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MEBO - UBIOME study 2018



MEBO Gut Microbiome Study
"Microbial Basis of Systemic Malodor and PATM Conditions (PATM)"
Funded by uBiome Research Grant

"Microbial Basis of Systemic Malodor and PATM Conditions (PATM)"

Dynamics of the Gut Microbiota in
Idiopathic Malodor Production

Started May 2018 - Ongoing

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3 kits per person


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Blog Archive

Tuesday, October 14, 2008

Arun Nagrath on Vitamin B2 (riboflavin. The co-vitamin in the function of Flavin Mono-oxygenase enzyme)

On 18 June 2005, Our scientist, Arun Nagrath, Pharmacist. BSc Pharmacy Hons, MSc., Postgraduate researcher in Odour Analysis, posted in MSN about his observations of a good measure of success that some people were having taking vitamin B2, and he adds some tips and advice which may help get the most out of this vitamin supplement.

Hi, I have noticed that a number of people have now had a good measure of success on taking B2 and I would like to add some tips and advice which may help get the most out of this vitamin supplement. Perhaps it is easier for me to do this in a questions and answers format:-

1 What type of odor conditions does B2 help with and how well does it work?

Well, currently Dr Eileen Treacy is looking specifically into the use of B2 (riboflavin) in patients with Trimethylaminuria. It has also recently started being recomended by researchers in the field... Clearly, it has good effect in some people. It is early stages yet and we will know more about it's place when Dr Treacy publishes her results.

My findings are that even people who do not appear to have symptoms of trimethylaminuria may derive benefit from it! I have seen this in people who have just an intermittent strong underarm sweaty odor and no breath odor and no increase in odor after consuming substantial quantities of choline-rich foods. These people have reported approximately an 80% reduction in odor.

2 What dose should one take and is it safe?

The people I know who have tried this have used doses of 100mg four times a day (sometimes more). This dose has been given to patients undergoing a trial on the use of B2 in migraine prophylaxis and it has generally been well tolerated.

Doses of 400 milligrams daily for four months were found to cause diarrhea and polyuria in two out of 28 subjects who participated in a migraine prophylaxis study. Riboflavin supplements impart a yellow-orange discoloration to urine. This color has no pathological implication. Other possible side-effects at this dose are that it can cause B-complex imbalances, dark urine, nausea, and vomiting.

I have got the following information from an excellent article on B2 and here is a link to it:-


The maximal amount of riboflavin that is absorbed from a single oral dose appears to be about 27 milligrams.

A significant percentage of large intakes of riboflavin—greater than 30 milligrams in a single dose—is excreted in the feces.


Doses of riboflavin greater than 30 milligrams should be taken in divided doses.

Okay, so what does this mean? It means taking 100mg four times a day will waste some B2. If the brand of B2 you buy is cheap in your store then that really doesn't matter. However, if it is expensive then you may want to half the tablets and take just half a tablet 4 times a day. The doses are a bit arbitrary so I wouldn't worry about taking exactly 400mg in a day.

3 Should I take B2 with other vitamins (eg B complex)?

Well I have read 2 things about this. These include:-

a) Vitamin b2 works with vitamins B1, B3 and B6 (aswell as other non-B vitamins eg vitamin C); consequently vitamin B2 should be ideally taken as part of a B complex supplement. Normally it is recomended to buy a riboflavin B2 product that contains other B vitamins as well as they work synergistically.

Okay, here is my advice about all this:-

Whilst it is rational to take B2 as part of a B complex supplement, there is a difference in the various preparations of vitamin B complex. Vitamin B complex contains B1 (thiamine), B2 (riboflavin), B3 (niacin), B5 (pantothenic acid), B6 (pyridoxine), B12, Folic acid and Biotin. However, high strength vitamin B complex (such as B-50 complex) also contains Choline Bitartrate, Inositol, and PABA.

Yes, that's right B-50 complex contains choline so avoid that preparation if you have trimethylaminuria! Quite honestly, the important thing is initially just to see if the B2 works so I would say for new people trying it for the first time just take the B2 by itself for a couple of weeks. If it helps then think about whether or not you want to add vitamin B complex aswell. B2 has been tried by itself at these high doses for migraine sufferers for a few months so it should be relatively safe in the short-term.

Also, remember that we are temporarily treating a particular condition with higher levels of one particular nutrient. This is what the research is about so adding other things (vitamins, minerals etc) may confuse the results.

b) B2 should be combined with a roughly similar quantity of B6?

If this were true, then this would mean taking large doses of this. I do not advise this since there have been concerns about possible toxicity resulting from prolonged use of B6 at high dosage. These concerns have not yet been resolved.

Disclaimer - the above information is true to the best of my knowledge. If you have any concerns about taking B2 then you should wait for Dr Treacy to publish her findings on the subject or see your doctor before trying the supplement.

I hope that helps answer some questions.



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