Vitamin B2 is required for energy production and proper function of two other B vitamins – B3 and B6.
Vitamin B2 helps create molecules that play important roles in various bodily processes, the most notable of which are:
- Energy metabolism. Vitamin B2 is necessary to convert carbs, fat, and protein into energy for the body.
- Vitamin B3 and B6 metabolism. B2 helps produce vitamin B3 and turn B6 into PLP – its active form.
Initially discovered in 1920, vitamin B2, also known as riboflavin, is one of eight water-soluble B vitamins. Most of the body’s vitamin B2 content exists in the form of flavin adenine dinucleotide (FAD) and flavin mononucleotide (FMN). In these forms, vitamin B2 is able to assist a large variety of metabolic pathways important for normal functioning, including energy production and metabolism of two other B vitamins – B3 and B6. More on B vitamins for energy.
Vitamin B2 deficiency is frequently associated with headaches as well as heart and vision complications, although deficiency has mostly been eliminated in the U.S. since the widespread fortification of grains in the 1940s. Less than 6% of the American population is estimated to have insufficient (suboptimal, but not deficient) B2 levels.1