Isaac Robertson
Published by Isaac Robertson
Fact checked by Donald Christman, BHSc FACT CHECKED
Last updated: May 21, 2021

The health and weight loss industry is constantly introducing new and reintroducing old micronutrients. It happens so often that you’d need to be a dietitian to keep up with it.

And when I heard about vitamin G for the first time in my life, I decided to get some expert help to figure out if it was real and what the benefits are.

And I can now bring you information that my dietitian shared with me about this vitamin substance and whether it’s something you should add to your supplements stack.

What Is Vitamin G?

A cereal food with different toppings

Vitamin G is an old name from nutritional science, and it refers to riboflavin.

Riboflavin today would fall into the B vitamins and is most commonly labeled as B2.

Yes, I know it doesn’t make that much sense to the layperson, but apparently, this kind of thing happens sometimes in science.

Riboflavin is common in wheat flour, and with the western diet heavily reliant on bread, cereal, and pasta, it’s not common to become deficient.

We’ll get to health issues related to deficiency shortly.

But first, let’s see why it’s an important macronutrient and what the human body actually does with it

Why Is Vitamin G Important?

A close up image of an eye and an elderly having a heart pain

Riboflavin is an essential nutrient because the body cannot produce it. That means you have to get enough of it through your diet.

Our dietitian also showed us the overall health benefits that riboflavin has been associated with.

Impact Eye Function

One study has looked at the impact on the cornea and found positive results in test subjects [1]. There is also some evidence that it may help prevent cataracts and that it improves the light sensitivity of the retina.

Prevent Heart Disease

This is another health benefit of riboflavin, and one study looked at the impact it has on blood pressure [2]. The results so far indicate that it could improve hypertension and may provide an overall boost for the cardiovascular system.

Supports Nervous System

Finally, there is some evidence that it may help with migraines and even Parkinson’s disease by having neuroprotective benefits [3]. It could also lead to lower stress levels.

Works As An Antioxidant

And finally, scientists have established a link to alleviating oxidative stress, which may make this an essential substance for a detox supplement.

Now let’s look at some of the potential disease impacts associated with a deficiency.

Symptoms Of Vitamin G Deficiency

A mother holding her child's forehead

Developing a significant vitamin G deficiency is rare as it’s easy to get enough riboflavin from wheat and milk. But here are a few examples of symptoms to look out for.

1. High Light Sensitivity

There is evidence that there could be an impact on the eyes and especially the nerve endings in the retina can be affected by a significant deficiency.

The result often is heightened sensitivity to light, and it doesn't necessarily need to be a very bright light.

Also, look out for a burning sensation as well as slight blurring.

2. Skin Issues

A person scratching their reddish skin

A lack of vitamin G may also increase the risk of skin conditions around the mouth and nose.

This could be reddening and flaking of the skin that becomes difficult to control with regular and natural moisturizers not making much of a difference.

In severe cases, this can even cause skin sores in both women and men

3. Disrupted Sleep

Related to the eye sensitivity issues, there could also be an impact on your sleep patterns.

The way your eyes interact with daylight has a direct effect on melatonin levels. And that hormone has a significant amount of impact on how well you sleep and may even cause insomnia.

If you’ve had a big change in your diet and suddenly have a combination of sore eyes and disturbed sleep, then it could be down to a deficiency in this important vitamin.

Sources Of Vitamin G

Collage of Meat, wheat, vegetables and dairy milk

If you have been diagnosed with a riboflavin deficiency, then try to add some of these to your meal plans.

1. Meat

One of the best ways to get more vitamins is through organ meat like liver. Even a small amount could make a big difference. Another option is venison, which is also lean enugh to not mess up your diet.

2. Grains

Wheat is another great option, and riboflavin deficiency often happens to people who suddenly cut out all grains like on the keto diet. It may also happen to people with diabetes who try to reduce simple carbs to avoid blood sugar spikes.

3. Vegetables

You need to go for the deep green veggies, for example, collard, kale, and broccoli. There’re also plenty of other minerals that you’ll gain from this type of food that can help you deal with a sign of deficiency.

4. Dairy

Milk is another rich source, and an ideal quick fix is a good quality whole wheat cereal with no added sugar and plenty of milk.

Have You Considered Taking a Vitamin G?

While it’s quite easy to get enough riboflavin through your diet, some people might struggle due to restrictions on specific foods.

But if you already have some of the above symptoms, then you may need to get a quick boost that goes beyond what nature can provide.

You’ll find plenty of multivitamin products that contain enough to give you the full daily allowance while you then figure out how to fix the physical issues through your diet.


References:

  1. https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/19431928/
  2. https://www.dsm.com/pharma/en/news/dsm-pharma-blog/riboflavin-and-cvd-patients.html
  3. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5517396/

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