Did you know there’s a strong link between riboflavin and weight loss?
Vitamin B2 (riboflavin) is an important B vitamin that helps to keep the skin, eyes and nervous system healthy. It also helps the body to release energy from food. It can’t be stored in the body so it is important to have an intake of riboflavin in your diet every day.
Foods that are high in riboflavin include milk, eggs, fortified breakfast cereals, mushrooms and plain yoghurt. Riboflavin gets destroyed in direct sunlight, so these foods should be kept out of it. This is the reason why milk is no longer kept in glass containers. The recommended dietary allowance (RDA) of riboflavin is 1.3 mg in men and 1.1 mg in women.
Riboflavin is essential for the formation of TAD (flavin mononucleotide dinucleotide) and FMN (flavin mononucleotide). It plays a major role in energy production, as well as the function, growth and development of cells. It is also important in the metabolism of fats, drugs and steroids.
Riboflavin helps the body metabolize other B vitamins and normal levels of homocysteine (an amino acid).
Deficiency in vitamin B2 (riboflavin) is rare in developed countries because it is found in so many food sources. Deficiency is more likely in people who are on extreme diets and people with Coeliac disease. Teens, the elderly and alcoholics are also more likely to be deficient because of poor diet.
Here all you need to know about riboflavin and weight loss.
READ ALSO: All About Vitamin B2 RDA and Deficiency
Does Riboflavin Help You Lose Weight?
There is a strong link between vitamin B2 and weight loss. In fact, vitamin B2 is considered as one of the most effective vitamins and minerals for burning fat. This is mainly due to its ability to help your body to release energy from food efficiently, increase metabolism, and its effect on iron absorption.
Vitamin B2 and Your Thyroid
Riboflavin is intimately linked to thyroid regulation. Research found that a deficiency results in a reduction of thyroid hormones.
If your thyroid doesn’t produce enough of its hormones, this can result in weight gain. This is due to it changing the basal metabolic rate (BMR) which controls the energy expenditure of the body. It can also contribute to weight gain by making you feel tired and by making your muscles feel week and achy. These in turn will make you less likely to exercise and stay active.
There are riboflavin benefits for weight loss, therefore, because it helps to regulate your thyroid activity. This will allow you to control your weight and to exercise as much as you need.
Does Vitamin B2 Speed Up Your Metabolism?
Another link between riboflavin and weight loss is that riboflavin also has metabolism boosting properties. It’s essential for our bodies to release energy from food in an efficient way, allowing us to use this energy to keep active and healthy.
A deficiency in riboflavin means that your metabolism will be working at a slower rate and having a slow metabolism can contribute to weight gain. Riboflavin can help you lose weight by making sure that your metabolism works at a high enough speed for you to burn off energy efficiently.
This also contributes to weight loss because it ensures that you have enough energy to stay active and do exercise. To take advantage of the beneficial link between riboflavin and weight loss, try to hit your daily intake of this micronutrient.
Vitamin B2 and Iron
A riboflavin deficiency can also result in anaemia, which will make you feel tired and less likely to stay active enough to lose weight. This is because riboflavin is essential for effective iron absorption.
A lack of riboflavin results in iron not being absorbed properly by the intestine. As a result, less iron will circulate throughout the body. This can lead to aneamia. Increasing iron levels in people with aneamia results in lower BMI, a smaller weight circumference and lower body weight.
Making sure that you have enough riboflavin in your diet protects you against iron deficiency. Moreover, it can also help you lose weight by making sure you have enough energy to stay active and healthy. This will allow you to take advantage of the strong link between riboflavin and weight loss.
Good Sources of Vitamin B2 (Riboflavin)
Vitamin B2 (riboflavin) can be found naturally in many food sources, and there are also many foods to which riboflavin has been added. Riboflavin is easily sourced from animal products so vegetarians and vegans may have a harder time getting enough riboflavin in their diets.
Fortunately, there are many plant-based sources like green vegetables, however, and including foods that have been fortified with riboflavin in your diet can make sure that you have a high enough intake.
The recommended dietary allowance (RDA) of riboflavin is 1.3mg for men and 1.1mg for women.
- Beef liver, pan-fried, 3 ounces – 2.9 mg riboflavin, 223% Daily Value (DV)
- Breakfast cereals, fortified (with riboflavin added) – 1.3mg riboflavin, 100% DV
- Oats, fortified (with riboflavin added) – 1.1mg riboflavin, 85% DV
- Plain yoghurt – 0.6mg riboflavin, 46% DV
- Milk, 2% fat, 1 cup – 0.5mg riboflavin, 38% DV
- Beef, tenderloin steak, 3 ounces – 0.4mg riboflavin, 31% DV
- Clams, 3 ounces – 0.4mg, 31% DV
- Portabella mushrooms, 64g – 0.3mg riboflavin, 23% DV
- Almonds, 28g – 0.3mg riboflavin, 23% DV
Riboflavin can also be taken in supplement form if you are concerned about your intake. It is impossible to take too much riboflavin because it is a water soluble vitamin. However, your urine might become a bright yellow colour when your intake is high.
Please keep in mind that, while taking very high doses isn’t dangerous, doing so doesn’t strengthen the link between riboflavin and weight loss. In other words, taking a lot of vitamin B2 won’t help you lose more weight.
Riboflavin and Weight Loss: The Takeaway
Vitamin B2 (riboflavin) is essential for helping the body to release energy from your food. It contributes to the efficient functioning of the thyroid, in making sure that your metabolism is high, and in protecting you against iron deficiency. Many medically reviewed
All of these things together can help you lose weight by allowing your body to burn off energy efficiently and by giving you enough energy to stay active and healthy. Because of this, there is a link between vitamin B2 and weight loss.
Riboflavin cannot be stored in the body so it is essential to have a high intake in your diet. Good sources of riboflavin include meat, dairy, fortified foods such as breakfast cereals, mushrooms and dairy products (e.g. milk, plain yoghurt). Eating a varied and balanced diet is often the best way to get all the vitamin B2 you need.
Vitamin supplements containing B complex vitamins are also a good option for meeting your riboflavin RDA. However, always seek medical advice from your GP before adding a vitamin B complex supplement to your diet. Moreover, please remember that leveling up your intake of B2 doesn’t strengthen the link between riboflavin and weight loss as any excess will be eliminated in urine.