Food sources and Facts of Biotin


Biotin is a B-complex vitamin also called vitamin B7, vitamin H and coenzyme R, based on its basic role in energy metabolism. However, because biotin deficiency has been associated with hair (fur) loss in animal studies, it is often marketed in products to improve hair. It is a water soluble vitamin which acts as an essential co-factor for carboxylase enzymes in various metabolic pathways. Its low cost and abundance of availability in cosmetic products, Biotin has become a trend for consumers who want to have healthier, long nails and hairs. Institute of Medicine has stated the recommendation of daily adequate intake for adults to 30 μg/day. These requirements are obtained by the healthy individuals through well-balanced diet however many takes up to 500-1,000 μg of biotin supplementation regularly.

Biotin is water soluble, nitrogen enclosed acid required for growth and well-being in animals and some microorganisms. It has a role in formation as well as metabolism of fats or carbohydrates. Being relatively stable substance, it is widely dispersed in nature and found abundant in beef liver, egg yolk and yeast. First biotin was discovered as a nutritive requirement of yeast. Originally known as Vitamin H, it was isolated in 1935 in pure form and its structure was established in 1942 after shown to be needed by animals. The need of biotin appeared in 1927 that addition of uncooked egg white to the diet causes diseases as well as toxicity. Egg white possesses avidin, a specific protein which combines with biotin and prevents its absorption. The deficiency of biotin results from prolonged consumption of high intake of uncooked egg whites and its symptoms might include hair loss and dermatitis.

Biotin is required for various metabolic reactions in humans that include catalyzing synthesis of fatty acids, metabolism of amino acid leucine or gluconeogenesis. It is required for growth of cells and plays a vital role in Krebs cycle which is a biochemical pathway in which energy is freed from food and helps with transfer of carbon dioxide and useful to maintain blood sugar level stable.

Health Benefits of Biotin

Here are some health benefits discussed about Biotin:

  1. Support metabolic function

Incorporate Biotin to the diet for effective metabolic function. It is required for processing nutrients such as protein and carbohydrates. Enough amount of Biotin is required for the metabolism to function without any disruptions. Experts have shown that metabolic function influence on how one begins to lose weight. It clears that overweight people could also consume foods rich in biotin as it has limited content of fat. It assists to regulate gene expressions which are critical to carry out metabolism functions. With other B vitamins, Biotin is required for converting foods into energy which supports healthy metabolism. When the body uses macronutrients from food for energy, then healthy and normal metabolic activity takes place. It advances metabolism or utilization of glucose which is beneficial. Insufficient biotin occurs the symptoms such as sluggish metabolism, fatigue, low energy levels, digestive problems, weight gain, changes in appetite, development of diabetes and poor moods.

  1. Maintain blood sugar

Biotin is able to control sugar level in bloodstream. As it works to breakdown carbohydrates in the body, it maintains appropriate level of blood sugar by preventing the chances of health conditions such as diabetes. It is helpful for diabetic patients. It supports human body in regulating insulin by lowering the chances of fluctuation of blood sugar levels that could result in diabetes. It is beneficial for blood glucose levels as it facilitates insulin activity which is crucial hormone required for bringing the blood sugar back to balance state. Insulin response helps to lower the chances of widely fluctuating levels of blood sugar leading to type 2 diabetes, pre-diabetes, forms of metabolic syndrome and weight gain. It lowers the expression of enzymes which stimulates production of glucose by liver yet less sugar is being released into bloodstream. This shows the deficiency of biotin associated to impaired glucose tolerance and lower utilization of glucose which are the risk factors of diabetes. It lowers symptoms of diabetes including nerve pain.

  1. Healthy skin condition

Biotin is an essential vitamin to promote skin condition. It is a smart choice for treating various skin problems including premature wrinkles. Plus, this vitamin combat acne symptoms and also prevents its re-occurrence. It maintains skin young unconcerned of age. Its anti-aging properties help to erase wrinkles. It has healing and moisturizing properties which become a vital part of numerous massage oils. It revitalizes skin color which is reduced due to bad health and pollution. Biotin is also beneficial for preventing acne, rashes, fungal infections, cracking and dryness.

  1. Strong nails

Cracked nails or chipped nails look unattractive. The nail condition screams for attention and should not be ignored. Studies have shown that in order to strengthen nails intake 2.5 mg of vitamins regularly for 7 to 14 days. In order to maintain strong and beautiful nails, one should consume diet rich in biotin.

  1. Cure Multiple Sclerosis

Multiple sclerosis is an autoimmune disease, a health disorder which occurs due to the damage of protective covering of nerve fibers in eyes, brain and spinal cord. This protective covering is termed as myelin. Biotin assists in myelin reproduction. Recent study have shown that multiple sclerosis patients have showed satisfactory improvement with the frequent doses of biotin.

