Biotin, otherwise known as vitamin B7 and vitamin H, is a B-complex vitamin that is water-soluble.
Biotin is included in carbon dioxide transfer and beneficial to the metabolism of carbohydrate and fat. Biotin is absorbed in the upper part of the small intestine. Biotin is also interrelated in the making of glucose, a few amino acids and in the production of energy. Not only does it aid in the creation of glucose, but Biotin also known as Vitamin H, plays a distinct role in helping the body use that same glucose, which is a major source of energy for the body’s fluids. Because this vitamin aids in the transference of carbon dioxide while also contributing towards the health of nails, skin and hair, it is commonly found in many cosmetics.
Biotin is located in several food foods like avocado, whole grains, egg yolks, molasses, peanut butter, brewer’s yeast, meat, nuts, chocolate, wheat germ, legumes, oatmeal, dairy products, fish, raspberries, breads, oysters, cauliflower, liver, poultry, organ meats like kidneys, and beans. Egg whites in particular, are a great dietary source because they prevent biotins’ absorption into the blood from the intestines because the intestines themselves produce small amounts of biotin. Foods in their freshest, most natural form contain more biotin than those that are processed. Biotin is needed daily and also comes in the form of vitamin supplements which is available in tablet form in doses of 10 mcg, 50 mcg, and 100 mcg.
Though very rare, there are a few conditions known to cause biotin deficiency. Certain genetic disorders cause the body to need high-dose biotin supplements and repeated and prolonged consumption of raw egg whites could also cause a deficiency. When taken on a long term basis, antibiotic use can interfere with the production of biotin as well as being fed intravenously for an extended period.
Symptoms of biotin deficiency include but are not limited to; skin and hair problems, red facial rashes, and being more susceptible to infections that are fungal related. The development of seizures, muscle cramps and coordination can also be symptoms of a deficiency but death is not one of them.
Aforementioned, though found in small quantities in many foods, Biotin is available in bread, eggs, liver, cauliflower, pork, chicken, and salmon.
Biotin is used for the treatment and prevention of a biotin deficiency that may be associated with malnutrition which may cause extreme weight loss, pregnancy, and or extensive forms of intravenous or tube feeding. It is used orally for hair loss such as alopecia, brittle and splitting nails on the fingers and toes, infant and adult skin rash, and may even be useful for diabetes and mild depression.
Since biotin is typically included in most multi-vitamin supplements, either the supplement itself or a diet rich in the vitamin would prove to be beneficial to one’s health.
RDA (Recommended Dietary Allowances)
AIs (Adequate Intakes)
|Microgram per Day|