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Riboflavin, also known as vitamin B2 is an easily absorbed colored micronutrient with a key role in
maintaining health in humans and animals. Vitamin B2 is required for a wide variety of cellular processes.
The name "riboflavin" comes from "ribose" (the sugar whose reduced form, ribitol, forms part of its
structure) and "flavin", the ring-moiety which imparts the yellow color to the oxidized molecule (from
Latin flavus, "yellow"). The reduced form, which occurs in metabolism along with the oxidized form, is
colorless. The biosynthesis of one riboflavin molecule requires one molecule of GTP and two molecules
of ribulose 5-phosphate.

It appears as orange yellow crystals with molecular formula C 17H20N4O6.

Riboflavin is fluorescent under UV light.
Riboflavin is stable towards the heat processing, acids and oxidation.
It is soluble in water.
It is sensitive towards light so it should be stored in dark bottles.


a. It plays a key role in energy metabolism, metabolism of fats, ketone bodies, carbohydrates, and
b. It is the central component of the cofactors FAD (Flavin adenine dinucleotide) and FMN (Flavin
mononucleotide), and is therefore required by all flavoproteins.
c. FMN and FAD function as coenzymes for a wide variety of oxidative enzymes and remain bound
to the enzymes during the oxidation-reduction reactions.
d. Flavins can act as oxidizing agents because of their ability to accept a pair of hydrogen atoms.
Reduction of isoalloxazine ring (FAD, FMN oxidized form) yields the reduced forms of the
flavoproteins (FMNH2 and FADH2).
e. Riboflavin is also needed to help the body change vitamin B 6 and folate into forms it can use.
f. It is also important for body growth and red blood cell production.


a. Riboflavin is yellow or yellow-orange in color and in addition to being used as a food coloring; it
is also used to fortify some foods.
b. It is used in baby foods, breakfast cereals, pastas, sauces, processed cheese, fruit drinks, vitaminenriched milk products, and some energy drinks.
c. As riboflavin is fluorescent under UV light, dilute solutions (0.015-0.025% w/w) are often used
to detect leaks in an industrial system such a chemical blend tank or bioreactor.
d. Riboflavin has been used in several clinical and therapeutic situations. Riboflavin supplements
have been used as part of the phototherapy treatment of neonatal jaundice.
e. Riboflavin and UV light treatment has been shown to be effective for inactivating pathogens in
platelets and plasma, and is under development for application to whole blood.
Milk, cheese, leaf vegetables, liver, kidneys, legumes, yeast, mushrooms, milk, yogurt, meat, eggs, fish,
green beans and almonds are good sources of vitamin B2, but exposure to light destroys riboflavin.
Cereals grains contain relatively low concentrations of flavins, but are important sources in those parts of
the world where cereals constitute the staple diet. The milling of cereals results in considerable loss (up to
60%) of vitamin B2. Free riboflavin is naturally present in foods along with protein-bound FMN and
FAD. Bovine milk contains mainly free riboflavin, with a minor contribution from FMN and FAD. In
whole milk, 14% of the flavins are bound noncovalently to specific proteins. Egg white and egg yolk
contain specialized riboflavin-binding proteins, which are required for storage of free riboflavin in the egg
for use by the developing embryo.

Riboflavin is continuously excreted in the urine of healthy individuals, making deficiency

relatively common when dietary intake is insufficient.
A deficiency of riboflavin can be primary - poor vitamin sources in one's daily diet; or secondarywhich may be a result of conditions that affect absorption in the intestine, the body not being able
to use the vitamin, or an increase in the excretion of the vitamin from the body.
In humans, signs and symptoms of riboflavin deficiency (ariboflavinosis) include cracked and red
lips, inflammation of the lining of mouth and tongue, mouth ulcers, cracks at the corners of the
mouth (angular cheilitis), and a sore throat.
A deficiency may also cause dry and scaling skin, fluid in the mucous membranes, and irondeficiency anemia.
The eyes may also become bloodshot, itchy, watery and sensitive to bright light.
Riboflavin deficiency is classically associated with the oral-ocular-genital syndrome. Angular
cheilitis, photophobia, and scrotal dermatitis are the classic remembered signs.


