Vitamin B2, also called riboflavin, is one of eight water-soluble B vitamins. Since these vitamins are soluble in water they are dispersed throughout the body dissolved in fluid. They are not stored in the body to any appreciable extent and must be replenished every day. Their influence on the body lasts for 14-18 hours after ingestion after which their potency decreases. An excessive intake of water-soluble vitamins is typically passed out through the urine. If the diet contains less than 50% RDA of water-soluble vitamins, symptoms from deficiencies may be displayed in as little as 4 weeks; much quicker than for fat-soluble vitamins.

All B vitamins, often referred to as B complex vitamins, assist and regulate carbohydrate, fat and protein metabolism. These are essential mechanisms which produce energy for the body. They also contribute to hemoglobin synthesis and red blood cell production which carries oxygen around the body. Furthermore, B complex vitamins help maintain muscle tone along the wall of the digestive tract and promote healthy skin, hair, eyes, mouth, liver and nervous system.

In addition to producing energy for the body, riboflavin also works as an antioxidant which means it helps the body deal with unstable chemicals called free radicals. Free radicals are produced by the body when food is converted into energy and will build up in the body over time. They increase the potential for damage to the body cells (a process called oxidative stress) which is associated with the aging process and a general decline in the central nervous system and the immune system. They are also thought to contribute to the development of various health conditions such as cancer, heart disease, and inflammation conditions for example arthritis. Furthermore antioxidants can help to prevent the conversion of nitrates found in tobacco smoke, bacon, and some vegetables into cancer-causing substances.

Riboflavin RDA

children 1-3 yrs RDA = 0.5 mg
children 4-8 yrs RDA = 0.6 mg
children 9-13 yrs RDA = 0.9 mg
Males 14-70+ yrs RDA = 1.3 mg
Females 14-70+ yrs RDA = 1.1 mg
Pregnancy 19-50 yrs RDA = 1.4 mg
Lactation 19-50 yrs RDA = 1.6 mg

For further information on nutrients RDA see our complete list for recommended dietary allowance.

3D picture of Vitamin B2 (Riboflavin)

Different forms or alternative names for Vitamin B2 (Riboflavin):
vitamin G

Importance of Vitamin B2 (Riboflavin):
key role in metabolism of carbohydrates, fat and protein
assists production of energy within the body
aids in the formation of antibodies and red blood cells
helps maintain good vision, skin, nails and hair
alleviates eye fatigue
may prevent cataracts
may help combat migraines
promotes general health

Good sources of Vitamin B2 (Riboflavin) are:
cheese, chicken, milk, wheat germ,
We have sorted our nutrition database by foods high in Riboflavin. So you can easily see how much is contained in different foods. You can also search through our database using the search box below or browse the Folic acid content by food category.

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Riboflavin in foods - by food category

Riboflavin in Baby Foods, Riboflavin in Baked Products, Riboflavin in Beef Products, Riboflavin in Breakfast Cereals, Riboflavin in Cereal Grains and Pasta, Riboflavin in Dairy and Egg Products, riboflavin in drinks, Riboflavin in Ethnic Foods, Riboflavin in Fast Foods, Riboflavin in Fats and Oils, riboflavin in fish, riboflavin in fruits, Riboflavin in Lamb, Veal, and Game Products, Riboflavin in Legumes and Legume Products, Riboflavin in Meals, Entrees, and Sidedishes, riboflavin in nuts, riboflavin in pork, Riboflavin in Poultry Products, Riboflavin in Sausages and Luncheon Meats, riboflavin in snacks, Riboflavin in Soups, Sauces, and Gravies, Riboflavin in Spices and Herbs, riboflavin in sweets, riboflavin in vegetables,
Deficiency of Vitamin B2 (Riboflavin) may cause:
visual problems, such as bloodshot eyes, itching and burning eyes and cataracts
excessive sensitivity of the eyes to light (photosensitivity).
tongue inflammation (glossitis)
skin inflammation (dermatitis)
cracks and/or sores in the mouth and lips (cheilosis)
swelling (edema)
dizziness and delayed mental response
retarded growth
digestive disturbances
oily skin

riboflavin and Nutrition Facts - Top 199 Foods


a banana, an apple, an orange, a peach, apricots, butternut squash, lemon, grapes, watermelon, strawberries, green grapes, kiwi, blueberries, zucchini, figs, honeydew, eggplant, dates, olives, a pear, coconut, cranberries, pomegranate, a mango, pineapple, cherries, cantaloupe, grapefruit, tangerine, nectarines, raisins, plums, tomatoes, chili peppers, chilis, peppers, avocado, cucumber, summer squash, winter squash, papaya, prunes


leeks, turnip greens, swiss chard, mustard greens, yams, fennel, artichokes, broccoli, cauliflower, kale, green beans, brussel sprouts, cabbage, sweet potato, a potato, carrots, lettuce, iceberg lettuce, spinach, shiitake mushrooms, celery, salad, mushrooms, potatoes, baked potato, onions, asparagus


salmon, cod, sardines, shrimp, tuna, fish, tuna salad, halibut, sea bass, scallops


coffee, apple juice, cranberry juice, red wine, skim milk, white wine, wine, milk, beer, alcohol, coke, soy milk, whole milk, prune juice, tea, a shake, coconut milk, orange juice

Nuts and Seeds

chia seeds, sunflower seeds, pecans, pumpkin seeds, hazelnuts, nuts, almonds, sesame seeds, walnuts, cashews, peanuts

Beans and Lentils

soybeans, pinto beans, kidney beans, lentils, black beans, lima beans, navy beans, beets, beans, garbanzo beans


beef, steak, deer, bacon, chicken, fried chicken, turkey, turkey breast, chicken breast, meatloaf, ham, lamb, sausages

Fast Foods

french fries, pizza, a slice of pizza, hot dog, hamburger, a cheeseburger, a big mac

Dairy and Cheese

ricotta, yogurt, cottage cheese, an egg, egg whites, goats cheese, cheddar, cheddar cheese, cheese, hard boiled egg, feta cheese

Bread, Rice, Grains and Pasta

rye, millet, flaxseed, barley, buckwheat, whole wheat bread, a bagel, white bread, bread, quinoa, corn, spaghetti, rice, pasta, brown rice, white rice

Spreads, Sauces and Herbs

hummus, mayonnaise, butter, peanut butter, soy sauce, thyme, basil, rosemary, pepper, coriander, dill, parsley

Sweets, Desserts and Snacks

popcorn, chips, nachos, a granola bar, saltine crackers, cheesecake, jello, ice cream, doughnuts, chocolate

Breakfast Cereal

granola, cheerios, oatmeal


spirulina, honey, sugar, brown sugar, tofu, olive oil, garlic, tempeh, oats

Nutrition Facts

calories, fat, carbohydrate, high protein foods, high fiber foods, low carb foods, calcium, iron, magnesium, chromium, phosphorus, chloride, potassium, sodium, fluoride, iodine, zinc, copper, manganese, selenium, vitamins and minerals, vitamin A, vitamin E, vitamin D, vitamin C, vitamin B1 (thiamin), vitamin B2 (riboflavin), vitamin B3 (niacin), vitamin B5 (pantothenic acid), vitamin B6, biotin (vitamin B7), Folic Acid (vitamin B9), vitamin B12, vitamin B13, vitamin B15, vitamin B17, vitamin K, folic acid, tryptophan, threonine, isoleucine, leucine, lysine, methionine, cysteine, phenylalanine, tyrosine, valine, arginine, histidine, alanine, aspartic acid, glutamic acid, glycine, proline, serine, cholesterol, essential fatty acids, trans fat, saturated fat, recommended daily allowance