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Deficiency of Vitamin B2
Riboflavin is continuously excreted in the urine of healthy individuals, making deficiency relatively common when dietary intake is insufficient. However, riboflavin deficiency is always accompanied by deficiency of other vitamins. Deficiency of vitamin B2 is usually part of multi nutrient deficiency and doesn’t occur in isolation.
Riboflavin deficiency causes a condition known as ariboflavinosis, which is marked by cheilosis i.e. cracks at the corners of mouth, oily scaling of the skin, red and sore tongue. A deficiency may also cause dry and scaling skin, fluid in the mucous membranes, and iron-deficiency anemia. The eyes may also become bloodshot, itchy, watery and sensitive to bright light.
Riboflavin deficiency is classically associated with the oral-ocular-genital syndrome. Angular cheilitis, photophobia, and scrotal dermatitis are the classic Vitamin B2 deficiency symptoms. Cataracts may occur more frequently with riboflavin deficiency.
This deficiency is common with people consuming alcohol, elderly persons, people with poor eating habits or under depression, people consuming highly refined and fast food.
Sources of Vitamin B2
Milk, cheese, leafy green vegetables, liver, kidneys, legumes, tomatoes, yeast, mushrooms, and almonds are good sources of vitamin B2, but exposure to light destroys riboflavin. Riboflavin is destroyed by light, so food should be stored away from light to protect its riboflavin content. While riboflavin is not destroyed by heat, it can be lost in water when foods are boiled or soaked. During cooking, roasting and steaming preserves more riboflavin than frying or scalding.