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Nutrition: vitamins and minerals
Nutrition: vitamins and minerals

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1.6.2 Riboflavin (vitamin B2 )

Riboflavin or vitamin B2, which was originally known as vitamin G, is found in a wide variety of foods, including milk and dairy products. It is more stable to heat than some of the other B vitamins, but is destroyed by exposure to sunlight. Milk in a glass bottle exposed to sun, loses 10% of its riboflavin per hour. Riboflavin plays a crucial role in the metabolism of carbohydrates and proteins and is involved in many other metabolic reactions in the body.

Although riboflavin deficiency does occur in some parts of the world, it is usually associated with deficiencies in other B vitamins and a specific deficiency syndrome is hard to identify. The clearest signs of deficiency are in the mouth, with cracks and inflammation at the corners, sore and ulcerated lips and a painful tongue. Others signs are detected in the eyes, with increased sensitivity to light and burning and itching sensations.