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name of the term : Biotin

Short introduction

  • Biotin is a water-soluble vitamin of the B-complex also known as vitamin B7 or vitamin H.
  • The "H" in vitamin H comes from the German words for hair and skin, hence the alternative name the beauty vitamin.

Main natural sources

  • Found in many foods, but generally in lower amounts than other water-soluble vitamins.
  • Good sources include egg yolk (raw). Egg white reduces the egg yolk's biotin effectiveness in the body.
  • Further sources include liver, peanuts, yeast, whole-wheat bread, soybeans, liver, pork, salmon, avocado.

Main function

  • Role as coenzyme (helper enzyme) in the metabolism of fatty acids, leucine (essential amino acid humans cannot synthesise), and gluconeogenesis (formation of glucose from sources other than carbohydrates, e.g. amino acids). As such, biotin plays a role in the metabolism of protein, fat and carbohydrates.
  • Contributes towards healthy nails and hair (it activates protein/amino acid metabolism in fingernail cells and hair roots).
  • May play a role in DNA (genetic material) processes.

Deficiency disease

  • A biotin deficiency is extremely rare as beneficial intestinal bacteria are thought to produce this vitamin in quantities beyond our daily requirements.
  • Biotin deficiency causes skin, nail and hair loss. It may also result in weakness, depression, hallucination, fatigue, irritation, rashes, loss of appetite and even depression.

Recommended daily intake

Latest Dietary Reference Intakes  (DRIs)
Institute of Medicine (IOM)

Age categoryPer day
Pregnancy
Lactation
30 μg (AI)
35 μg (AI)
Infants 6 – 12 months6 μg (AI)
Children
 1 – 3 years
 4 – 8 years
8 μg (AI)
12 μg (AI)
Males
 9 – 13 years
14 – 18 years
19 – 30 years
31 – 50 years
50 – 70 years
> 70 years
20 μg (AI)
25 μg (AI)
30 μg (AI)
30 μg (AI)
30 μg (AI)
30 μg (AI)
Females
 9 – 13 years
14 – 18 years
19 – 30 years
31 – 50 years
50 – 70 years
> 70 years
20 μg (AI)
25 μg (AI)
30 μg (AI)
30 μg (AI)
30 μg (AI)
30 μg (AI)

 

AI = Adequate Intake.

Synonyms : B7, Vitamin H

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