Riboflavin (vitamin B2) has many functions, including: .
Helping your body produce energy .
Assisting in the metabolism of carbohydrates, fats, and proteins. .
Assisting… with normal cell function and growth and normal tissue respiration .
Helping folate and vitamin B6 undergo the chemical changes that make them available for your body .
Acting as an antioxidant, potentially helping to prevent cancer and slow cholesterol buildup by controlling the proliferation of harmful free radicals .
Preventing visual disorders, especially cateracts .
Helping with the proper formation of red blood cells .
Helping to produce antibodies Like thiamine, riboflavin plays a critical role in your body's energy production. In your body's energy production pathways, riboflavin typically takes the form of flavin adenine dinucleotide (FAD) or flavin mononucleotide (FMN). When riboflavin is converted into these FAD and FMN forms, it can attach to protein enzymes and allow oxygen-based energy production to occur. Proteins with FAD or FMN attached to them are often referred to as flavoproteins. Flavoproteins are found throughout your body, and particularly in locations where oxygen-based energy production is constantly needed such as your heart and skeletal muscle. One of FAD's many important roles is to serve as a cofactor for an enzyme (MTHFR) that is involved in the breakdown metabolism of homocysteine. High levels of homocysteine are associated with increased risk of cardiovascular disease. Your body's use of oxygen, while critical for energy production and overall metabolic activity, brings with it a constant risk. Oxygen-containing molecules can be highly reactive, and can damage many structures in your body, including cell membranes, blood vessel linings, and joint tissue. Glutathione is a small, protein-like molecule that is responsible for helping prevent this oxygen-based damage. Like many antioxidant molecules, glutathione must be constantly recycled, and riboflavin allows this recycling to take place. Riboflavin plays an important role in maintaining supplies of its fellow B vitamins. One of ways your body creates niacin (vitamin B3) is by converting the amino acid tryptophan. This conversion process is accomplished with the help of an enzyme called kynurenine mono-oxygenase, and riboflavin (in its FAD form) is required for this enzyme to function. ( Full Answer )