058: Why You Should Manage Your Riboflavin Status and How to Do It (2/16/19)

Riboflavin is the ultimate fat-burning nutrient. It makes even a bad MTHFR work right, and it keeps you looking young and beautiful forever.

Here’s everything you need to know about why you should manage your riboflavin status and how to do it. 

In this podcast I join with Alex Leaf of Examine.Com. I focus on what riboflavin is and what it does, while Alex focuses on riboflavin supplements.

Going into this podcast I changed my mind about three important things:
  • While I had always discussed riboflavin as relevant to methylation and MTHFR, I had kept it in the back seat in my methylation protocol. Half way through recording this podcast I realized that it really deserves a front seat in my MTHFR protocol. In fact, it may be the case that there’s nothing wrong with the common MTHFR polymorphisms at all and that they only appear to hurt MTHFR activity because most of us aren’t getting enough riboflavin. And why aren’t we? Liver. Liver. We just have to eat liver.
  • In Testing Nutritional Status: The Ultimate Cheat Sheet, I had included HDRI’s erythrocyte glutathione reductase activity test as test for assessing riboflavin status. After doing the research for this podcast, I am now convinced that this test is only reliable as a marker of riboflavin status when the lab tests the enzyme activity with and without the addition of riboflavin, which HDRI doesn’t do. I will be revising the cheat sheet soon to rely solely on LabCorp’s whole blood riboflavin test for assessing riboflavin status.
  • I have, for years, believed that riboflavin 5’-phosphate (aka, flavin mononucleotide or FMN) supplements are better than plain old riboflavin, especially for people who are hypothyroid or have low adrenal status, since these conditions impair the activation of riboflavin to it’s 5’-phosphate form. After doing the research for this podcast I now believe that for healthy people it makes no difference and that for people with small intestinal pathologies, the cheaper, less fancy, plain old “riboflavin” is likely to be more effective. 

In this podcast we being by considering the fictional stories of people who seem to have little in common. We then explain their stories by looking at the signs and symptoms of riboflavin deficiency. We consider the science of what riboflavin is, how it is used by the body, what it does for us, how to have great riboflavin status, and how to become deficient. We round this out with an extensive discussion of riboflavin supplementation.