Biotin, also known as vitamin H or B7, is a water-soluble vitamin that helps the body metabolize fats, carbohydrates, and protein. Water-soluble vitamins are not stored in the body so daily intake is necessary.
Biotin is a vitamin that is found in small amounts in numerous foods.
Biotin is used for preventing and treating biotin deficiency associated with pregnancy, long-term tube feeding, malnutrition, and rapid weight loss. It is also used orally for hair loss, brittle nails, skin rash in infants (seborrheic dermatitis), diabetes, and mild depression.
Biotin is an important component of enzymes in the body that break down certain substances like fats, carbohydrates, and others.
There isn’t a good laboratory test for detecting biotin deficiency, so this condition is usually identified by its symptoms, which include thinning of the hair (frequently with loss of hair color) and red scaly rash around the eyes, nose, and mouth. Nervous system symptoms include depression, exhaustion, hallucinations, and tingling of the arms and legs. There is some evidence that diabetes could result in biotin deficiency.
Vitamin B7 cannot be synthesized by human cells, but it is produced by bacteria in the body, and it is present in numerous foods.
Biotin therapy may help treat some medical conditions. Some people take supplements to strengthen their nails and hair, but there is a lack of evidence supporting this use.
The body needs biotin to metabolize fats, carbohydrates, and protein.
It is a coenzyme for carboxylase enzymes.
These enzymes are involved in:
_synthesizing, or creating, fatty acids.
_synthesizing the amino acids isoleucine and valine.
_gluconeogenesis, or generating glucose.
Biotin is important for a number of functions.
1. Maintaining a healthy pregnancy.
Mild biotin deficiency is often seen during pregnancy. It can lead to abnormal development in the fetus.
Folic acid supplementation is recommended both the year before and during pregnancy.
2. Nails, hair, and skin.
There is some evidence that biotin may improve the strength and durability of fingernails and enhance hair and skin health.
3. Lowering blood glucose.
Several studies have tested biotin’s ability to lower blood glucose in people with type 1 and type 2 diabetes. Results have been promising.
4. Controling neuropathy.
It may also help reduce nerve damage in people who have diabetes or who are undergoing dialysis for kidney disease.
5. Biotin is necessary for the activity of pyruvate carboxylase.
Without this, high levels of pyruvate and aspartate may arise, and this can adversely affect the nerves.
6. Biotin-responsive basal ganglia diseaseThis is a rare, inherited disorder.
It affects a part of the nervous system that controls movement. It can lead to involuntary tensing of muscles, muscle rigidity, muscle weakness, and other problems.The condition appears to respond to treatment with thiamin and biotin.
7. Treating multiple sclerosis.
Studies have suggested that high-dose biotin therapy might help improve symptoms in people with multiple sclerosis (MS), an autoimmune disease that affects the nervous system, leading to muscle weakness and a range of other problems.
Biotin deficiency is rare in humans, because biotin is widely available in foods, and the “good” gut bacteria can normally synthesize more biotin than the body needs.
Signs of deficiency include:
_hair loss, or alopecia.
_a scaly, red rash around the eyes, nose, mouth, and genitals.
_numbness and tingling in the hands and feet.
_a loss of control of bodily movements, known as ataxia.
_impaired immune functionincreased risk of bacterial and fungal infection.
Biotin deficiency is most likely to arise in:
_women during pregnancy.
_ patients receiving prolonged intravenous nutrition.
_ infants who consume breastmilk with low amounts of biotin.
_ patients with impaired biotin absorption due to an inflammatory bowel disease (IBD) or other gastrointestinal (GI) tract disorder.
_ people who smoke.
It may also affect:
those who use medications for epilepsy, such as phenobarbital, phenytoin, or carbamazepinethose with some kinds of liver disease.
Food should be the first choice when looking for sources of biotin. Biotin in foods usually binds to protein.
Foods that are rich in biotin include:
1. baker’s yeast.
2. wheat bran.
3. organ meats.
4. cooked, whole eggs.
Raw eggs contain a protein called avidin that inhibits the absorption of biotin. Eating two or more raw egg whites a day for several months has been linked to biotin deficiency.
Many foods, such as fruits and vegetables, contain a small amount of biotin.
Yvette Brazier ,”Why do we need biotin, or Vitamin B7?”، www.medicalnewstoday.com,