Natural Health Products

Non-traditional solutions to help boost your health and wellness.


General Information

Riboflavin, or vitamin B2, is one of many essential water-soluble vitamins that the body needs from food. It is found in nuts, dairy products, eggs, meat, enriched flour, and green vegetables. Riboflavin helps keep your skin, blood cells, and other parts of your body functioning properly.

Common Name(s)
riboflavin, vitamin B2, B complex vitamin
Scientific Name(s)
Riboflavin, vitamin B2
How is this product usually used?

Riboflavin is found in many foods. As a supplement, riboflavin is taken by mouth and is usually taken in combination with other B vitamins. It is available is tablets, capsules, chewable tablets or gummies, powders, strips, or liquids.

Table 1 lists the usual doses and Recommended Dietary Allowance (RDA) for riboflavin for different age groups. Taking riboflavin supplements with food may help your body absorb the vitamin.

Table 1. Usual doses and RDA for riboflavin

Life stage group

Riboflavin (mg/day)

Usual dose



1–3 years



4–8 years


Adolescent males

9–13 years


14–18 years



Adult males

≥19 years


Adolescent females

9–13 years



14–18 years



Adult females

≥19 years



14–50 years



14–50 years


Your health care provider may have recommended using this product in other ways. Contact a health care provider if you have questions.

What is this product used for?

Riboflavin is used to:

  • help prevent or treat riboflavin deficiency
  • help the body break down fat, protein, and carbohydrates for energy
  • maintain overall good health
  • help in tissue formation

People have used riboflavin for other purposes, such as to reduce migraine frequency, to treat pre-eclampsia, and to lower the risk of cancer.

There is strong evidence to show that riboflavin is effective for the treatment/prevention of riboflavin deficiency. However, evidence is rather weak when riboflavin is used for other conditions, and additional studies are required to confirm its benefits.

Your health care provider may have recommended this product for other conditions. Contact a health care provider if you have questions.

What else should I be aware of?

Riboflavin appears to be safe for most people when taken at the daily recommended dose. Riboflavin is water-soluble and any excess will be readily excreted out of the body in the urine. Because of this, a common side effect is dark yellow or orange urine. Diarrhea, an increase in urine, and nausea have also been reported when taking larger amounts of riboflavin.

Riboflavin is likely safe for pregnant and breastfeeding women, as long as they do not take more than the daily recommended doses.

The following herbs and supplements may also interact with riboflavin:

  • blond psyllium
  • boron
  • iron supplements

Riboflavin is quickly destroyed when exposed to light, so foods containing riboflavin should be protected from light.

Before taking any new medications, including natural health products, speak to your physician, pharmacist, or other health care provider. Tell your health care provider about any natural health products you may be taking.

  1. Health Canada. Natural Health Products Ingredients Database. Multi-Vitamin/Mineral Supplements Monograph.
  2. Natural Medicines Comprehensive Database. Riboflavin.

All material copyright MediResource Inc. 1996 – 2020. Terms and conditions of use. The contents herein are for informational purposes only. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health provider with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition.