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No love of B2 here - a warning about riboflavin

Discussion in 'Detox: Methylation; B12; Glutathione; Chelation' started by South, Jul 25, 2014.

  1. South

    South Senior Member

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    I'd like to state a warning about B2 aka Riboflavin, so people will be watchful for a nasty side effect. Elsewhere in this forum there's a long thread called "B2 I love you". I'm here today in this "methylation/B12 detox" forum because that is where the other thread, the "b2 I love you" thread also lives. I'd like to state a warning about B2, so people will be watchful for a nasty side effect.

    Riboflavin (vitamin B2), taken in anything other than small, proportionate doses to other B vitamins seems to lower serotonin. It did in me.

    I posted a study at the bottom of this post, that I found after a week of using riboflavin and experiencing sudden, low serotonin depression that I hadn't experienced in years. I did not make the connection for the whole week, then sorted through my supplements and researched the one that I'd started just before the problem started, thinking "this can't be it". Apparently it was.

    After starting the riboflavin, and then getting the awful low serotonin issues, but before making the connection, I tried 5htp, tryptophan, eating lots of carbs for a couple of days (ie, a very large amount, trying to raise my mood), none of these helped.

    Then I read enough to convince me to try avoiding the riboflavin, and stopped taking it. Ta da. In the 2 days since stopping it, no low serotonin depression - after a week of fairly relentless all day experience of the problem.

    I've long been a canary in the coal mine when it comes to serotonin - in other words, I probably have less "reserve" serotonin and thus notice the effects of serotonin-lowering products more than the average member of the public does. But readers of Phoenix Rising may be more likely to have this in common with me than the average member of the public does. I'd like to help anyone avoid the experience I had.

    For example, I've long known that the herb called feverfew, which has study evidence as causing lower serotonin, will quickly give me low serotonin depression within a day of starting it.

    For what it's worth, my routine for the past year or so before the riboflavin experiment has been:
    *healthy diet, limiting intake of fake folic acid even in foods
    *low dose use of methylfolate and methyl B12, I have not raised the doses and don't notice much
    *about 250 mg per day of niacinamide.
    That's all for B vitamins for the past year or so. Perhaps that made me too low in the other B vitamins to balance out the riboflavin.

    Still, with all the emphasis over in the "b2 I love you" thread about high dose riboflavin, I thought I should warn people.

    A study: (last sentence of it is "This finding suggests that riboflavin deficiency renders MAO more susceptible to inhibition.", so a deficiency in riboflavin inhibits serotonin breakdown, and thus the presence of more riboflavin may speed up serotonin breakdown)
    http://www.nrcresearchpress.com/doi/abs/10.1139/o63-008?journalCode=cjbp#.U9JgrbH5fSg
  2. brenda

    brenda Senior Member

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    As the author of the "B2 I love you" thread, I have to comment that a high dose was not suggested by Dog Person in fact she was all for lose doses of everything (except mn). She moreover advised taking it in repeat small doses through the day.
    Little Bluestem likes this.
  3. South

    South Senior Member

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    Thank you Brenda. The dose I took was 25 mg per day total, and I divided that 25 mg into three parts to spread it through the day. In case that info is useful to anyone.
  4. Victronix

    Victronix Senior Member

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    Thanks for sharing that finding. Sounds important to know.

    I started taking all the Bs separately and being concerned about bizarre effects, cut all the pills into quarters and only take 1/4 per day, since I'm a "sensitive" to everything. So far, it's been mostly fine for me, although I actually do better when I don't take any nicin or nicinimide, which I notice impacts the effectiveness of B-12 for me.

    The B2 (Source Naturals) is 18mg, so it's about 1/4 of that, or 4.5 mg. So, for me, not very much is needed, although I could probably increase it.
  5. Freddd

    Freddd Senior Member

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    I concur that B2 as well as B1 and B3 in excessive amounts can make the need for methylfolate and potassium become insatiable and stops effectiveness which could certainly send mood plunging. and other problems. The balance with the other b-vitamins has to be found by titrations.
    L'engle likes this.
  6. Gondwanaland

