Wednesday, March 6, 2013

Vitamins B2 and B3

Normally I would do an individual post for each of these, but these two vitamins play a very similar role in the body so I'm going to lump them together.

Normal Benefits

Two of the key components we obtain from the B vitamins are Niacin (Vitamin B3) and Riboflavin (Vitamin B2).  You may remember an old cereal (or maybe it was bread) commercial with kids asking their mom about the Vitamins on the back of the box.  Their mom tells them Niacin is to help make you nice, but has trouble coming up with something for Riboflavin.  Although way off on the explanation, she was nevertheless correct that these are essential nutrients.  Both Niacin and Riboflavin are necessary to create something in our bodies called Coenzymes (NAD+ and FAD ).  These coenzymes play major roles in metabolizing our food.

For those of you that took Senior Biology there was a significant unit on metabolism.  It is pretty fresh in my mind since I was tutored two girls on this exact topic a few months ago. Our metabolic pathway is broken up into 3 main stages: Glycolysis, The Kreb's Cycle, and the Electron Transport Chain. There will be a post soon that explains this process in detail, for now, trust me when I say that the role of NAD and FAD is VERY IMPORTANT. They are used to produce about 75% of our bodies ATP (adenosine triphosphate) the way that our body powers chemical reactions.

Other Health Benefits

While watching the movie Food Matters I came across some interesting points.  

In 1960 Dr.Abram Hoffer worked with Bill Williams, the founder of alcoholics anonymous. Bill suffered from severe depression and Hoffer introduced Bill to the idea of 'mega vitamin therapy.' Hoffer prescribed 3g of vitamin B3 per day. Within a few weeks, his fatigue and depression (which had been around for years) was gone. Bill W recommended this to other individuals with depression and found that the majority showed improvement.  He tried to get this as part of AA and was denied on account of the fact that the doctors "knew" that Niacin could not possibly have this effect.

Andrew Saul, the editor of the peer reviewed journal  Orthomolecular Medicine News Service once worked with a woman who was suicidally depressed.  She lived at home with her family and wouldn't speak to or eat with anyone, she simply sat in the corner staring at the wall.  She saw a psychiatrist, as you would imagine,  and was on a host of drugs.  Through Saul's recommendations, she took 11,500mg of Niacin a day, within a couple days she sat at the family table eating dinner as though nothing was wrong. The family showed the psychiatrist this miraculous result and he said that taking that much Niacin could be harmful. The family stopped giving it to her and she was back to sitting in the corner and non-communicative within a few days.  Currently, there are 0 deaths from niacin a year; over the last 15-20 years, there have still been none.

How Much Do You Need?

Adult men - 1.3 mg/day
Adult Women - 1.1 mg/day
Pregnant Women - 1.4 mg
Lactating Women - 1.6 mg
Infants - 0.3-0.4 mg/day
Children - 0.6-0.9 mg/day

Best Sources

#1: Yeast Extract Spread (Marmite) 
14.3mg (841% DV) per 100 gram serving
0.858mg (50% DV) per teaspoon.

#2: Liver 
Lamb liver provides the most riboflavin (B2) with 4.6mg per 100g serving or 270% of the DV.

#3: Dried Herbs, Spices, and Pepper
Dried ancho chilies contain the most riboflavin providing 2.26mg (133% DV) per 100 gram serving, or 0.38mg (23% DV) per pepper.
Paprika follows providing 1.74mg (103% DV) of vitamin b2 per 100 gram serving, or 0.12mg (7% DV) per tablespoon.
Dried coriander, spearmint, parsley, and finally chili powder which provides 0.8mg (47% DV) of riboflavin per 100 gram serving, or 0.06mg (4% DV) per tablespoon.

