Riboflavin, formerly known as vitamin B2, is a coenzyme, like thiamin and niacin, but it also helps the body create a substance vital to the nervous system.


Among the best sources of riboflavin are milk, eggs, bread, fortified cereals, dark green vegetables, dried beans, mushrooms, and organ meats such as liver.


Skin sores are a common symptom of riboflavin deficiency.


Like thiamin, riboflavin is not known to be harmful in large doses, whether from food or supplements. Because the evidence on this point is limited, however, the Food and Nutrition Board (FNB) recommends caution.


Your Daily Allowance


Diet Power sets your Personal Daily Allowance (PDA) of riboflavin at the FNB's Recommended Dietary Allowance (RDA), which is specified in milligrams: 1.3 for males of all ages, 1.0 for females 14* to 18 years old, 1.1 for women aged 19 or older, 1.4 during pregnancy, and 1.6 during lactation.


(In Diet Power, the PDA for riboflavin is sometimes specified in micrograms, which are 1000 times smaller than milligrams. When micrograms are used, the PDAs are 1300 for males of all ages, 1000 for females 14* to 18 years old, 1100 for women aged 19 or older, 1400 during pregnancy, and 1600 during lactation.)


* Please remember that Diet Power is not designed for people under 15.


Upper Limit


The Food and Nutrition Board has not determined a Tolerable Upper Intake Level (UL) for riboflavin.


Revising Your Allowance


If your doctor recommends a different PDA, you can change it with the Personal Daily Allowance Editor.


Color Coding of This Nutrient


The riboflavin bar in your personal Nutrient History is:


   image\diet0036.gif blue for "good" if you've logged 100 to 200 percent of your PDA


   image\diet0037.gif red for "bad" if you've logged less than 100 percent of your PDA


   image\diet0042.gif yellow for "caution" if you've logged more than 200 percent of your PDA


   image\diet0038.gif missing if you've logged no riboflavin.


In the nutrient profile of a food or recipe, the riboflavin bar is:


   image\diet0039.gif green for "good" if getting your entire PDA of calories from this item would give you more than 150 percent of your PDA of riboflavin


   image\diet0040.gif magenta for "bad" if getting all your calories from the item would give you less than 50 percent of your PDA of riboflavin


   image\diet0036.gif blue for "neutral" otherwise


   image\diet0038.gif missing if the amount of riboflavin is either zero or (when the word Riboflavin is grayed out) unknown.


How Complete Are Diet Power's Riboflavin Readings?


For the 8500 generic items in the Food Dictionary: very complete. Only 1 percent list their riboflavin content as "unknown."


For the 2500 chain-restaurant items: totally incomplete. All list riboflavin as "unknown."


For all 11,000 items combined: not terribly complete. About 21 percent list riboflavin as "unknown."


These figures mean that if you frequently log chain-restaurant foods (or user-added foods with missing riboflavin readings), your Nutrient History may underreport your intake of riboflavin by a few points.


To see whether a particular food has a riboflavin reading, open the Food Dictionary and check the food's nutrient profile. If you find a question mark beside "Riboflavin," it means the amount is unknown. (To see all foods with unknown riboflavin readings, click the dictionary's PowerFoods tab and sort the foods by riboflavin power; then scroll toward the bottom of the list until you see foods with question marks in the "Power Rating" column.)


Riboflavin on Food Labels


Food labels are not required to report riboflavin levels, but many do. They may cite the amount in milligrams or percent of Daily Value.


The Daily Value for riboflavin is 1.7 milligrams, or 1700 micrograms. This is not necessarily right for you, howeverit's a rough estimate meant to cover most of the U.S. population.


For more on label regulations, see Labels, Food.