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2018's 10 Best
Riboflavin Supplements

Riboflavin, more commonly called vitamin B2, is usually included in vitamin B complex supplements. There are eight vitamins your body requires to turn carbohydrates into glucose for energy, and riboflavin is one of them. It also helps to metabolize fat and proteins.

Riboflavin is derived from two words. Ribo comes from the German word ribose, which is essentially sugar. Flavin is from the Latin flavos, the word for yellow. This is due to riboflavin’s yellow-green fluorescent pigment. Riboflavin was first discovered in 1872 by English chemist Alexander Wynter Blyth, who noticed the yellow-green fluorescence in the pigment of milk. But it was first made into a supplement in 1934.

Riboflavin is water soluble and is not stored in fat cells, like other vitamins and nutrients. Because of this, excess amounts of riboflavin are flushed out in the urine. This also means that you need to get Vitamin B2 regularly in your diet, as it’s not stored anywhere in your body. You can keep up on your B2 needs through a healthy diet of milk, almonds, eggs, leafy vegetables, cheese, and liver. To ensure that you have enough Vitamin B2 in your diet though, use a quality supplement. Let’s take a look at what riboflavin can do for you.

The Benefits of Vitamin B2

Riboflavin is essential for the lining of the digestive tract and keeping blood cells healthy. One of the most important factors is that it ensures that oxygen is used properly in your body. It also breaks down carbohydrates, fats, and ketones. And it turns food into glucose, which is basically fuel for every cell in your body.

Riboflavin also aids in thyroid regulation activity. This controls how rapidly your body uses food and ultimately determines how energetic you feel. A lack of riboflavin in your diet can create serious side effects and health problems. Riboflavin also has an antioxidant effect. Oxidants are harmful particles in the body that can cause damage to cells over time. They are one of the culprits that attack healthy tissues, which leads directly to early aging.

Riboflavin is essential for the absorption of other B vitamins and folic acid. If you don’t have enough riboflavin, your body can’t convert these vitamins into their active forms. The absorption of other nutrients and vitamins increases from 15% to 60% when you take riboflavin with meals. No slouch here. Riboflavin is the workhorse of the B-Vitamin family!

Due to processed foods, about 80 to 90% of Americans are insulin resistant. When your body becomes insensitive to insulin, it must produce more to get the cells to accept and process nutrients. Your cells get worn out from producing to much insulin over the years, and your body no longer deals with glucose effectively. This affects your weight, as 85% of all Americans with diabetes are overweight, and this has been linked to insulin resistance. Berberine has been shown to help reduce insulin resistance.

Studies show that impaired mitochondrial oxygen metabolism in the brain is one of the reasons for migraine headaches. Riboflavin plays an essential role in the health of your mitochondria. It provides the coenzymes FAD (flavin adenine dinucleotide) and FMN (flavin mononucleotide) that are essential for the flavoproteins in the mitochondrial electron transport chain. Scientists call the mitochondria the “powerhouse of the cell.” They are present in every cell in your body.

According to Oregon State University, a trial of 54 men and women with a history of recurring migraines showed that riboflavin is a successful treatment for mitigation. The trial involved giving one group 400 mg of riboflavin per day for 3 months, while the other group received placebos. There was a significant reduction in the number and frequency of attacks in the group who took riboflavin every day.

Riboflavin helps lower the risk of developing cataracts and assists with general eye health and eye fatigue. Glutathione is an important antioxidant in the eye. It is so important that it is sometimes referred to as the “master antioxidant” that keeps your eyes healthy. And it requires the coenzyme FAD, which is found in riboflavin, in order to work.

Riboflavin is a key factor for your body to make red blood cells. It lowers an amino acid called homocysteine in the blood that can cause hyperhomocysteinemia. This happens when your body is unable to convert the chemical homocysteine into the amino acid methionine. This causes inflammation and irritation in the blood vessels, and thus the muscles. It is linked to low levels of Vitamin B6, B12, and folate. By now, you should understand how riboflavin helps you absorb these vitamins.

