What diseases does riboflavin deficiency cause?


Quick Answer

Diseases and disorders caused by riboflavin, or vitamin B2, deficiency include glossitis, conjunctivitis, dermatitis and anemia, according to The Merck Manual for Health Care Professionals. Symptoms of this malady are sore throat, lesions of the lips and mucous in the mouth. Redness of the skin also develops when riboflavin deficiency occurs. Swelling of the eye and keratitis occur in rare cases.

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Full Answer

Dr. Andrew Weil notes that the technical term for a riboflavin deficiency is ariboflavinosis. It causes afflictions such as weakness, cracked skin, sensitivity to light, migraines, depression and cognitive dysfunction. Elderly, alcoholics, anorexics and chronically ill patients are most at risk for ariboflavinosis.

Several diseases and disorders are prevented by proper amounts of riboflavin. The Linus Pauling Institute explains cataracts, cardiovascular disease, cancer, migraines, metabolic disorders, hypertension and corneal disorders are affected by riboflavin levels. Preeclampsia in pregnant women is related to riboflavin deficiency.

MedlinePlus reveals that riboflavin increases energy levels, maintains healthy skin, slows aging, boosts athletic performance, promotes healthy reproductive function and prevents memory loss. High doses of vitamin B2, such as 400 milligrams, treat migraine headaches. Riboflavin treats acne, canker sores, memory loss and muscle cramps.

The recommended daily allowance, or RDA, of riboflavin is 1.3 milligrams for adults. The Linus Pauling Institute reveals that deficiencies in humans appear with intakes of less than 0.5 milligrams per day. Riboflavin levels are measured in urine samples.

Learn more about Nutritional Amounts & Limits

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