Biotin is a water-soluble B-vitamin, also called vitamin B7 and formerly known as vitamin H or coenzyme R
The human body cannot synthesize biotin. Only bacteria, molds, yeasts, algae, and certain plants can make it, so the diet needs to supply it.
Unused biotin is eliminated in urine, so the body does not build up reserves. It must be consumed daily.
Sources of biotin
A wide range of foods contain biotin. None of them have large amounts, as is the case with some other vitamins.
Foods that have slightly higher amounts include:
Wholemeal bread is a source of vitamin B7.
Biotin deficiency is a rare nutritional disorder which can become serious, even fatal, if allowed to progress untreated. It can occur in people of any age, ancestry, or gender. Biotin is part of the B vitamin family. Biotin deficiency rarely occurs among healthy people because the daily requirement of biotin is low, many foods provide adequate amounts of it, intestinal bacteria synthesize small amounts of it, and the body effectively scavenges and recycles it from bodily waste. However, deficiencies can be caused by consuming raw egg whites over a period of months to years. Egg whites contain high levels of avidin, a protein that binds biotin strongly. When cooked, avidin is partially denatured and binding to biotin is reduced. However one study showed that 30-40% of the avidin activity was still present in the white after frying or boiling.But cooked egg whites are safer to consume.
A biotin deficiency cannot be detected with any standardized lab test, so physicians usually identify this condition based on certain signs. Some of the most common outwardly physical symptoms associated with a vitamin B7 deficiency include thinning hair and a red scaly rash around the eyes, nose and mouth. Other signs of the deficiency include depression, hallucinations and tingling in the arms and legs. Some studies also suggest that a long-term biotin deficiency may lead to diabetes in some individuals.
Biotin is LIKELY SAFE for most people when taken appropriately and by mouth. Biotin is well tolerated when used at recommended dosages. It is POSSIBLY SAFE when injected into the muscles and used appropriately.
Special Precautions & Warnings:
Pregnancy and breast-feeding: Biotin is POSSIBLY SAFE when used in recommended amounts during pregnancy and breast-feeding.
Kidney dialysis: People receiving kidney dialysis may need extra biotin. Check with your health care provider.