What is Vitamin B2 deficiency?

Vitamin B2 (riboflavin) deficiency is rare in developed countries, since most people get enough from the food they eat. However, certain medical conditions and lifestyle choices may increase the risk of deficiency.

The most common groups of people affected are vegetarians, vegans, and pregnant/breastfeeding women. Malfunctions of the thyroid can also increase the risk of a deficiency. A riboflavin deficiency usually occurs alongside other nutrient deficiencies.

Common vitamin B2 deficiency symptoms:

  • Fatigue
  • Skin disorders
  • Cracked lips
  • Sore throat
  • Excess blood
  • Hyperemia
  • Mouth lesions
  • Swelling of mouth
  • Swelling of throat
  • Swollen tongue
  • Glossitis
  • Reproductive problems
  • Hair loss
  • Skin rash
  • Anemia
  • Itchy eyes
  • Red eyes
  • Cataracts

What causes a vitamin B2 deficiency?

  • A diet lacking in vitamin B2-rich foods
  • Following a vegetarian or vegan diet
  • Thyroid disorders
  • Pregnancy and breastfeeding
  • Riboflavin transporter deficiency, a rare neurological disorder

Further reading: National Institutes of Health (1),(2)