Biotin, or vitamin H or B7, is a vitamin of B complex. The name was derived from a protein of raw eggs named avidin, where it was first identified.
Natural sources of biotin are yeast, carrots, liver, cauliflower, salmon, carrots, bananas, soy flour, cereals, and yeast. Although it is abundant in many foods, it can also be produced naturally by intestinal microbes. It is a water-soluble and heat-sensitive vitamin that is why is easily destroyed by the heat and process of food.

 

Action and benefits

Like most vitamins of B complex, biotin also plays a role as coenzyme in many biochemical reactions. In particular, it participates in the metabolism of macronutrients, like carbohydrates and fats and in the metabolism of certain amino acids like branched chain amino acids.

Biotin is a necessary molecule in the synthesis of glucose and fatty acids, which are the main energy coins of cells, while it also is involved in production of glycogen.

Situations where biotin requirements are increased and supplementation is necessary are:

  • Seborrheic dermatitis
  • Leiner’s disease (exfoliative erythroderma)
  • Genetic deficiency of biotin
  • Gastrectomy
  • Fragile nails
  • Hair loss
  • Acne
  • Eczema

Biotin is one of the main ingredients in nutritional supplements and cosmetics for hair loss, acne or dermatitis.

 

Biotin deficiency

Deficiency of biotin is rare and usually occurs in people who do not follow a balanced diet. Due to the fact that biotin in raw eggs is binded with avidin, it becomes inactive and useless for body. For this reason people who eat raw eggs for a long time, may have reduced levels of biotin. In addition, deficiency of biotin can be observed during pregnancy.

Although lack of biotin is rare, especially in adults, prolonged deficiency may cause:

  • Dry and irritated skin
  • Seborrheic dermatitis
  • Itching
  • Hairloss
  • Increased cholesterol levels
  • Neurological disorders
  • Exhaustion
  • Cardiovascular problems

Symptoms are reversed after administration of biotin oral supplements.

 

Recommended intake and contraindications

There is no risk of toxicity from taking biotin. Recommended daily dose is defined as 30-100 mcg for adults.

In Vita4you you can find a wide variety of dietary supplements with biotin.