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Riboflavin's role in an important VA detox pathway

Quote from tim on January 30, 2020, 4:55 am

@lil-chick The problem though is that SIBO kills you slowly too. Heart disease and other terrible stuff.

Yes I agree bad bugs are horrible.   Don't let me stop you.   If you start feeling toxic, though, listen to your body.  Carotenoids aren't the only pesky plant chemicals that can add up.   The strong things in herbs are designed to kill off bugs.  They don't care what size the bug is.   (180 pound man or bacteria)

One of my babies had his gut bacteria destroyed by heavy antibiotics (because of recurrent ear infections).  His bowels were water, it was horrific.  Diapers couldn't contain and his butt was raw.   Switched docs and he prescribed whole, organic yogurt multiple times a day.    It worked AND got rid of the ear infections too.

I think that the reason we are handed down fermented foods, spice blends, and things like vinegar and red wine as traditions is because these things are everyday/multiple times a day/lifetime PERSISTANT, livable changes.

It's like a garden.  Poisoning the garden won't get you a healthy garden.   You need to walk through your garden multiple times a day, weeding, seeding, fertilizing ....

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Quote from tim on January 4, 2020, 8:51 pm

I'm surprised this post didn't get more interest, here is the TL;DR:

  • ~70% of people are riboflavin deficient, these rates are higher among the elderly
  • Riboflavin is needed to convert retinol to RA and then to convert RA to a water soluble retinoid that can be eliminated from the liver and kidneys
  • Riboflavin deficiency symptoms have a lot of overlap with VA toxicity symptoms

These are exceptional (and rate limiting) deficiency rates, thiamin deficiency rates in the elderly are about 25% in comparison.

Thanks, Tim! This is all super interesting. Like Rachel, I appreciate the summary as well (my brain fog/CFS is acting up lately, making reading kinda hard).

@orion How’s the RnB Treatment Protocol going for you? I’d like to try it, but I’m not sure where to get the Molybdate salt suggested (I can only find the regular chelate or amino acid kind). Were you able to find it somewhere?

I’ve started on high dose thiamin therapy (Dr. Antonio Costantini: https://highdosethiamine.org/), but the reaction so far (I’m about a month into it) has been a mixed bag... I think I’m missing some other nutrients. 😝

Quote from eliza1275 on January 20, 2020, 8:35 am

Just saw Grant's latest post, and I have to add that I have toxicity symptoms (burning skin, insomnia, acne) on the carnivore diet as well as on a diet of beef and rice. Beef and potatoes and sunflower seeds/oil keeps me symptom free. This makes me think that it may be something more than a riboflavin deficiency, since potatoes are not a good source, but instead perhaps a copper or molybdenum deficiency (potatoes are decent sources of both). (By the way, beans are one of the best sources of molybdenum, but I cannot tolerate them due to their high sulfur/thiol content).

That’s very good to hear, Eliza! I’m glad you’ve found a combination that is working. 😁

@puddleduck The RnB protocol seems to really be helping, honestly things have changed a lot for the positive.  I think for me it is really down to the extra molybdenum, which is crucial to converting retinaldehyde to retinoic acid for excretion, and that it is part of the B2 activation enzyme.  I tested with iodine, but makes me too wired, so I only supplement the selenium(33mcg) and molybdenum(66mcg) salts, and I only take a very low dose indicated.  I also take roughly 10mg B2 and about 3mg B1 HCl.   I have always tested low selenium and molybdenum on hairtests, so kind of makes sense.  I also test with allithiamine on and off, it is powerful stuff, I get very positive effects if I use small 1mg doses EOD, using it daily in bigger doses brings on strong paradox effects that I cannot handle yet.  Its like a big stress response, bad sleep, cold hands and feet, wired feeling.

Also I have really increased my legume intake(black and lima beans), in the past this would cause great discomfort in my digestion, but now handle it with ease.   Same goes for brown rice, can now eat it big portions with no bloating, etc...  big change.

