Low dietary riboflavin intakes are frequently encountered in malarious areas of the world, and in a small number of studies there has arisen the apparently paradoxical observation that biochemical riboflavin deficiency is associated with a lower level of blood cell parasitemia than is encountered in riboflavin-replete subjects. Although neither animal nor human studies have indicated that riboflavin deficiency protects from the life-threatening sequelae of malaria, there does appear to be some interaction between the parasite and flavins within the blood cells, which is not yet fully understood. Interestingly, too, some of the prophylactic drugs used to prevent malaria infection have riboflavin-like structures.

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