Dietary Riboflavin Intake and Riboflavin Status in Young Adult Women Living in Metro Vancouver, Canada

Abeer M. Aljaadi, Alejandra M. Wiedeman, Susan I. Barr, Angela M. Devlin, Tim J. Green

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Background: Nutrition surveys suggest that <10% of Canadian adults have inadequate riboflavin intakes. However, biochemical riboflavin deficiency [erythrocyte glutathione reductase activity coefficient (EGRac) ≥1.40] has been reported in 41% of young adult women living in Metro Vancouver. Canadian Chinese ethnicity comprise >25% of Vancouver's population and are postulated to have poorer riboflavin status than those of European ethnicity because they could be less likely to consume dairy products and fortified wheat. Objectives: The objectives of this study were to determine dietary riboflavin intake and food sources, and to assess the association between riboflavin intake and status in young women of European (n = 107) and Chinese (n = 91) ethnicities living in Metro Vancouver, Canada. Methods: This was a cross-sectional study conducted in women (aged 19-45 y). Women were healthy, not pregnant or breastfeeding, of European or Chinese ethnicities, and not taking riboflavin-containing supplements for the past 4 mo. Dietary riboflavin intake was assessed using the past-year Diet History Questionnaire II, and riboflavin status (EGRac) was measured in fasting venous blood samples. Results: Only 7% of participants had dietary riboflavin intakes below the Estimated Average Requirement (0.9 mg/d), but 40% of women had biochemical riboflavin deficiency (EGRac ≥1.40). Although more Canadian women of European ethnicity than Chinese ethnicity had biochemical riboflavin deficiency (46% and 34%; P < 0.001), median dietary riboflavin intake did not differ (1.73 and 1.82 mg/d; P = 0.587). Dairy products and vegetables contributed the most to riboflavin intake. Energy-adjusted dietary riboflavin intake was inversely associated with EGRac (B =-0.04, 95% CI:-0.07,-0.01). However, after further adjustment the relation was not significant. Conclusions: Overall, women of reproductive age living in Metro Vancouver, Canada, had a low prevalence of inadequate dietary riboflavin intake despite the high prevalence of apparent biochemical riboflavin deficiency.

Original languageEnglish
Article numbernzab021
JournalCurrent Developments in Nutrition
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished or Issued - 1 Apr 2021


  • C-DHQ II
  • Canada
  • EGRac
  • Vancouver
  • food sources
  • reproductive age
  • riboflavin intake
  • riboflavin status
  • women

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Medicine (miscellaneous)
  • Food Science
  • Nutrition and Dietetics

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