Riboflavin, vitamin B2, is a water-soluble and heat-stable vitamin that the body uses to metabolize fats, protein, and carbohydrates into glucose for energy. In addition to boosting energy, riboflavin functions as an antioxidant for the proper function of the immune system, healthy skin, and hair. These effects occur with the help of two coenzymes, flavin mononucleotide (FMN) and flavin adenine dinucleotide (FAD). Without an adequate amount of riboflavin, macronutrients like carbohydrates, fats, and proteins cannot be digested and maintain the body. With a healthy digestive system, the body can absorb most of the nutrients from the diet, so it is important to get most of the riboflavin from dietary sources. Riboflavin has a yellow-green fluorescent pigment, which causes urine to turn yellow, indicating the body is absorbing riboflavin. Riboflavin also helps convert tryptophan to niacin, which activates vitamin B6. Some preventable diseases manageable with adequate riboflavin are anemia, cataracts, migraines, and thyroid dysfunction. Riboflavin is necessary for normal development, lactation, physical performance, and reproduction.
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