Vitamin B2 (riboflavin) Riboflavin got its name from its golden yellow color (flavus is Latin for «yellow»). Why is it needed? Vitamin B2 plays an important role in cell respiration, participating in redox processes and the synthesis of ATP (adenosine triphosphoric acid, on which the body’s energy supply depends). We can say that he is involved in the «combustion» of carbohydrates and fats. This is very important during the period of bearing a baby for two reasons. Firstly, proteins are synthesized from the products of the processing of carbohydrates and fats — the most important «building material» for building fetal tissues. And secondly, vitamin B2 allows for sufficient breakdown of fats and carbohydrates and adequate weight gain. It is involved in the construction of visual purple, protects the retina from excessive exposure to ultraviolet rays and, together with vitamin A, ensures normal vision — sharpness and perception of color and light. In addition, riboflavin has a positive effect on the state of the nervous system, skin and mucous membranes, stimulates hematopoiesis. Vitamin B2 has another important function: it takes part in the absorption of iron by the body, as well as in the synthesis of hemoglobin. This is why riboflavin deficiency often leads to anemia (anemia). This is important to remember for expectant mothers who have an increased need for iron. Sources Although vitamin B2 is quite widespread in nature and is present in both animals and plants, its content in most foods is low. Only brewer’s yeast, liver and kidneys are rich in this vitamin. In 100 g of meat, its amount varies from 0.16 to 0.23 mg, in 100 g of milk — from 0.1 to 0.13 mg, and even less in vegetables and fruits. So to meet the daily human need for vitamin B2 is not so easy. Daily Value Women’s need for riboflavin, which is 1.1 mg per day, increases to 1.4 mg per day during pregnancy and up to 1.6 mg per day during breastfeeding. Vitamin B2 deficiency Lack of riboflavin (hyporiboflavinosis), like any other vitamin deficiency, is accompanied by general weakness, loss of strength. A characteristic manifestation of this condition is inflammatory changes in the mucous membrane of the oral cavity: painful cracks in the corners of the mouth, covered with crusts («angular stomatitis», or, in common parlance, «jamming»). The tongue becomes inflamed: it becomes bright red, swollen, dry, teeth marks are visible along its edges; the patient complains of a burning sensation of the tongue and skin, sometimes of profuse salivation. The organ of vision is also affected: the eyes quickly get tired, photophobia, pain in the eyes, inflammation of their mucous membrane (conjunctivitis) and eyelids (blepharitis) occur. Another manifestation of vitamin B2 deficiency is seborrheic dermatitis, in which the skin on the face, in the region of the upper lip and nose, around the eyelids and on the ears begins to peel off intensively. This is especially true during pregnancy, when the skin becomes dry. Vitamin B2 is also necessary for the normal growth of the fetus. Its deficiency during pregnancy can lead to miscarriage, the appearance of deformities in children.