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Vitamin B2 May Help Improve Hemoglobin Levels

If you’re concerned about blood health, make sure you’re getting enough vitamin B2. A recent study conducted by scientists at the University of Sheffield and The Institute of Food Research in England suggests that vitamin B2 (riboflavin) supplementation improves blood health; more specifically, hemoglobin levels.

The study was published in the June 2011 issue of the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition.

Participants in the study included one hundred women between the ages of 19 and 25 who showed a moderate deficiency in riboflavin levels. Over the course of two months, 1/3 of the women received a placebo daily, 1/3 received 2 mg of riboflavin, and 1/3 received 4 mg of riboflavin.

The researchers noted higher riboflavin levels in both the 2 mg and the 4 mg groups, with the higher dose producing a greater increase. They also noted that the higher riboflavin levels corresponded with higher hemoglobin levels.

Hemoglobin is a protein in your red blood cells that contains iron and carries oxygen throughout your body. Low hemoglobin levels can lead to iron deficiencies and lower physical functioning, as your vital organs are not receiving the oxygen they need. Because red blood cells carry the oxygen that keeps your body going—and also dispose of carbon monoxide and carry other needed proteins—blood health is essential to overall health.

Riboflavin is more commonly used as an energy booster in sports drinks, but its antioxidant properties have also linked it to helping the body build better and stronger tissue, improving immune system health, and even enhancing feelings of well being.

Riboflavin can be found in liver, egg yolk, milk, and meat. If you’re a vegetarian or just don’t like to consume too much meat, add a high quality supplement to your diet to make sure your blood stays healthy.

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