Riboflavin B2 Niacin B3

Riboflavin (Vitamin B 2)

This is another Vitamin of the B group. It is water soluble. The rich sources of this vitamin are, eggs, meat, milk and other dairy products, fish, green vegetables, yeast etc.

This vitamin works in the cells mainly in energy transport, dehydrogenation, oxidation and electron transport mechanisms.

Deficiency of this vitamin is common in cases  where food intake is less

  • starvation,
  • after natural and man-made calamities,
  • in anorexia nervosa
  • and diseases of intestines where absorption is limited,

Deficiency suggests relatively recent problem as the vitamin is not stored for long in the body.

The daily requirement is about 1.3 mg in men and 1.1 mg in women.

Deficiency causes non-specific signs and symptoms. The common manifestations are

  • Redness of throat, 
  • Sores at angles of the mouth, 
  • Redness of inner lining of cheeks, 
  • Dermatitis with excess sebum production, 
  • Anemia etc.

Treatment consists of replacement of the hormone.

Niacin (Vitamin B 3)

The symptoms of Niacin deficiency were first described in 18th century. This disease was common in people partaking a diet of corn. This vitamin is found in meats, eggs, legumes, yeast etc. It can also be made from the amino acid tryptophan.

This vitamin is also a cofactor in enzyme activities in cells and is required for oxidation and reduction processes.

About 18 mg of niacin is required daily by man and 16 mg by woman.

Deficiency is seen in starvation states as in Vit B2 def, in diseases of the intestines.

It is also caused by anti TB drug Isoniazid. In some cases of cancers, the requirement is high as nutrition is consumed by cancer cells.

The symptoms of deficiency are 3 D’s i.e.

  • Dermatitis, it is typically photosensitive and looks like crazy pavement
  • Diarrhoea
  • Dementia ( or loss of various cognitive functions of the brain)

Very high doses of this vitamin (in gms/day) decrease cholesterol levels and slow atherosclerosis.

Deficiency states are treated by replacement of the vitamin by tablets.