Riboflavin is a key factor for your body to make red blood cells. It lowers an amino acid called homocysteine in the blood that can cause hyperhomocysteinemia. This happens when your body is unable to convert the chemical homocysteine into the amino acid methionine. This causes inflammation and irritation in the blood vessels, and thus the muscles. It is linked to low levels of Vitamin B6, B12, and folate. By now, you should understand how riboflavin helps you absorb these vitamins.

Extensive research on riboflavin has found that it helps increase heart health. In 2003, a study showed that riboflavin can lower blood pressure in CVD patients. Several papers have found links between high blood pressure and high levels of plasma homocysteine. Yup. Same stuff that causes muscle cramps. High homocysteine levels in plasma are also thought to be a risk for CVD. Riboflavin reduces the risk of cardiovascular disorders by successfully lowering the plasma homocysteine levels. Riboflavin in low concentrations can also reduce cellular injury.

Riboflavin works with two enzymes to create energy for the body. As mentioned earlier, these enzymes are FAD and FMN. When you take riboflavin, it changes the enzymes by activating them to produce the energy your body needs. This process leads to storing energy in the muscles. This also increases your metabolism, which is the rate at which your body burns calories.

Riboflavin also plays a large role in thyroid regulation. This gland normalizes your energy use, metabolism, and weight loss. Riboflavin assists by helping in the production of T4, the main hormone produced by your thyroid gland. An underactive thyroid may result in weight gain. You will feel fatigued and short of breath, which will interfere with your regular exercise routine.

Many weight loss clinics started using Vitamin B12 injections to aid in weight loss. In order to absorb this vitamin though, you will also need some B2. High doses of Vitamin B12 does not seem to have any harmful effects but could interact with other medicines.

Vitamin B2 is safe to use during pregnancy. In fact, it is necessary to activate essential vitamins and nutrients. A deficiency in Vitamin B2 means that pregnant women won’t be able to absorb vitamin B6 and folic acid, which is very important during pregnancy. Look on ANY pregnancy vitamin and you’re guaranteed to find lots of Folic Acid in it. Want to know why? Folic acid supplementation has been directly linked to a 48% lower risk of Down syndrome and other neural tube defects. With this in mind, it is extremely important to get enough Vitamin B2. Recent studies also show that a deficiency here can lead to cleft lip and palate deformations in newborns.

Pre-eclampsia is a condition in pregnant women characterized by high blood pressure. It is also associated with fluid retention and proteinuria. Proteinuria occurs when the amount of protein in your urine is too high. This may indicate kidney damage.

A deficiency in riboflavin can cause pre-eclampsia. And pre-eclampsia can develop into eclampsia, which can cause severe bleeding and even death. A study in Zimbabwe showed that mothers with a riboflavin deficiency were more likely to develop pre-eclampsia (28.3%). In the women with adequate amounts of riboflavin, the percentage of women who developed pre-eclampsia was lowered to 7%. Developing countries are at a greater risk for riboflavin deficiency than the West.

Lesser-Known Benefits of Riboflavin

Riboflavin also has some lesser-known benefits that might require more studies to confirm them, but are good to be aware of. One of these is healthy skin, hair, and nails. For example, a slight deficiency in riboflavin can cause oily and greasy looking skin. B2 deficiency is also associated with several skin disorders such as dermatitis. Riboflavin is also helpful in treating skin conditions such as rosacea. Some people experience slow hair growth due to a lack of nutrients. According to the University of Maryland, riboflavin is one of the vitamins that aids in hair growth.

Riboflavin Deficiency Symptoms

A deficiency of riboflavin has multiple common side effects. One of these is cheilitis, which creates vertical cracks in the lips. You might also experience dry skin right next to your nostrils. Another symptom might be an inflamed mouth or tongue.

Other symptoms include skin inflammation and skin disorders and even nerve damage. You might also experience changes in your mood that might lead to fatigue and depression.

What to Look for when Choosing a Riboflavin Supplement

Be careful when choosing your riboflavin supplement. Try to use a supplement with the least number of additives, and know what additional ingredients are in your supplement. A couple additives that are okay are silica and magnesium stearate. Both are often used in supplements.

Silicone (or silica) is used by manufacturers in supplements to prevent caking. It is found in leafy greens, brown rice, oats, beets, and many more natural foods. It is seen as entirely safe to use, as our daily diet contains finite amounts of silica.

