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Int J Vitam Nutr Res. 1979;49(3):286-90.

Riboflavin nutriture of oral contraceptive users.


A Cross-Sectional and Follow-UP study of young women taking oral contraceptive agents (OCA) revealed no significant adverse effect of OCA Bon riboflavin nutriture. Three of 33 women in the Cross-Sectional study had biochemical evidence of deficiency, while only 1 of the 12 women in the Follow-Up study developed biochemical deficiency after a period of 3 months. The biochemical riboflavin status showed no relationship with the duration of OCA use. Dietary riboflavin intake was adequate in the majority of the subjects and revealed no correlation with activity coefficient of erythrocyte glutathione reductase activity.


A cross-sectional and follow-up study was conducted to determine the biochemical effects of oral contraceptives (OCs) on the vitamin B2 nutriture of 65 young healthy women ( 18 years old). The subjects were divided into: 1) control group (N = 20 women, 18-23 years of age who had never taken OCs); 2) the cross-sectional study group (N=33 women, 18-28 years of age who had been on OCs for at least 3 months); and 3) follow-up study group comprising of 12 women (18-23 years) who had never used OCs and who were studied before the initiation of OC use and after 3-6 months of OC use. Food intake data for 3 days were recorded by the subjects using the weighed inventory method. Blood samples (10 ml) were collected in heparinized tubes after an overnight fast. Erythrocyte glutathione reductase activity (EFR) with and without addition of flavine adenine dinucleotide (FAD) in vitro was estimated using the method of Nichoalds. 3 of 33 women in the cross-sectional group manifested biochemical deficiency of riboflavin while in the follow-up group, only 1 developed biochemical deficiency after 3 months. Biochemical riboflavin status did not correlate with OC use. Most of the subjects had adequate riboflavin intake. No correlation was observed between riboflavin intake and activity coefficient of EGR. In developing countries it is possible that the combined effects of poor dietary riboflavin nutrition and OCs contribute to the further deterioration of dietary riboflavin nutrition. Further research should be done to determine why some women are prone to riboflavin deficiency and others are not.

[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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