Thiamine or vitamin B1 named as the "thio-vitamine" ("sulfur-containing vitamin") is a water-soluble

vitamin of the B complex. The best-characterized form is thiamine pyrophosphate (TPP), a coenzyme in
the catabolism of sugars and amino acids.
All living organisms use thiamine in their biochemistry, but it is synthesized only in bacteria, fungi, and
plants. Animals must obtain it from their diet, and thus, for them, it is an essential nutrient.


a. Thiamine is a colorless compound with a chemical formula C 12H17N4OS.

b. Thiamine is soluble in water, methanol, and glycerol and practically insoluble in acetone, ether,
chloroform, and benzene.
c. It is stable at acidic pH, but is unstable in alkaline solutions.
d. Thiamine is unstable to heat, but stable during frozen storage. It is unstable when exposed to
ultraviolet light and gamma irradiation.
e. Thiamine reacts strongly in Maillard-type reactions.
a. Thiamine is important for the health of the nervous system, brain, heart and muscles.
b. Thiamine is used in the biosynthesis of the neurotransmitter acetylcholine and gammaaminobutyric acid.
c. Thiamin functions as the co-enzyme thiamin pyrophosphate (TPP) in the metabolism of
carbohydrates and branched-chain amino acids. TPP, coordinated through magnesium (Mg ++),
participates in two main types of metabolic reactions: (a) the formation of ketols (eg among
hexose and pentose phosphates) as catalysed by transketolase; and (b) in the oxidation of keto
acids (eg pyruvate, -ketoglutarate and branched-chain keto acids) by dehydrogenase
d. Thiamine is also important for the production of DNA and RNA, the materials that carry genetic
information within the cells.
e. Thiamine helps in processing amino acids that play a critical role in the production of energy and
in the breakdown of carbohydrates to simpler forms that can be used to generate energy.
f. Thiamin is needed for energy metabolism and the proper function of the nervous system.
g. Thiamine is involved in the production of myelin, the sheath around neurons that helps in the
transmission of signals within the brain and the nervous system.
a. Thiamine monophosphate: There is no known physiological role of ThMP.

b. Thiamine diphosphate: ThDP is a coenzyme for several enzymes that catalyze the transfer of twocarbon units and in particular the dehydrogenation (decarboxylation and subsequent conjugation
with coenzyme A) of 2-oxoacids (alpha-keto acids).
c. Thiamine triphosphate: Thiamine triphosphate (ThTP) is considered as a specific neuroactive
form of thiamine.
d. Adenosine thiamine triphosphate
e. Adenosine thiamine diphosphate
Complex thiamine biosynthetic pathways occur in bacteria, some protozoans, plants and fungi. The
thiazole and pyrimidine moieties are synthesized separately and then assembled to form ThMP by
thiamine-phosphate synthase. In most bacteria and in eukaryotes, ThMP is hydrolyzed to thiamine, that
may then be pyrophosphorylated to ThDP by thiamine diphosphokinase. The biosynthetic pathways are
regulated by riboswitches in all organisms that synthesize thiamine.
Thiamine is found in a wide variety of foods at low concentrations. Yeast, yeast extract, and pork are the
most highly concentrated sources of thiamine. In general, cereal grains are the most important dietary
sources of thiamine.
a. Thiamine deficiency has a potentially fatal outcome if it remains untreated.
b. In less severe cases, nonspecific signs include malaise, weight loss, irritability and confusion.
c. Thiamine derivatives and thiamine-dependent enzymes are present in all cells of the body, thus a
thiamine deficiency would seem to adversely affect all of the organ systems. However, the
nervous system is particularly sensitive to thiamine deficiency, because of its dependence on
oxidative metabolism.
d. Thiamine deficiency commonly presents subacutely and can lead to metabolic coma and death.
e. A lack of thiamine can be caused by malnutrition, a diet high in thiaminase-rich foods (raw
freshwater fish, raw shellfish, ferns) and foods high in anti-thiamine factors (tea,coffee, betel
nuts) and by grossly impaired nutritional status associated with chronic diseases, such as
alcoholism, gastrointestinal diseases, HIV-AIDS, and persistent vomiting.
Well-known syndromes caused by thiamine deficiency include beriberi, Wernicke-Korsakoff
syndrome and optic neuropathy.