Biotin is Vitamin B7 a water soluble vitamin which is part of the B-complex. This nutrient acts as a coenzyme in the metabolism of fats, proteins, carbohydrates, and for the conversion of amino acids from proteins into blood sugar for energy.
Also known as vitamin H, biotin has an important action in improving the health of your skin, nails and hair, and in enhancing metabolic activities at cellular level.
History of biotin
Biotin was first discovered in 20th century as a yeast growth factor. In 1942, its chemical structure was identified and was grouped in roster of water soluble vitamins. Vitamin b12 is another water soluble vitamin.
What are the different forms of biotin?
Biotin comes in 8 different forms. But only D-biotin occurs naturally and offers health benefits. Some of the other forms of biotin are synthetically derived. These derivatives includes carboxylic acid, succinimydl ester, malaemide, hydrazide, and 2-Iminobiotin. There are more info on supplements quality which you can find on any vitamin supplement guide.
What are the health benefits of taking biotin?
Biotin offers several health benefits, such as
- Metabolic benefits – Biotin is involved in healthy metabolism of all the three macro nutrients- fats, proteins and carbohydrates. The biotin-dependent carboxylases catalyse pathways involved in gluconeogenesis and fatty acid synthesis. It plays a key role in synthesis of simpler products from complex molecules.
- Hair, skin and nail benefits – Known as hair growth vitamin, vitamin H stimulates hair follicles and promotes healthy hair growth. It is useful in treating several hair related issues, such as splitting of hair, dryness, and mild hair loss. Taking biotin supplementation helps in treating brittle nails and hair loss.
- Weight loss – Biotin plays a pivotal role in supporting metabolic function. By improving metabolic activities, biotin also accelerates fat burning process. Hence, one can lose weight by proper intake of biotin supplements. It can also help in fighting fatigue and increasing endurance levels by regulating the metabolic processes more efficiently.
What are the signs of biotin deficiency?
Biotin deficiency is quite rare as people get enough of this vitamin through their food sources. However, certain foods (egg whites) and medications (anti-seizures and antibiotics) when taken for a longer duration can cause vitamin H deficiency.
Some of the symptoms of biotin deficiency include hair loss (alopecia), seborrheic dermatitis (dry and scaly skin), loss of appetite, muscle pain, nausea, fatigue, conjunctivitis and weakened immune system.
Some people having severe biotin deficiency experience symptoms on neurological level. This includes depression, lethargy, and numbness and tingling sensation in the extremities.
What are the sources of biotin?
Bacteria present in intestines can create small quantities of biotin. Additionally, biotin is taken from dietary sources such as organ meat, cooked eggs, nuts, legumes, whole grains, bananas, soya beans and sardines.
What is the recommended dose of vitamin H?
The Food and Nutrition Board of United States National Research Council has set the recommended dose of biotin at 30 microgram for adults above the age of 19 and 5-12 micrograms for children and infants.
Are there any side effects of biotin supplementation?
No toxic side effects have been reported on taking recommended doses of biotin. As vitamin H is water soluble, excess amount is excreted in the urine.
More Information and Resources About Biotin
The information written here is not meant as medical advice. Please talk to your doctor or other qualified health professional prior to following what is written on the article or taking herbal supplements of any kind.