Vitamin H, is more commonly known as biotin.
Vitamin B 7
Biotin is part of the B complex group of vitamins.
All B vitamins help the body to convert carbohydrates into fuel, glucose, which is used to produce energy.
These B vitamins, often referred to as B complex vitamins, also help the body metabolize fats and protein.
B complex vitamins are needed for healthy skin, hair, eyes, liver, and got the nervous system to function properly.
Biotin metabolizes carbohydrates, fats, and amino acids, the building blocks of protein.
Biotin is often recommended for strengthening hair and nails.
Biotin is found in many cosmetic products for hair and skin.
Like all B vitamins, it is a water soluble.
Biotin cannot be stored.
Bacteria in the intestine can make biotin.
Biotin is also available in small amounts a number of foods.
It is also important for normal embryonic growth, making it a critical nutrient during pregnancy.
Biotin deficiency is rare, it’s symptoms are: hair loss, dry scaly skin, cheilitis, swollen and painful tongue, dry eyes, loss of appetite, fatigue, insomnia, and depression.
Biotin deficiency is seen with prolonged parenteral nutrition, long term anticonvulsant medications or antibiotics, and with Crohn’s disease: all conditions that make it hard to absorb nutrients.
Very weak evidence exists that biotin supplements may improve thin, splitting, or brittle toe and fingernails, and hair.
Biotin, combined with zinc and topical clobetasol propionate, has also been used to combat alopecia areata in both children and adults.
Research suggests a combination of biotin and chromium might improve blood sugar control in some people with type 2 diabetes: biotin alone does not have have the same effect.
There have been unsubstantiated reports that biotin supplements improve the symptoms of peripheral neuropathy for some people who developed this condition from either diabetes or ongoing dialysis for kidney failure.
A study suggests biotin may help restore taste among people who have lost their sense of taste.
Biotin can be found in brewer’s yeast, cooked eggs, especially egg yolk, sardines; nuts (almonds, peanuts, pecans, walnuts) and nut butters, soybeans; other legumes, whole grains, cauliflower, bananas, and mushrooms.
Raw egg whites contain a protein called Avidin that interferes with the body’s absorption of biotin.
Food-processing techniques can destroy biotin, while less-processed foods listed above contain more biotin.
Biotin is available in multivitamins and B-vitamin complexes, and as individual supplements.
Adequate daily intakes for biotin from food:
Infants birth – 6 months: 5 mcg
Infants 7 – 12 months: 6 mcg
Children 1 – 3 years: 8 mcg
Children 4 – 8 years: 12 mcg
Children 9 – 13 years: 20 mcg
Adolescents 14 – 18 years: 25 mcg
19 years and older: 30 mcg
Pregnant women: 30 mcg
Breastfeeding women: 35 mcg
Biotin has not been associated with side effects, even in high doses, and is considered to be nontoxic.
Some medications that may lower biotin levels:
Long-term antibiotic use may lower biotin levels by destroying the bacteria in the gut that produces biotin.
Long term anticonvulsant medications can lower biotin levels in the body.
Valproic acid can cause biotinidase deficiency, which may improve with biotin supplements.
A false positive diagnosis of hyperthyroidism may occur due to immunoassay interference with biotin, a soluble vitamin commonly used to supplement for hair and nails.