vitamin B2 Good for?
Vitamin B2, or more commonly known as Riboflavin, is an organic compound required as a nutrient with an established daily value. Dietary intake of riboflavin is of utmost importance in that this vitamin is discharged from the body on a regular basis. While this micronutrient is readily absorbed by the intestinal walls, thinking that you may have a reserve within the body is completely misleading.
Supply Cells with Energy
Vitamin B2 is present in metabolic pathways that use the energy released by nutrients during the process of oxidation and its consequent conversion to ATP, the primary source of energy of cells. There is a class of proteins in the human body called flavoproteins that contains metabolites of riboflavin, and brings about the oxidation reactions within the mitochondria to yield energy. This process is ubiquitous at the cellular level, and for good reason, inasmuch as it is more efficient than other energy-yielding metabolic pathways throughout the body.
Vitamin B2 – Maintains Growth and Development
In animals, deficiency in riboflavin equals challenges in physical development, and there have been experiments of induced deficiency in certain animals like dogs that displayed growth failure and the lack of coordination of muscle movements, which leads to the inability to stand and perform related motor skills. Human beings are particularly susceptible to riboflavin deficiency since our system gets rid of it as a routine, even in healthy individuals. Hence, it is prudent to replenish daily values through our diet or supplementation.
Removes Free Radicals
The availability of vitamin B2 in the body is central to the homeostasis that maintains the balance between free radicals and antioxidant defenses. Free radicals are most notoriously involved in the ravaging of cellular organelles and even nucleic acids like DNA and RNA in a process called oxidative stress, which if not disposed of promptly contributes to the progression of major diseases like cancer. Intake of riboflavin ensures the ability of certain organic compounds to quench free radicals effectively.
Precursors of Other Vitamins
Metabolites of riboflavin are a focal constituent in the conversion of certain vitamins to their active forms for us by the body. Without the presence of nucleotide derivatives of riboflavin, Vitamin A can’t be changed into retinoic acid, which is responsible for most of the activities of Vitamin A in the body. Also, these derivatives are essential to the body’s production of endogenous nutrients, including niacin and pyridoxic acid.
Relieves Pains and Prevent Diseases
Since the body’s mechanism makes it impossible for us to get harmful levels of vitamin B2, it is practically non-toxic even when ingested in large amounts, which are in fact widely accepted as an effective treatment of muscular pains and recurring migraines. Its absence from our diet in long periods of time will ultimately result in a number of medical conditions. Most common of these are evident in the upper digestive tract with the appearance of painful chapped lips, skin lesions at the corner of the mouth, recurring sore throats, and esophageal cancer.