This vitamin constitutes more than 10 different enzymes, influencing breathing and growing processes, as well as our vision and cellular metabolism. Riboflavin also participates in formation of skin and mucous membranes.
Average daily requirement of this vitamin varies between 1.5-3.5 mg for adults and 1-3 mg for children. It is especially needed for people working in harsh climatic conditions, sportsmen, pregnant women and breast-feeding mothers. It is known that if a woman takes 20 mg of riboflavin per day during the last month and a half of her pregnancy, she will not have any problems with cracked nipples afterwards. Usually about 49% of young mothers suffer from this problem.
Vitamin B2 deficiency happens during monotonous diet, consisting of rye- and white bread made of “good” flower, rice, millet, oatmeal, pearl barley, canned food and sweets, as well as in result of constant physical and emotional overloads. Acute cases of riboflavin deficiency are accompanied by hepatitis, cirrhosis, cholecystitis and some other diseases, during which normal vitamin metabolism is disturbed.
Among the first signs of vitamin B2 deficiency are weakness, fatigability, insomnia and visual acuity reduction. Later lips start cracking, become pale and reddish on the sides. The tongue becomes bigger, smooth, red and shiny; sometimes you can see tooth marks on it. Digestion is disturbed, skin becomes dry, hair loses color and starts falling. In the process of cooking usually from 15 to 30% of riboflavin is lost. This vitamin is not resistant to heating in alkaline medium; it is destroyed in the sun light, under effect of oxygen and during defrosting. The means of its preservation are the same as for vitamins C and B1.
Text: from the book A.Eddar "Treatise of nutrition". Interpreter: Liza Dukhova