We can often see information on the Internet that attempts to mislead consumers with wrong messages. Some consumers might be fooled around and misunderstand the dietary supplements. Today, we’re going to talk about a marketing-oriented misconception that often appears on the Internet about “why do vitamin B supplements turn urine yellow?” Rumor has it that the yellowish urine after taking B-complex vitamin is because this vitamin is chemical synthesis, it cannot be absorbed well. Therefore, this yellow urine is often teased as “expensive urine” (cannot be absorbed, just waste away). This definitely is a marketing-oriented misunderstanding!
Why does urine turn yellow after taking vitamin B-complex? The main reason is due to vitamin B2; besides, vitamin B12 also has a slight impact. Vitamin B2 is commonly known as riboflavin, a term derived from the Latin word ‘flavus’ that means yellow. Vitamin B12 is found only in foods of animal origin; liver and egg yolk are the best food sources of riboflavin. One of the most important functions of vitamin B2 in the body is to provide energy. According to the literature quoted by the National Institutes of Health (NIH), when a single diet or supplement consumption exceeds 27 mg, the body will only absorb a small part and store it in the body. The extra part is excreted through urine. Vitamin B2 is very safe, even if the consumption is high, there are few cases of side effects. In a study, even if the ultra-high content of 400 mg was consumed daily for three consecutive months, it is unlikely to cause any harm (by Institute of Medicine. Food and Nutrition Board. 1998). To conclude, vitamin B2 is a very safe nutrient.
Understand this is a metabolic mechanism, you should know the rumor of poor-absorbed chemical synthesis vitamin Bs make the urine turn yellow is false :
1. The yellow color of urine has nothing to do with whether the vitamin is natural or chemical, but with the amount that consumed. Whether it is natural or cheap chemically synthesized vitamins, if you take vitamin B complex without vitamin B2, your urine will not go yellowish; if your vitamin B-complex supplement has high amount of vitamin B2, your body will absorb enough amount of it, and the excess will be eliminated. As for how much the body absorbs and excretes, it is related to whether the individual's body needs and if the body’s reserves is sufficient (Lee and McCormick, 1983).
2. The yellow color of urine is also generally related to whether the individual drinks enough water. In regular diet, when you don’t drink enough water, your urine may still turn into a strong yellow.
3. According to the data of NIH, in daily food, beef liver (fried) is rich in vitamin B2, and every 3 ounces (about 90 grams) contains 2.9 mg of vitamin B2. The truth is if you consume a lot of beef liver, even though it is average food, your urine color may still look very yellow! Because it contains a high amount of vitamin B2.
4. After supplementing vitamin B-complex or multivitamin, the urine does not turn yellow, which may mean that the contents of the supplements are too low, which is not enough for the needs of human body, so there is no excess content to eliminate.
Due to the difference of personal lifestyle and diet conditions, each person's demand for nutritional products could be varies. The high-quality vitamin B-complex and other dietary supplements should take into account individual nutritional requirements and differences, which means that they can met different people’s daily needs. When your urine turns yellow color after supplementing vitamin B-complex, it means that vitamin B-complex can well support your body's daily needs, and only a small superfluous amount will be excreted from the body.
As for what kind of people belong to the high-risk group of vitamin B2 deficiency? Sush as :
1. Vegetarian athlete. Metabolism during exercise consumes a lot of vitamin B2, but vegetarians cannot get animal-sourced vitamin B2, so it is very possible they could suffer from vitamin B2 deficiency.
2. Pregnant women, nursing mothers and babies. Due to the increased physical needs of pregnant women or breastfeeding mothers, if they seldom eat meat or dairy products, as well as vegetarian pregnant women, there may be the possibility of vitamin B2 deficiency.
3. Vegan. A vegan diet usually does not have any source of meat, and if they do not consume enough dairy products, it is also a high-risk group that may be deficient in vitamin B2.