Stearic acid or magnesium stearate is used for easier manufacturing. Actually, you’d be pretty hard-pressed to find any supplement that doesn’t contain magnesium stearate. Although the topic is controversial, health professionals have agreed that in very small doses, such as those used in supplements, magnesium stearate has no toxic effects at all.

A good supplement will have riboflavin and possibly dicalcium phosphate and/or vegetable cellulose. Supplements usually contain 2% or less silica and vegetable magnesium stearate. Ensure that the dosage instructions are in keeping with the daily dosage recommendation. Remember, you don’t need a whole ton. Anything your body doesn’t need, you’re just going to lose down the toilet!

Dosages of Riboflavin

The correct dosages of riboflavin are different for men and women. Men need about 1.3 mg of riboflavin per day, whereas women need only 1.1 mg. There are no known side effects of an overdose of riboflavin. Studies where patients were injected with large amounts of riboflavin did not present any issues at all. There are many supplements you can use to ensure that you get enough vitamin B2 in your diet. It is also important that you eat a healthy diet to get Vitamin B2 from nutrients in your daily food intake.

Some of the best sources of Vitamin B2 are organ meats or offal (such as liver and kidneys), milk, yogurt, cheese, broccoli, eggs, spinach, and several others. Since the vitamin is water soluble, it loses at least half of its nutrients if you boil it for too long. Try raw foods where possible. Here is a per-serving list that might help you to put together your new diet.

  • Beef liver, 3 ounces (pan-fried) 2.9mg
  • Oats, 1 cup 1.7mg
  • Fortified breakfast cereals 0.7mg
  • Fat free yogurt, 1 cup 0.6mg
  • Milk, 2% 1 cup 0.5mg
  • Beef steak, 3 ounces 0.4mg
  • Mushrooms, sliced or grilled, 1 cup 0.3mg
  • Cheese, Swiss, 3 ounces 0.3mg

Interaction with Other Medicines

A high amount of Vitamin B2 can turn urine bright yellow. However, it has no toxicity and excess amounts will not hurt your body. However, be sure to tell your doctor, if you are taking riboflavin supplements. It can reduce the efficiency of certain drugs, such as antibiotics. Some medications for depression are also affected by your riboflavin intake. It reduces how effective the drug might be under other circumstances.

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Best Riboflavin Supplements

Our top 10 list of riboflavin supplements is organized to reflect what you most value in your supplements. First and foremost is quality. All of our top ten supplements meet high standards of quality and come from brands with a proven record in excellence and purity. Another important factor in deciding the top ten was cost. You don’t have to pay through the nose to get a high-quality riboflavin supplement. In addition, all the companies represented on our list have stellar records with customer service and prompt shipping. This ensures that your supplement experience is enjoyable from the first click to your final dose.


  1. Wikipedia.org Riboflavin
  2. Hilary J Powers Riboflavin (vitamin B-2) and health Oxford Academic
  3. Kiki Michelle Vitamin B2 and Weight Loss LiveStrong.com
  4. University of Salford Vitamin B2 deficiency puts cancer cells into hibernation MedicalPress
  5. Dan Wich Vitamin B2 (riboflavin) supplements with the fewest additives Toxinless.com
  6. Aakriti Bhusal1; Stephen W. Banks Riboflavin Deficiency NCBI
  7. Martha Clare Morris, Julie A. Schneider, and Christine C. Tangney Thoughts on B-vitamins and dementia PMC
  8. DrAxe.com Vitamin B2 / Riboflavin: Benefits, Sources, & Deficiency?
  9. Jane Higdon, Ph.D. Riboflavin OregonState.edu
  10. Northrop-Clewes CA, Thurnham DI. The discovery and characterization of riboflavin. PubMed.gov
  11. MedlinePlus Riboflavin
  12. Brent A. Bauer, M.D. Are vitamin B-12 injections helpful for weight loss? MayoClinic.org
  13. James Meschino DC, MS, ROHP Folic Acid Supplementation During Pregnancy May Reduce Risk of Down’s Syndrome, in Addition to Neural Tube Defects Meschino Health
  14. Dr. Edward Group DC, NP, DACBN, DCBCN, DABFM What Is Riboflavin? Global Healing Center
  15. Dr Kiel Health Benefits of Riboflavin
  16. Marziyeh Ashoori, Ahmad Saedisomeolia Riboflavin (vitamin B2) and oxidative stress: a review Cambridge Core
  17. Elsen C, Rivas-Echeverría C, Sahland K, Bogucki P, Rivas-Echeverría F, Molina F, Rivas V, Sánchez R, Pahl L, Wallinger R, Volz J, Wacker J, Fruehauf JH