  1. Essential during pregnancy

Pregnant women are recommended to intake healthy diet by experts. Some might develop mild deficiency of biotin at the time of pregnancy but is not considered to be harmful. Yet it is better to overcome deficiency though intake of natural sources such as banana, cheese, nuts and salmon.

  1. Hair health

Every girl dream to get thick and long locks and one could reverse the hair condition by adequate intake of biotin. Biotin is one of those vitamins recommended by beauticians for treating intense hair loss. High end brands add biotin to their hair products due to its rejuvenating properties. Additionally, biotin deficiency could be the cause for chronic hair loss and the biotin supplements could treat this condition within few weeks. Besides making hair strands thick and strong, it also enhances rapid growth of hair.

  1. Treat cramps

Muscles cramps are common but one should immediately consult the doctor if experienced regularly. It is experienced often due to poor blood circulation and improper nerve function. Recent study has shown that patients who suffer these cramps might have mild deficiency of biotin. So consume fruits and vegetables loaded with biotin.

  1. Cholesterol balance

Cholesterol levels should be balanced at time as it might cause cardiovascular problems if not treated on time. Studies show that biotin is required for lowering bad cholesterol in the body keeping the heart healthy. People having high cholesterol levels should consult the physician before consuming biotin.

  1. Thyroid activity

Biotin is demanded for proper activity of thyroid and defends against adrenal fatigue. Thyroid and adrenal gland are master glands which are responsible for various body states such as sleep, hunger, mood, pain perception and energy. B vitamins deficiency results in adrenal and thyroid complications and cause negative symptoms such as weight loss or gain, fatigue and trouble sleeping.

11. Metabolism of fats

The steps in synthesis or breakdown of fatty acids depend on biotin containing enzymes. Conversion of linoleic acid to various eicosanoids is essential fatty acid metabolism depending on biotin.

What foods contain Biotin and what forms are used in supplements?

Biotin is widely distributed throughout the foods we consume, though its concentration is somewhat limited. Liver, almonds, oatmeal, wheat bran, roasted peanuts, brewer’s yeast and molasses are its good sources. Milk and milk products possess only decent amounts of biotin. They are considered to be the providers of biotin in diet due to its popularity. Eggs offer adequate amount of biotin, yet, egg whites contain a protein known as avidin which will bind to biotin in digestive tract and lower its absorption. The avidin’s ability to bind biotin is reduced when eggs or their whites, are cooked. Moreover preventing salmonella infection is another reason to avoid uncooked eggs as well as egg-based products which have not been pasteurized.

Food name Weight (g) Vitamin B12 (µg) DV%
Clam 85 84.06 3502.50
Octopus 85 30.60 1275
Oyster 85 20.66 860.83
Blue mussel 85 20.40 850
Red (sockeye) salmon 108 19.55 814.58
Crab 134 15.41 642.08
Turkey 863 15.19 632.92
Rainbow trout 143 9.01 375.42
Whelk 85 7.71 321.25
Conch 127 6.67 277.92
Chicken 130 6.64 276.67
Ostrich 85 5.47 227.92
Cuttlefish 85 4.59 191.25
Lamb 85 4.50 187.50
Milk 128 4.16 173.33
Catfish 143 4.15 172.92
Swiss cheese 132 4.04 168.33
Mousse 808 3.80 158.33
Tilefish 150 3.75 156.25
Whey 145 3.44 143.33


Can some Biotin be made in our body?

Bacteria found in colon can form biotin and some of this biotin could be absorbed. It offers respectable amounts of biotin in order to fulfill the needs but still one should be relied upon it exclusively. Moreover, as it is bacterial cells and not our own cells which make biotin, it should not be considered as vitamin which human body could make.

How much Biotin do we need?

For adults, average intake is 30 micrograms daily. The recommended amount is same during pregnancy but increases to 35 micrograms during lactation. Biotin is essential in energy operations but is essential that active people should get at least recommended level or approximately 50 to 60 micrograms daily.

What does Biotin do in our body?

Biotin offers vital assistance to energy operations and found in high concentrations in brain, liver and muscle. Biotin is vital for making glucose from other substances such as amino acids and lactate for maintaining blood glucose levels during fasting or prolonged exercise. Biotin is essential for forming fatty acids from excessive glucose and some amino acids. Biotin is required for pathways which break down certain fatty acids and amino acids for energy.

Can too much or too little Biotin be consumed?

As biotin is found in foods and derived from bacteria in our intestinal tract, its deficiency is rare. Some rare case of Biotin deficiency include hospital patients fed biotin deficient solution within a vein or infants fed lot of egg whites as supplement of protein. Contrarily, Biotin seem to be nontoxic relatively.


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