#4: Almonds 
Almonds provide 1.01mg (60% DV) of vitamin B2 per 100 gram serving

#5: Dry Roasted Soybeans (Edamame) 
Dry roasted soybeans, or edamame, provide 0.76mg (44% DV) of riboflavin per 100 gram serving

#6: Cheese (Roquefort, Brie, Limburger) 
Roquefort provides the most riboflavin (b2) with 0.57mg (34% DV) per 100 gram serving
Brie (31% DV per 100g)
Limburger (30% DV per 100g)
Camembert (29% DV per 100g)
Caraway cheese (26% DV per 100g)
Blue cheese (22% DV per 100g)
Goat cheese (22% DV per 100g)
Romano (22% DV per 100g)
Swiss cheese (17% DV per 100g)

#7: Wheat Bran 
Crude wheat bran provides 0.58mg (34% DV) of riboflavin per 100 gram serving

#8: Fish (Mackerel, Atlantic Salmon, Trout) 
Mackerel has the most riboflavin providing 0.54mg (32% DV) per 100 gram serving.
Wild caught Atlantic salmon provides 0.49mg (29%) DV of riboflavin per 100 gram serving
Trout provides 0.42mg (25% DV) of vitamin b2 per 100 gram serving

#9: Sesame Seeds 
Sesame seeds provide 0.47mg (27% DV) of riboflavin per 100 gram serving

#10: Sun-dried Tomatoes 
Sun-dried tomatoes provides 0.49mg (29% DV) of riboflavin per 100 gram serving



Adult Men - 16mg/day
Adult Women - 14mg/day
Pregnant Women - 18mg/day
Children - 2-12mg/day
Tolerable upper intake levels (UL) for adult men and women is considered to be 35 mg/day

Best Sources

#1: Yeast Extract Spread (Marmite) 
Marmite provides 97mg (485% DV) per 100 gram serving, or 5.8mg (29% DV) per teaspoon.

#2: Bran (Rice and Wheat) 
Rice bran contains 34mg (170% DV) per 100g serving
Wheat bran contains 13.6mg (65% DV) per 100 gram serving

#3: Fish (Anchovies, Tuna, Swordfish) 
Canned anchovies provide 19.9mg (100% DV) per 100 gram serving
Skip-Jack Tuna provides 18.8mg (94% DV) per 100 gram serving
Swordfish, King Mackerel, and Sturgeon with 10.1mg (51% DV) per 100 gram

#4: Liver 
Lamb liver provides 16.7mg per 100g serving or 83% of the DV

#5: Paprika 
Paprika provides 15.3mg (77% DV) per 100g

#6: Peanuts 
Peanuts provide 14.9mg (75% DV) in a 100 gram serving

#7: Veal (Lean) 
The top round cut of Lean veal provides 12mg (60% DV) of niacin per 100 gram serving

#8: Chicken (Light Meat) 
The light meat of chicken (breast, or tenders) provides 12.4mg (62% DV) of niacin per 100 gram serving

#9: Bacon
Bacon will provide 11.6mg (58% DV) of niacin per 100g serving

#10: Sun-dried Tomatoes 
Sun-dried tomatoes provide 9.1mg (45% DV) of niacin per 100g

What Happens if You Don't Get Enough?

Riboflavin (B2)

Riboflavin deficiency can 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 iron-deficiency anemia. The eyes may also become bloodshot, itchy, watery and sensitive to bright light.

The long term effects of a Riboflavin deficiency have not been clinically observed so far and are currently unknown.

Niacin (B3)

If you only have a mild deficiency, it results in a slower metabolism and a lesser ability to deal with cold.

A moderate deficiency can cause psychological problems which include irritability, poor concentration, anxiety, fatigue, restlessness, apathy, and depression.

In the cases of a severe Niacin deficiency, it causes the disease pellagra, which is characterized by diarrhea, dermatitis, and dementia, as well as “necklace” lesions on the lower neck, hyperpigmentation, thickening of the skin, inflammation of the mouth and tongue, digestive disturbances, amnesia, delirium, and eventually death, if left untreated.

What Happens if You Have Too Much

Riboflavin is continuously excreted through our urine and therefore does not have any toxic effects since it is not possible to have too much in our bodies.

A pharmacological high dose (1500 to 6000mg a day) of Niacin can cause some minor skin problems such as skin flushing and itching, dry skin, and skin rashes including eczema exacerbation and acanthosis nigricans.

Very high levels of Niacin can also cause a rise in blood sugar, but this effect is only about 5-10%.

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