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ABC’s of Vitamin Deficiencies: B2 or Riboflavin Deficiency

Updated: Apr 27

I do have to say that a vitamin B2 deficiency is not all that commonly seen. Which means that, this post is going to be a short one!

The Merck Veterinary Manual is my source. Since I have no personal experience with the deficiency, I think it’s best you head over here. According to the Manual, poultry that are fed a vitamin deficient diet will see the effects of Vitamin B2 deficiency first. It is also called curled toe paralysis.

Riboflavin is a precursor to FAD. Do you remember seeing FAD as one of the recipients for electrons in cellular metabolism along with NAD? It’s vaguely in my brain. It is also important for glutathione reductase one of the enzymes responsible for balancing oxidative stress in cells.

I don’t recall it being in my list of things to study for the NAVLE, which goes to show you that it’s not as important for the general practitioner in small animal practice!

Either way, poor energy metabolism causes weakness and death. If you read the Manual, you see that it is a cause of hind limb paralysis in chickens. There appears to be irreversible nerve damage to the sciatic nerve in chickens with a riboflavin deficiency. As an aside, note that hind limb paralysis in birds is not pathognomonic for Vitamin B2 deficiency. I may get to that later!

Until then, here’s a refresher for the biochem enthusiast that want to remember where FAD is accepting those electrons!

Stay tuned for more posts in this series of ABC’s of Vitamin Deficiencies!

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