Biotin is a B-vitamin essential for assisting in metabolism of fats, carbohydrates and protein. Biotin is active in several enzymes as a co-enzyme, as such, it is involved in energy metabolism (such as pyruvate carboxylase). Intestinal bacteria produce a small amount of biotin, which may be absorbed and contribute to daily needs. However, people who have poor intestinal health biotin levels may be compromised. Biotin may be useful in strengthening hair and nails by enhancing ‘crosslinks’ with keratin protein; increasing energy levels; promoting normal cholesterol levels; and reducing blood sugar levels.
Dietary Sources: egg yolk, peanuts, beef liver, milk (10 mcg/cup), cereals, almonds and Brewer’s yeast.
Dosage: The RDA for biotin is 30mcg (micrograms). For nail and hair strength, daily intakes of 1-3 mg/d are linked to thicker/stronger fingernails in a number of early clinical studies (mostly from 1950-1970).
Side Effects: Like other water soluble B-vitamins, excess biotin is excreted in the urine and virtually no toxicity has been found.
Deficiency in biotin has been shown to contribute to:
5. Recurring infections
6. Mental retardation in severe deficiency
7. Hearing loss
8. Glossitis (inflammation of the tongue)
Biotin supplementation was shown to:
1. Improve glucose metabolism
2. Improve glucose utilization
3. Improve glucose tolerance
4. Improve glucose homeostasis
5. Increase glycolysis in liver and pancreas
6. Prevent insulin resistance when combined with chromium
7. Be useful in prevention and management of gestational diabetes
8. Manage glycemic levels in Type I diabetes
9. Regulate liver enzymes
10. Prevent peripheral neuropathy
Biotin Abstracts (21)