Beef liver is a very rich source of riboflavin, but dairy products also supply ample amounts. Higher-fat sources contain less than those with low fat. Many processed grain products are fortified with riboflavin, as well as other B vitamins. Good vegetable choices include avocados, mushrooms, spinach, and other dark green, leafy vegetables. Nuts, legumes, nutritional yeast, and brewer's yeast contain riboflavin as well. Cooked foods provide as much of this vitamin as raw ones do, since the substance is heat stable. Light, however, does break down riboflavin. To preserve it, be sure to either store dairy and grain products in something opaque or keep them away from light.
Riboflavin is available as an oral single vitamin product. Consider taking a balanced B complex supplement rather than high doses of an individual vitamin unless there is a specific indication to do so. Store supplements in a cool, dry place, away from light, and out of the reach of children.
Ariboflavinosis is the term for the condition of vitamin B2 deficiency. Since small amounts can be stored in the liver and kidneys, a dietary inadequacy may not become apparent for several months. Insufficient levels of riboflavin have noticeable effects on several areas of the skin. Commonly the corners of the mouth are cracked. Facial skin and scalp tend to itch and scale, as does the scrotal skin. The eyes fatigue easily and are sensitive to light, and may also become watery, sore, or bloodshot. Trembling, neuropathy, dizziness, insomnia, poor digestion, slow growth, and sore throat and tongue have also been reported. Anemia may develop if the deficiency is severe. People who are deficient in riboflavin are likely to be lacking in other B vitamins, and possibly additional nutrients as well.
Judith Turner, The Gale Group Inc., Gale, Detroit,