Why do vitamins make urine yellow

What are vitamins

Vitamins are essential nutrients that living organisms need regularly to successfully carry out bodily functions. These organic compounds known as vitamins must be supplemented via dietary means as they are not synthesized in adequate amounts within the body. The functions of vitamins range from carrying out hormonal actions and helping metabolism to acting as antioxidants. The various types of vitamins are Vitamin A, B (1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 9 and 12), C, D, E and K. Deficiency of vitamins can cause diseases such as night-blindness, hyperkeratosis, beriberi, pellagra, anemia, dermatitis, megaloblast, scurvy, rickets and bleeding diathesis.

The first thing that one needs to note is the fact that all vitamins are not responsible for turning urine yellow. The chief culprit in most of such cases is vitamin B-2 or riboflavin as it is also known as. Riboflavin is known to turn ones urine bright yellow in color, particularly visible if the vitamin is consumed in an excess amount. Riboflavin is necessary for human beings as it is utilized to break down other nutrients such as fats, proteins and carbohydrates. Vitamin B-2 is also known for helping in proper manufacturing and growth of RBCs. It is only when the intake is more than the required quota (anything between 0.3 to 1.1 mg on a daily basis, depending on factors like height, weight, age, etc.) that urine starts to exhibit the characteristic bright yellow color.

The water soluble vitamin B-2 moves directly into the blood stream on consumption and if the amount is more than what the body needs, the kidneys throw it out of the body via urination. Therefore, the color of the urine changes to bright yellow due to the yellow pigment in riboflavin. This change in color of the urine is however, considered to be completely harmless by physicians. Nonetheless, if you notice any other side-effects along with the yellow urine right after you started with riboflavin, consulting a physician is advised.

Foods that make urine yellow

In this context, we will consider some of the food sources which contain riboflavin and thus they have the potential to turn urine yellow, if had in excess. Milk, dairy products, whole grains, asparagus, spinach, turnips, broccoli, yeasts, nuts, legumes, meat (lean), liver, eggs and sometimes even breads and cereals contain vitamin B-2 in them. Consumption of any of the food items mentioned here in ample amount can lead to riboflavin induced yellow urine and as mentioned above, it is harmless.

A point to be noted when consuming vitamin B-2 via food sources is that although overconsumption of riboflavin may not harm you, the food might. Food items rich in riboflavin contain more than just riboflavin and therefore, overeating any of these foods might cause problems for someone due to the presence of other substances in it. A diabetic patient may not have any problems dealing with the excess vitamin B if he consumes too much milk, but he will be in trouble because of the lactose in it. It is in this regard that overconsumption of anything is ill-advised.