Vitamin Breakdown Series (Part 3: Vitamin B2)


Another week and another crucial vitamin discussed. This week we put the spotlight on the second sibling of the vitamin B octuplet family. I must warn you though, that in this week’s post I provide an extreme picture of an extreme deficiency of this vitamin. If you don’t have the stomach to see this picture I would understand. Just don’t say I didn’t warn you about the picture if you decide to keep reading. Besides missing out on the picture that might change your thoughts about your skin, you might also miss out on the past names to this particular vitamin. So lets begin with this vitamin’s history.

Background History:

This lovely B vitamin has a colorful history. When I mean colorful, I mean its part of the reason why vitamin B2 has the nickname or formal name depending on who you ask as riboflavin. Riboflavin broken down literally means yellow sugar. So I wasn’t lying to you that it has colorful history. This vitamin is also known as lactoflavin to some as as well. This vitamin was first discovered in early 1900’s after it was found to be the root cause to the disease pellagra. Trust me it was a good thing they discovered this vitamin after you see what this disease can do to your skin. However, this vitamin wasn’t always known as vitamin B2, it was actually known as vitamin G. So don’t be fooled if someone ever randomly asks you about a vitamin G. Just be smooth and say “Oh you mean riboflavin?” Something tells me though you won’t be running into this issue anytime soon though since its an outdated term.

Basics that are not so basic:

What Pellagra Looks Like

This B vitamin is needed because it helps support our bodies with energy production and like vitamin A it helps keep our hair and skin vibrant. Having a deficiency in this vitamin is all kinds of bad news especially for your skin. It results in a bad case of “crock skin. ” I would consider riboflavin to be a vitamin that a jack of all trades because it is involved in so many processes throughout our body. Some of these processes include helping our immune system function more efficiently, helping with our memory, preventing migraines, and preventing some blood disorders. Because this vitamin is water soluble its hard to really overdose but is still possible in theory.

 Food sources for Vitamin B2:

vitamin-b2-riboflavin-india-fitjog2Some great sources for vitamin B2 are milk, eggs, or any fatty fish like salmon. If you are allergic to any one of those then don’t sweat because this vitamin can also be found in leafy greens particularly at broccoli and spinach. Other foods high in this vitamin are almonds, mushrooms, and cheese. Keep in mind that some riboflavin can be lost in the light especially in milk. For those who love milk, you most likely won’t have a vitamin B2 deficiency anytime soon because time and time again studies have found milk to be the best source for this vitamin.

So do you have a new found respect for this vitamin? Keep in mind this is only the second vitamin B of a family of 8 ans hopefully you are beginning to see why this B-complex vitamin is so critical to our bodies. I would appreciate any comments or concerns you may have. Otherwise feel free to connect with me via twitter. 

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Vitamin Breakdown Series (Part 2: Vitamin B1)

article-vitamin_b1Last week we discussed vitamin A (retinol) and its importance to our bodies. This week we talk about vitamin B1, one of the 8 vitamin B’s out there. Rather than summing up the entire vitamin B family in one gigantic post, I will discuss each vitamin B separately because in my opinion each vitamin B equally deserves the spotlight as they bring something different to the table. I want you to think about each vitamin B as one part of an octuplet family and this week we are focusing our attention on the first of 8 children.

Background History:

This vitamin was first discovered in 1897 by Christian Eijkman, a Dutch physician. He observed this while he was trying to find causes to beriberi (pronounced berry berry), a disease that can be fatal if you lack enough vitamin B1 in your body. After Eijkman, scientist Casimir Funk picked up where Eijkman had left off and in 1912 he coined the word vitamin while isolating the “anti-berberi factor.” This would eventually lead to the vitamin being named B1 as it was the first of the B vitamins to be discovered.

sources_of_vitamin_b1-compressedBasics that are not so basic:

Another common name to B1 is thiamine. This B vitamin is water soluble like the other seven B vitamins so it does not stay in our bodies and must be replenished. This vitamin is instrumental for multiple functions in our body which include converting food into energy, improving brain function, and improving our immune system. As mentioned before, without this vitamin in our bodies, it can lead to beriberi if left untreated but to other health problems as well. These health problems include fatigue, paralysis, and heart damage among other problems.

Food sources for Vitamin B1:

Some food sources that have high amounts of Thiamine include beans, lentils, nuts, beef, pork, and various grains such as cereal and oatmeal. Keep in mind that there has been some research that has found when consuming coffee and tea that Thiamine is not fully absorbed. Recommended dosages of this vitamin vary in men, women, and children based on aged. You should consult your doctor based on your individual needs.This wraps up this weeks discussion of vitamin B1.  Next week I discuss another B vitamin. If you have any questions feel free to ask away below or follow me on twitter. 

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