Symptoms Vitamin B2 Deficiency?



Vitamin B2 is also called riboflavin. This vitamin is essential for maintaining the energy supply within the body. It ensures that your body can obtain energy from carbohydrates, fats and proteins. However, it also works as an antioxidant, battling oxidative damage done by free radicals.

The human body requires relatively little riboflavin to function. An adult only needs 1.6 milligrams of vitamin B2 per day and breastfeeding women need 1.7 milligrams. When you consume too much, you urinate the excess without any negative consequences.

Vitamin B2 is found in meat and milk products but is also found in grains. Although you are not likely to become vitamin B2 deficient, there are a number of groups that are more likely to be deficient in vitamin B2.

People with a higher risk of obtaining an vitamin A deficiency are:

  • People with an eating disorder (such as anorexia nervosa),
  • Patients with the syndrome malabsorption syndrome,
  • Vegans and others who don't consume a lot of dairy and meat,
  • Persons with digestive problems,
  • Vegetarian athletes,
  • Alcoholics,
  • The elderly.

A shortage of vitamin B2 can be recognized by the following symptoms. If you experience one or more of these symptoms, it may be wise to consult a physician.


In addition to keeping your body's energy levels up, riboflavin ensures that your skin remains healthy and can protect you sufficiently against damage from the outside. This is one of its side functions.

Therefore, if you are deficient in vitamin B2, this vitamin will be able to offer less protection to the skin, making you more prone to dry skin, cracks in your skin, eczema and more (1).

In short: vitamin B2 helps to protect your skin. When you are deficient in vitamin B2, it can lead to skin problems.


Riboflavin deficiency can lead to stomatitis. This is the inflammation of your oral mucosa. When you have this, your mouth (corners), tongue, and throat can swell and develop painful crusts. Stomatitis can also progress to your nose, which can cause sore nostrils (2).

When you take riboflavin through supplements or food, these symptoms can disappear.

In short: Riboflavin deficiency can cause swelling of the mouth, tongue, throat and nose. This is called stomatitis. Fortunately, it can be quickly resolved by taking foods containing riboflavin or supplements.


Although pellagra often results from a shortage of several vitamins, vitamin B2 plays a major role in this (3). Pellagra is an umbrella term and can mean that you suffer from stomach and intestinal problems, but it can also lead to skin problems.

In short: a vitamin B2 deficiency can lead to different forms of pellagra.


A vitamin B2 deficiency can lead to the development of cataracts in humans, but it can also lead to watery eyes, photosensitivity, itchy eyes and blurred vision.

Vitamin B2 plays a major role in the prevention of cataracts (4). Therefore, if you are deficient in this vitamin, there is little protection against cataracts in your body.

In short: a lack of vitamin B2 can lead to the development of cataracts.


In addition to the fact that riboflavin can cause physical problems, it can also lead to neurological problems. Research has shown that riboflavin has a protective property over neurological mechanisms in the body. In addition, it could help to combat migraines and Parkinson’s (5).

If you are deficient in riboflavin, it can make you feel depressed more often, be gloomy and listless, and can be irritable.

In short: riboflavin can improve and counteract migraines and Parkinson’s. However, a shortage of this substance can lead to neurological problems such as depression and feeling irritable.


Like many other vitamins, vitamin B2 functions as an antioxidant, meaning that it prevents oxidative damage. Oxidative damage occurs because there is too little oxygen available in the muscles, so that they cannot function and recover properly. A deficiency in this substance prevents the vitamin from being able to function, increasing the risk of oxidative damage to muscles.

Research has shown that athletes who used riboflavin before a competition had less muscle pain and cramps than the placebo group (6).

In short: a shortage of riboflavin can lead to more muscle cramps because the vitamin offers less protection against oxidative damage.


Vitamin B2 helps you to better absorb other vitamins and minerals. Several of these substances, including iron, ensure a healthy level of hemoglobin in your blood.

However, when you have a vitamin B2 deficiency, less other vitamins can be absorbed as a result. This can eventually lead to a mild form of anemia (1).

In short: Riboflavin deficiency can lead to anemia by helping to absorb other vitamins.


Although the way in which vitamin B2 affects reproduction is unknown, research has shown that a deficiency in vitamin B2 can lead to problems with the fertility cycles of women and even affect pregnanc (7).

That's why it's important to get enough vitamin B2 when trying to conceive.

In short:  a vitamin B2 deficiency can lead to problems with fertility cycles and pregnancy in women.

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