If you have been reading about thyroid related health issues, you have probably come across articles talking about B12 deficiencies. What I’m wondering, though, is whether you know about Vitamin B2? Riboflavin (B2) can have many benefits, and it’s worth finding out if it can help you.
Why should thyroid sufferers care about B2?
B2 is required for thyroid enzyme regulation and the production of corticosteriods. Without B2, production of T4 is suppressed and adrenal glands fail to secrete their hormones. A B2 deficiency can contribute to an under active thyroid and ultimately lead to weight gain and other health issues. If you search for symptoms of B2 deficiency, among the symptoms on the list is diminished thyroid function. B2 is all about energy – it is used in our bodies for metabolism of fats, carbohydrates, and proteins, as well as for DNA and RNA metabolism. So, making sure you have enough B2 is key to maintaining healthy thyroid function.
Why else should you care about B2?
There’s more to B2 than thyroid function. Riboflavin (B2) is used for preventing cervical cancer and migraine headaches. Treatment of migraine headaches is how I heard about B2. It was mentioned to me by my son’s pediatric neurologist. Vitamin B2 is also used for treating riboflavin deficiency, muscle cramps, acne, carpal tunnel syndrome, glaucoma and certain blood disorders. Many people also take riboflavin as an immune system booster and to help with maintaining healthy skin, hair and nails. Riboflavin can also boost athletic performance and promote healthy reproductive function.
B2 and Migraines:
Many of us with thyroid disorders have other health issues, like migraine headaches. While thyroid medication can help, in order to really mitigate migraines, you need to do more. You need to hydrate, reduce migraine triggers in your diet and get enough sleep. A B2 supplement can as well. A 1998 study published by the American Academy of Neurology, researchers found that riboflavin was an effective way to reduce migraines. In 2004, another study found patients who took 400 mg of Riboflavin daily experienced significantly fewer headaches and used fewer migraine pain killers or abortive medications for migraines. In an article published by WebMD, Dr. Sarah DeRossett, Atlanta based neurologist and migraine specialist, recommends B2, along with magnesium and coenzyme Q10 for natural supplements that may reduce or eliminate your migraines. The article states: “Taking the correct dosage is important as well: 500 mg magnesium, 400 mg riboflavin (vitamin B-2), and 150 mg coenzyme Q10.” See the full article HERE. My son and I have both seen a reduction in frequency and severity of migraines since taking B2 supplements, so I was excited to share this with you.
Where can I find B2?
Riboflavin can be found naturally in foods like milk, eggs, nuts, enriched flour and green vegetables. A few things to keep in mind. Riboflavin is susceptible to being broken down by light. So, milk is a great source of riboflavin, but you want to be sure to buy milk in cartons or opaque containers that keep the light out. If you are dairy free, then go for vegetables like spinach, beet greens, mushrooms, and asparagus. Many of us, though, aren’t doing a good enough job of eating enough foods rich in riboflavin, which is where supplements can help. This is especially true for children and teenagers who may be fighting the veggies. You make take a B complex vitamin (most contain B12 and B6), but check the label. Does it also contain B2? Does it contain ENOUGH B2? If not, you can buy B2 supplements at vitamin stores or food stores, like Whole Foods. One more thing to note: B2 is excreted in your urine and it can turn your urine bright yellow, so don’t be alarmed when that happens.
Vitamins & Thyroid Treatment
As I have said before, addressing thyroid issues is like solving a complicated puzzle. There are many pieces to that puzzle. Vitamins and other natural supplements are an important piece that should not be ignored. Vitamin B2 and thyroid function are linked, and you should make sure you are getting enough Vitamin B2. As with any supplement or medication, talk to your doctor before taking anything new. You need to tell your doctor all of your health issues and give them a list of all medications you take (including the dosages) so that they can discuss with you whether B2 is right for you and any possible drug interactions, etc.
By Blythe Clifford aka Thyroid Mom
Banko, Stephanie. “ABC of Vitamins: Vitamin B2 (Riboflavin).” ABC-0f-Vitamins.Com, Web. 17 Nov.2014.
Davis, Jeanie L. “Prevention: The Future of Migraine Therapy.” WebMD.Org, 4 May 2006. Web. 17 Nov.2014.
Michelle, Kiki. “Vitamin B2 and Weight Loss.” LiveStrong.Com, 2 Mar. 2014, Web. 17 Nov. 2014.
Schoenen, J., J. Jacquy, and M. Lenaerts. “Effectiveness of high-dose riboflavin for migraine prophylaxis.” Neurology.Org Feb.1998. Web. 17 Nov.2014.
The World’s Healthiest Foods. “Vitamin B2 – Riboflavin.” WHFoods.Com. The George Mateljan Foundation, Web. 17.Nov.2014.
Thyroid UK. “The Role of Vitamins in Thyroid Deficiency.” ThyroidUK.Org, 2 Sept.2013, Web. 17 Nov.2014.
WebMD. “Riboflavin Vitamin B2 Overview Information.” WebMD, Web. 17 Nov.2014.