What is the Relationship Between Vitamin B2 and Skin?
Vitamin B2, also called riboflavin, is an essential nutrient needed for human health. It is one of the eight B vitamins. All the B vitamins are important for maintaining healthy skin. Vitamin B2 is a water-soluble vitamin. Being a water-soluble vitamin, it can be excreted out of the body easily. Your body only stores a small amount of riboflavin, and hence, you need to include riboflavin in your diet every day.
Vitamin B2 and Health
Vitamin B2 plays a role in
- Maintaining tissues
- Energy metabolism
- Secretion of mucus that prevents dryness induced oil secretion that leads to acne
- Absorption of zinc, which is essential for the skin
- Maintaining the structural integrity of the skin
- Protects cells from oxidative damage
- Maintenance of red blood cells
- Keeping the skin healthy
Recommended Daily Intake of Vitamin B2
The recommended daily intake of vitamin B2 is as follows:
1.3 mg for healthy men
1.1 mg for healthy women
1.4 mg for pregnant women
1.6 mg for lactating women
0.3 mg for infants up to 6 months
0.4 mg for infants between 6-12 months
0.5 mg for 1-3-year-old children
0.6 mg for 4-8-year-old children
0.9 mg for 9-13-year-old children
1.3 mg for 14-18-year-old males
1.0 mg for 14-18-year-old females
Vitamin B2 deficiency is not very common in the US as most of the food items like milk and whole-grain cereals, which are widely consumed, contain good levels of vitamin B2.
The Genetics Behind Vitamin B2 and Skin
People with certain genetic types may need more vitamin B2 due to the inefficient transport in their bodies. Certain genes can help determine your risk for vitamin deficiency.
The MTHFR Gene
The MTHFR gene produces an enzyme called methylenetetrahydrofolate reductase. This enzyme is involved in the methylation cycle. MTHFR activates 5, 10-methylene TetraHydroFolate(THF) to 5-methyl THF, and this is needed for the conversion of homocysteine to methionine.
This protein is also involved in the conversion of folate to SAMe, which is involved in the methylation of DNA as it is the universal methylation donor. The methylation cycle is essential for various functions in the body.
Vitamin B2 is involved in the metabolism of homocysteine along with Vitamin B1. Vitamin B2 deficiency can lead to high levels of homocysteine, which is a harmful amino acid.
rs1801133 is an SNP found in the MTFHR gene.It is also referred to as C677T. The T allele decreases enzyme activity, with only a 10-20% efficiency in folate processing and leads to high levels of 0f homocysteine in the body.
Non-Genetic Factors that Influence Vitamin B2 levels
- Poor diet
- Older adults and pregnant women require a higher intake of vitamin B2 and are at more risk of vitamin deficiency.
- People with certain conditions like HIV, celiac diseases, Crohn’s disease, and alcoholism are at a higher risk of deficiency as their body cannot absorb vitamin B effectively.
Impact of Vitamin B2 Deficiency on Skin
Vitamin B2 deficiency can lead to
- Cracked lips
- Itching of skin
- Scrotal Dermatitis
- Inflammation of mouth lining
- Inflammation of the tongue
- Scaly skin
How to Manage Your Vitamin B2 Intake?
Certain food items contain vitamin B2. These include:
- Kidney and liver meat, lean meats
- Green vegetables like broccoli and spinach
- Cereals, grains, and bread
- Milk and yogurt
- Lima beans and peas
Riboflavin is water-soluble. While cooking food, especially boiling, vitamin content may reduce. Make sure to include a daily supply of vitamin B2-rich foods to keep your skin healthy. A balanced diet is always important to keep your skin and other parts of the body healthy.
Your doctor may prescribe certain vitamin B2 supplements to overcome your deficiency apart from your diet.
- Vitamin B2 is an essential nutrient needed for the body. As it is a water-soluble vitamin, it cannot be easily stored in the body. It needs to be supplemented through diet.
- Vitamin B2 plays a major role in keeping the skin healthy, maintaining its structural integrity, secretion of mucus to prevent acne due to dryness, and other functions in the body also.
- Vitamin B2 deficiency is linked to higher levels of homocysteine in the blood.
- The T allele of rs1801133, an SNP found in the MTHFR gene, leads to higher homocysteine and folate levels because of decreased enzyme activity.
- Pregnant women, older adults, and people with certain conditions are at a higher risk of Vitamin B2 deficiency. A poor diet can also lead to deficiency.
- A balanced diet with a rich source of vitamins can help reduce the risk of deficiency and keep your skin healthy.