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Vitamin B2 Riboflavin Part 2What can happen if you don't get enough Vitamin B2? Symptoms of riboflavin deficiency include sores and cracks on the lips, scaly skin, severe dermatitis, and anemia. Blurred vision and itching, watering, and sore or bloodshot eyes have also been reported in people lacking riboflavin in their diet.
Regarding the potential benefits of B2 supplementation, riboflavin is being examined for its potential role in the treatment or prevention of carpal tunnel syndrome, depression, and migraines. In one study, in fact, high doses of riboflavin were shown to reduce the number and severity of migraine attacks for over half the participants.
In a different study, riboflavin was shown to be helpful in slowing the progression of AIDS. According to Alice M. Tang, a doctoral candidate and lead author of a study at Johns Hopkins University concerning the role of vitamins in prolonging the lives of AIDS patients, there was a 40 to 50 percent increase in survival among AIDS patients who consumed the highest levels of thiamin, riboflavin, vitamin B6, and niacin (these subjects took five times the RDA in supplement form).*
Some athletes have even claimed that taking riboflavin supplements helped their bodies recover from intense training sessions more quickly, which would seem to make sense since riboflavin is needed for energy and cell regulation.
Anyone embarking on a treatment program that includes megadoses of riboflavin should do so under the supervision of a physician. Those with cataracts should avoid riboflavin supplements altogether, and raise riboflavin levels only by eating more riboflavin-rich foods.
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