Riboflavin is the ultimate fat-burning nutrient. It makes even a bad MTHFR work right, and it keeps you looking young and beautiful forever.
Here’s everything you need to know about why you should manage your riboflavin status and how to do it.
In this podcast I join with Alex Leaf of Examine.Com. I focus on what riboflavin is and what it does, while Alex focuses on riboflavin supplements.
Going into this podcast I changed my mind about three important things:
In this podcast we being by considering the fictional stories of people who seem to have little in common. We then explain their stories by looking at the signs and symptoms of riboflavin deficiency. We consider the science of what riboflavin is, how it is used by the body, what it does for us, how to have great riboflavin status, and how to become deficient. We round this out with an extensive discussion of riboflavin supplementation.
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In this episode, you will find all of the following and more:
Riboflavin Show Notes
01:46 Three things that I’ve changed my mind about while doing the research for this podcast
04:24 Cliff notes
14:13 Three stories of riboflavin deficiency
18:05 Signs and symptoms of riboflavin deficiency
21:31 Speculative symptoms of suboptimal riboflavin status
23:49 Chemical properties of riboflavin
27:22 Medical applications: infants with jaundice, eye surgery for keratoconus, and treatment of fungal keratitis
30:38 Chemical structure of riboflavin, flavin mononucleotide (FMN), and flavin adenine dinucleotide (FAD)
33:02 Riboflavin’s roles in the body: energy metabolism, the antioxidant system, methylation, detoxification, and other nutrient interactions
34:03 Riboflavin’s roles in energy metabolism
39:33 How the different macronutrients (carbohydrate, fat, and protein) affect the riboflavin requirement differently
46:05 Riboflavin’s role in the antioxidant system
50:12 Riboflavin’s roles in the methylation system
52:29 Riboflavin’s interactions with other nutrients: vitamin B6, niacin, and iron
55:47 Riboflavin’s roles in detoxification
57:44 Other riboflavin-dependent enzymes include NADPH oxidase, monoamine oxidase, and protein disulfide isomerase.
59:31 The physiology of riboflavin absorption
01:02:31 The physiology of riboflavin utilization and the importance of magnesium, ATP, thyroid hormone, adrenal hormones, and protein
01:06:43 The gold standard marker of riboflavin status is the erythrocyte glutathione reductase activity coefficient (EGRAC).
01:12:11 LabCorp’s whole blood riboflavin test, normalized to the concentration of blood hemoglobin, is the closest commercially available equivalent to the EGRAC.
01:14:02 Why urinary glutaric acid is not a specific marker of riboflavin status
01:14:54 Measuring riboflavin status should be done after an overnight fast, and biotin does not interfere with the test.
01:15:54 How the RDA for riboflavin was established
01:22:02 How much riboflavin is needed to optimize riboflavin status and maximally suppress the EGRAC?
01:27:25 Why high doses of riboflavin might be beneficial in cases of suboptimal magnesium, energy, thyroid, or adrenal status
01:31:04 Dietary sources of riboflavin
01:36:39 Free riboflavin is found in milk, fortified flours, and many riboflavin supplements.
01:38:55 Riboflavin is destroyed by light.
01:41:16 Riboflavin is produced in the colon, but it is unknown how much this contributes to systemic riboflavin status.
01:43:55 Factors that interfere with riboflavin status and utilization
01:51:02 Genetic defects in riboflavin metabolism and transport
01:53:50 How common is riboflavin deficiency and suboptimal riboflavin status?
01:58:36 Riboflavin supplementation for iron deficiency anemia
02:00:29 The relationship between riboflavin and the MTHFR C677T polymorphism and effects on homocysteine and blood pressure
02:09:32 Riboflavin supplementation and exercise performance
02:14:30 Whether or not riboflavin supplementation could impair adaptations to exercise
02:18:25 Riboflavin supplementation for migraines
02:25:06 Rapid fire questions
02:25:21 Does it matter whether we take free riboflavin or riboflavin 5’-phosphate?
02:26:51 Should riboflavin be taken with food?
02:30:28 How often should you take riboflavin?
02:32:20 Does it matter if you take riboflavin in one dose or divided doses?
02:33:13 Are there any adverse effects of riboflavin supplements?