But on top of all this I am closing in on 15 months zero VA diet, so it has to all be intertwined, anyway things continue to improve, and very happy for that.  Thanks for checking in, hope you are doing well!

I use these two:

Selenium #8 - Liquid Mineral

Molybdenum #7 - Liquid Mineral



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That's wonderful to hear, @orion ! 😊  Being able to digest so much better is a huuuuuge thing, yay!!  And super interesting about the stress response from the allithiamine (insomnia started to happen to me with thiamin HCL). Hope the sleep has improved for you otherwise, though. If not, once that happens I'd expect you're gonna feel AMAZING. So happy you're still seeing good changes. 😁

Also, thanks so much for sharing the links--I ordered them and will give it a go. 🤞 It makes a lot of sense that supplementation can be essential to this process in some cases (especially for people who have been sick or years or decades).

@hillcountry Interesting stuff about vitamin D! I threw out my Vitamin D pills because of Dr. Smith's warnings about it, but context is everything. I hope it helps you!

B2 appears to be an interesting alternative to antibiotics. Anyone noticed an increase in fatigue/weight loss from B2 supplementation, or maybe a decrease in SIBO/bloating? 


Immunomodulatory effect of riboflavin deficiency and enrichment - reversible pathological response versus silencing of inflammatory activation

Ariboflavinosis, that is, vitamin B2 deficiency, is a common problem affecting the populations of both developing and affluent countries. Teenagers, elderly people, pregnant women, and alcohol abusers represent groups that are particularly susceptible to this condition. [...] We conclude that short-term riboflavin deficiency significantly impairs the ability of macrophages to induce proper immune response, while riboflavin enrichment decreases the proinflammatory activation of macrophages.

Riboflavin deprivation inhibits macrophage viability and activity...
The results show that riboflavin deprivation has negative effects on both the activity and viability of macrophages and reduces their ability to generate an immune response. 
In conclusion, macrophages are sensitive to riboflavin deficiency; thus, a low riboflavin intake in the diet may affect the immune system and may consequently decrease proper host immune defence.

Enhancement of resistance to bacterial infection in mice by vitamin B2.

[..]We found that the intramuscular injection of vitamin B2 enhanced host resistance to E. coli infection in a dose-dependent manner (6.25 mg/kg-100 mg/kg). Furthermore, VB2 exhibited the protective activity against Pseudomonas aeruginosa, Klebsiella pneumoniae, Staphylococcus aureus, and Actinobacillus pleuropneumoniae. The mechanism of action of VB2 for enhancing resistance in mice may be, at least in part, its ability to stimulate the multiplication of neutrophils and monocytes, and to activate macrophages.


I’ve been re reading this very useful old thread (first part). Particular thank you to @tim-2 and @orion for interesting information. 

I’ve been re looking at B vitamin deficiencies and also listening to Dr Gominak.

I think that the vA detox tends to deplete nutrients for a number of reasons:

1. Increased usage of detox enzymes and pathways

2. Repair of liver and other tissues requiring extra nutrients (Dr Gominak work)

3. Toxicity affecting microbiome disturbing its production of B vitamins. People often start the detox with dysbiosis I think. 

4. Production of intermediate products that use up nutrients. The one I’ve looked at is retinaldehyde (and other aldehydes) that uses up B1, B6 and folate. 

5. Stress depleted nutrients. Some people may find the diet stressful. 

6. Limited diet may affect microbiome and/or be insufficient for an individuals needs in one or more nutrients. 

There are probably other factors too but these are my current thoughts. The precise nutrient depletions and levels will depend I think on genetics, microbiome and diet. Some people may be fine and others not. 

For these reasons I’m favouring a slow detox and possible targeted support. A 2015 OAT test picked up low B2 & B6 so these may be my Achilles heal. Others will be different. Anything that speeds up the detox or the required rate of repair may uncover nutrient deficiencies more acutely than a slow detox. 

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I noticed in the last week, I do much better scaling back the fiber, last couple months I was increasing my intake.  Seems slowing things down, can relieve some symptoms (skin for me). @jaj

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