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Food Sources

Most plant and animal tissues contain at least small amounts of riboflavin. Data obtained from the 1995 Continuing Survey of Food Intakes by Individuals (CSFII) indicate that the greatest contribution to the riboflavin intake of the U.S. adult population comes from milk and milk drinks followed by bread products and fortified cereals (Table 5-2). Other sources of riboflavin are organ meats. Milk is both a rich source of riboflavin and a commonly consumed food. Riboflavin loss occurs if it is exposed to the light, for example, if milk is stored in clear glass under light.

Dietary Intake

Based on data from CSFII (Appendix G) and the Third National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey (Appendix H), the median intake of riboflavin from food in the United States is approximately 2 mg/day for men and 1.5 mg/day for women. Similarly, a group of healthy residents of rural Georgia was found to have a mean daily intake of riboflavin of 2.1 mg (Roughead and McCormick, 1991). For all life stage and gender groups, fewer than 5 percent of individuals have estimated intakes that are less than the Estimated Average Requirement (EAR) for riboflavin. Dietary riboflavin intake in two Canadian provinces was reported to be similar to U.S. intake (Appendix I).

The Boston Nutritional Status Survey (Appendix F) indicates that this relatively advantaged group of people over age 60 had an estimated median riboflavin intake of 1.9 mg/day for men and 1.5 mg/ day for women.

Intake from Supplements

Information from the Boston Nutritional Status Survey on the use of riboflavin supplements by a free-living elderly population is given in Appendix F. For those taking supplements, the fiftieth percentile of supplemental riboflavin intake was estimated to be 1.9 mg for men and 2.9 mg for women. Approximately 26 percent of all adults took a riboflavin-containing supplement in 1986 (Moss et al., 1989).

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