    Gondwanaland Senior Member

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    My ideal dose of riboflavin is 5mg daily divided in two (along with the other Bs). When I tried to up it to 8mg I got multiple chemical sensitivities symptoms (e.g. difficulty breathing). When I went back to 5mg things got better.
  7. justy

    justy Senior Member

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    B2 gave me nightmares.
  8. sregan

    sregan Senior Member

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    Cilantro does that for me
    justy likes this.
  9. Gondwanaland

    Gondwanaland Senior Member

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    Now that you have mentioned it, I remember of having nightmares too when I raised my B2 intake to 8mg/day!
    justy likes this.
  10. optimist

    optimist Senior Member

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    When I started taking multivitamins, I got really down. It took me a while to realise it was the vitamins, and what a relief to stop taking them. Perhaps it is the B-Vitamins that are the bad ones! Thanks for sharing!
  11. Gondwanaland

    Gondwanaland Senior Member

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    Finding the right balance between all of them is critical, in my experience especially between B2, B3 and B6.
    optimist likes this.
  12. South

    South Senior Member

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    Freddd: this was not potassium deficiency. As I said, it was low serotonin. (not potassium deficiency). Whether that low serotonin is related to methylfolate is unknown. Not potassium though.
  13. Gondwanaland

    Gondwanaland Senior Member

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    Supplementing potassium did nothing for me either!
  14. Freddd

    Freddd Senior Member

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    Hi South,

    A lack of MeCbl, AdoCbl, L-methylfolate, LCF, zinc, potassium and other things can all cause depression and affect serotonin among 600 other things. These things are interdependent. So high B2 causing strong symptoms of paradoxical folate deficiency and low potassium, can cause depression in hours and throw a lot of biochemical processes off course. Which specific biochemical pathway(s) caused depression, whether by presumed low serotonin or not, can be quite puzzling because they affect so many pathways so very quickly. Depression is one of those symptoms that too much b2 causes by it's effects on other things. If you come to a correct understanding of what is causing the depression perhaps you can reverse it and prevent it from coming back.

    I really don't know if you might have induced low potassium or not, just that it can be one of the things that can occur with relatively too high B2. You were saying "too high" b2 caused problems for you like depression. I was pointing out one way it can do so that is only recently recognized. Good luck in figuring it out.
  15. Gondwanaland

    Gondwanaland Senior Member

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    I forgot to add that I got similar anxiety symptoms from both upping my B2 intake from 5mg to 8mg AND from lowering from 5mg to 2mg :confused:
    Little Bluestem likes this.
  16. South

    South Senior Member

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    Freddd: I had only the symptom of low serotonin, during this experiment. I remember the exact feeling from way back in the distant past when I had dabbled with a prescription serotonin boosting drug, and gone through withdraw from it (over 10 years ago).
    During the experiment listed in this thread, I did NOT have muscle cramps of any kind. It wasn't potassium as the problem.
  17. Freddd

    Freddd Senior Member

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    Can you describe the sensations, the changes in symptoms etc that signify "low serotonin" in your experience please?

    The search terms were B12 Serotonin. The first 4 state right in the search blurb about B12s involvement in serotonin formation. That means that ALL 4 of the deadlock quartet can affect the making of serotonin. Low MeCbl and/or low AdoCbl and/or L-methylfolate and/or LCF can all cause low serotonin. Whether your potassium goes low or not is totally irrelevant except as a marker that methylation has turned on and serotonin might be getting made. And not everybody with methylation startup has low potassium.



    Search Results
  18. Critterina

    Critterina Senior Member

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    Funny, when I did the NutrEval, the only BIG deficiency was B2. Based on my bloodwork, they recommended 50 mg per day. I understand LCF depleted it, in my case.
  19. Tunguska

    Tunguska

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    This is a stretch, but I was taking sublingual UMP because it produces a decidedly dopaminergic effect (a focused and attentive kind of headspace), for me, and as it's commonly described. I found R5P sometimes produced the same effect, albeit not as strong: http://forums.phoenixrising.me/index.php?threads/b2-i-love-you.15209/page-40#post-492735

    Maybe B2 is more dopaminergic and could lower serotonin that way? Similarly people taking too much UMP complain about feeling robotic.
  20. South

    South Senior Member

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    @Freddd Again, it was not low potassium. I said nothing about low B12. Your long post here about B12 doesn't fit my previous reply to you in which I stated that my issue was not low potassium.
    Critterina and Valentijn like this.

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