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Are vitamin B2 (riboflavin) supplements safe for pregnant or nursing women?

Riboflavin is not only safe during pregnancy and breastfeeding, your doctor may suggest that you increase your intake. In addition to the 1.2 to 1.3 milligrams of riboflavin recommended for teenage and adult-age women, experts suggest taking an extra 0.3 to 0.4 mg. of riboflavin during pregnancy and an extra 0.5 to 0.6 mg. while breastfeeding.

If you are going to take a separate B2 (riboflavin) vitamin supplement during pregnancy or lactation, you should do so because of your doctor’s recommendation -- i.e. recommended for a specific clinical condition such as migraines. Otherwise you will get all the B2 you need from a healthy diet and your prenatal multivitamin and mineral formula (PMVM). Most PMVMs contain between 2-4 mg of riboflavin, which can deliver all your body and the developing fetus’ needs under normal conditions. Vitamin B2 is an essential compound that helps your body produce energy. It promotes growth, good vision, and healthy skin, and it's necessary for your baby's bone, muscle, and nerve development.

B2 (riboflavin) is a water-soluble vitamin, meaning the body won’t store it and therefore you need to get enough each day. Food sources are milk, cheese, bananas, organ meats, yeast, green leafy vegetables, tomatoes, almonds and fortified cereals/breads. Although there is no evidence of riboflavin toxicity, even at levels as high as 400 mg/day (generally used for migraines), unless you are specifically instructed by your doctor, you should only consume the amount in your prenatal/multivitamin & mineral formula during pregnancy and lactation.

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Important: This content reflects information from various individuals and organizations and may offer alternative or opposing points of view. It should not be used for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. As always, you should consult with your healthcare provider about your specific health needs.