Ariboflavinosis: Causes, Symptoms, Treatments, Risks, Are Vitamin B2 Supplements Needed in Ariboflavinosis

What is Ariboflavinosis?

Ariboflavinosis is a condition resulting from deficiency of riboflavin or Vitamin B2.

What are the Causes of Ariboflavinosis?

What are the Causes of Ariboflavinosis?

Heat: The process of heating is one of the main causes of ariboflavinosis, as Riboflavin is lost during processes, such as pasteurization, evaporation and drying of milk.

Gastrointestinal Conditions: Gastrointestinal problems, such as chronic ulcerative colitis, amoebic and bacillary dysentery hinder the absorption from the intestinal tract resulting in insufficient absorption and ariboflavinosis.

Sunlight: Milk products when exposed to sunlight lose Riboflavin. About 75% of the riboflavin gets destroyed when a bottle of milk is kept in direct sunlight for more than 3 hours. Riboflavin also becomes inactive or destroyed when the milk products are exposed to sunlight.

Increased Urination: Ariboflavinosis is also caused due to increased urination in which riboflavin gets lost.

Physiological Stress: When the body undergoes physiological stress, such as during pregnancy and lactation, it can also cause ariboflavinosis or riboflavin deficiency.

Chronic Illness or Post Surgery: Chronic illnesses, such as diabetes and hypertension can also cause ariboflavinosis. The intake of certain antibiotics can lead to increased output of riboflavin causing ariboflavinosis. Ariboflavinosis can also occur in people who have recently undergone surgery.

Who is at Risk for Ariboflavinosis?

People who are at increased risk for being deficient in riboflavin are:

  • People with kidney disease and undergoing dialysis.
  • Pregnant woman with more than one fetus.
  • Women who are breast feeding more than one baby.
  • People suffering from absorption issues.
  • Individuals having protein energy malnutrition and other vitamin deficiencies.
  • Other than this, chronic diseases such as heart disease, cancer and diabetes can also trigger ariboflavinosis.

Are Vitamin B2 Supplements Needed in Ariboflavinosis?

Certain individuals are usually deficient in riboflavin and need Vitamin B2 supplements such as:

  • Pregnant or breast feeding women.
  • People with inadequate nutritional or caloric dietary intake.
  • People who drink excess of alcohol.
  • People having increased nutritional requirements, such as during illness or when exercising regularly.
  • Athletes or sports people.
  • Individuals who have recently undergone surgery.
  • Individuals under chronic stress.
  • People with impaired liver function.

What are the Symptoms of Ariboflavinosis or Vitamin B2 Deficiency?

It is rare for anyone to have true riboflavin deficiency or true ariboflavinosis. Some of the symptoms of ariboflavinosis or riboflavin deficiency are:

  • Sore lips/throat.
  • Swelling and redness of the throat and mouth.
  • Cracking of the lips.
  • Angular stomatitis, which there are cracks and inflammation on the corners of the mouth.
  • Glossitis, which is redness and inflammation of the tongue.
  • Scaling and itching of the skin.
  • Blood disorders can develop, such as anemia.
  • Development of blood vessels on the cornea.
  • Photosensitivity.
  • Getting tired easily.
  • Insomnia and trembling are some other symptoms of ariboflavinosis.

What is the Treatment of Ariboflavinosis?

Ariboflavinosis or vitamin B2 deficiency can be treated with diet rich in Vitamin B2, which includes beef liver, eggs, dairy products, meat, tuna fish, wheat germ, mushrooms, broccoli, spinach and asparagus. Vitamin B2 supplements can also be prescribed to treat ariboflavinosis. Treating the underlying cause of ariboflavinosis also treats this vitamin B2 deficiency.

Pramod Kerkar, M.D., FFARCSI, DA
Pramod Kerkar, M.D., FFARCSI, DA
Written, Edited or Reviewed By: Pramod Kerkar, M.D., FFARCSI, DA Pain Assist Inc. This article does not provide medical advice. See disclaimer
Last Modified On:December 14, 2018

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