#1 - Vitamin B2

Nutricost's Vitamin B2 (Riboflavin) offers 400 mg of high quality Vitamin B2 per capsule, with a total of 120 capsules per bottle. Vitamin B2 helps support a healthy nervous system and is essential for the metabolism of carbohydrates, proteins, and fats to support energy metabolism for the body. Riboflavin is also needed to help the body change vitamin B6 and folate into forms it can use. Each serving is just a 12 cents, making it cost effective. It's no surprise it's rated so highly on Amazon. Keep Reading »

#2 - Nature's Way Vitamin B2

Nature's Way Vitamin B2 delivers 100 mg of Vitamin B2, with 100 capsules in every bottle. A precursor to vital coenzymes, Riboflavin is essential in healthy skin function, and aids in the synthesis of certain amino acids. It has also been noted to help treat and prevent migraine headaches, along with providing a boost in energy. Keep Reading »

#3 - NOW Vitamin B2

NOW Vitamin B2 provides 100 tablets per bottle, at 100 mg a piece. Riboflavin is an important enzyme cofactor necessary for energy production from carbohydrate, fat, and protein. It is also needed for the regeneration of glutathione, which is known as the master antioxidant. Each serving can help support immune function and enhance energy. Keep Reading »

#4 - Solgar Vitamin B2

Solgar Vitamin B2 offers 100 vegetarian capsules, which deliver 100 mg each. Vitamin B2 helps the body convert carbohydrates, fats, and proteins into energy, and is also necessary for normal cell function. Like other B Vitamins, Riboflavin also provides help to maintain a healthy nervous system, skin, vision and hair. Keep Reading »

#5 - Nature's Bounty Vitamin B2

Nature's Bounty Vitamin B2 offers the standard dose of 100 mg, with 100 capsules per bottle. Riboflavin's role in energy metabolism is in helping your body convert food to energy, and maintaining proper skin health. Riboflavin is also an antioxidant and can help fight inflammation. Keep Reading »

#6 - Puritan's Pride Vitamin B-2

Puritan's Pride Vitamin B-2 is another quality Vitamin B2 supplement, offering industry standard 100 mg doses. With 100 easy to swallow capsules in each bottle, you can get all the benefits of Vitamin B2 which includes headache prevention, eye health support, and boosted energy production. Keep Reading »

#7 - BioTech Pharmacal B2

BioTech Pharmacal B2 is a unique formula that provides 400 mg of pure riboflavin per capsule, which is higher than the standard 100 mg. Vitamin B2 (Riboflavin) is a nutrient that is essential for energy production and the metabolism of carbohydrates, fats, and proteins, helping boost overall energy throughout the day. Keep Reading »

#8 - Best Naturals Vitamin B2

Best Naturals Vitamin B2 offers a generous 180 count of 100 mg tablets, coated to make swallowing easier and convenient. Riboflavin is a great addition to any health regimen if you are seeking enhanced energy, migraine relief, or want to improve skin health. Keep Reading »

#9 - Bluebonnet Vitamin B2

Bluebonnet Vitamin B2, like many already on the list, offers 100 vegetarian caps per bottle which yield 100 mg of Riboflavin per cap. Vitamin B2 is a water soluble vitamin, meaning you need a consistent daily intake since it is not stored in the body. Required in energy production, Riboflavin is an essential precursor to many coenzymes. Keep Reading »

#10 - Amazing Formulas Riboflavin

Amazing Formulas Riboflavin is another 400 mg heavy hitter, complete with 120 capsules per bottle. While some meats and cheeses are rich in Riboflavin, those who have digestive orders hindering absorption, vegans and vegetarians, or those taking certain medications can benefit with daily supplementation. Keep Reading »

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