Vitamin B2 Is Good for Nutrient Metabolism, Cellular Energy, And More

old message Vitamin B2 Is Good for Nutrient Metabolism, Cellular Energy, And More Darrell Miller 05/10/11

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Date: May 10, 2011 11:11 AM
Subject: Vitamin B2 Is Good for Nutrient Metabolism, Cellular Energy, And More

Vitamin B2 is an essential nutrient. As its name suggests, it belongs to the B complex group of vitamins. The monosaccharide ribose is part of its chemical composition together with the ring moiety called flavin that gives its yellow coloration. Hence, it is also known by the name riboflavin. Inside the human body, it plays a central role in the synthesis of flavoproteins, which are involved in many chemical reactions, especially in the metabolism of other micronutrients and bioactive molecules.

Deficiency in riboflavin is quite common as it is routinely excreted through the urine. Common symptoms include sore throat, seborrheic dermatitis, lower blood count, all of which have been tied to higher incidence of esophageal cancer. Chronic ariboflavinosis, the medical condition caused by vitamin B2 deficiency, has been reported to contribute to carcinogenesis. The good news is that it can be easily reversed with regular intake of foods rich in riboflavin or supplementation.

Aids Nutrient Metabolism

It is not a coincidence that vitamin B2 deficiency is often accompanied by deficiencies in other vitamins and minerals. In some cases, deficiencies may be attributed to impaired liver function or intestinal absorption. That being said, low levels of riboflavin do impact the metabolism of other vitamins, such as vitamin A, vitamin B3, vitamin B6, and vitamin B9, among other water-soluble micronutrients.

Metabolites of riboflavin are required in the conversion of these vitamins to their active forms, for example, from vitamin A to retinoic acid, vitamin B6 to pyridoxic acid, vitamin B9 to folic acid. Furthermore, the metabolism of bioactive compounds, including fats, proteins, and carbohydrates, also necessitates the presence of this vitamin, the reason why it greatly impacts growth and development in children.

Increases Cellular Energy

In addition to its physiological potential in intermediary metabolism, vitamin B2 is also present in the generation of adenosine triphosphate, the primary transport of energy that powers intracellular activities. Adenosine triphosphate is synthesized in three different metabolic pathways, and one process called oxidative phosphorylation necessitates the involvement of flavin adenine dinucleotide, one of the active forms of riboflavin.

Vitamin B2 is an important cofactor in all chemical reactions that result in an increase or decrease of oxidation state. These reactions are collectively called oxidation-reduction, or simply redox. Metabolites of riboflavin are reliable oxidizing agents capable of carrying high-energy electrons needed for oxidative phosphorylation. They also participate in beta oxidation, another metabolic pathway that yields cellular energy.

Scavenges Free Radicals

A nucleic acid derivative of riboflavin is an important constituent of a special class of organic compounds called flavoproteins. These proteins are found in almost all cells of the human body, and one of their functions is to protect the cells from oxidative stress brought on by free radicals. Vitamin B2 is present in the production of cellular energy and the removal of harmful by-products of energy metabolism.

Insufficient intake of vitamin B2 is deleterious to human health, inasmuch as its biological roles are quite pervasive at the molecular level. Do you get enough Vitamin B-2?

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