Importance of Biotin
Biotin is also known as vitamin H. It is a part of the B-complex vitamins family. Being water soluble, it is carried through blood stream and is not stored in the body. Excess is excreted out through urine. It plays its role in the oxidation of glucose for the energy purpose. It also aids in metabolizing the fats and proteins. Biotin literally means life or sustenance that means it plays many other important roles as in keeping the skin, hair, eyes, liver and nervous system healthy. It is also found in many cosmetic products for hair and skin. It also promotes the healthy development of babies in the pregnant ladies. This article will discuss the biotin role, sources, RDA dosage and the issues related to it.
Role of biotin:
The main role of biotin is the production of energy by metabolizing carbohydrates, proteins and fats. But it also has some other important roles in our body. These include:
- Biotin is necessary for the functioning of many enzymes such as carboxylases. These enzymes then further play their role in the production of glucose and fatty acids.
- The brittle nail condition tends to prevail in about 20 % people around the world. In this situation, the nails become brittle, weak and cracked so that easy to pull out. This condition can be benefited from the biotin consumption.
- Biotin is also responsible for the strong, healthy and longer hair. Deficiency of vitamin H (biotin) can cause the hair loss.
- The increased amounts of biotin are important to be consumed during the life stages of pregnancy and lactation. Biotin ensures the healthy birth of pregnant ladies. On the same side, its deficiency can cause birth defects.
- Biotin has also been found to regulate the blood glucose level that’s why it is important in type 2 diabetes. The biotin supplements along with the mineral chromium are used to lower the blood glucose level in the patients of type 2 diabetes.
- Biotin is also important for skin health. Its deficiency can cause the redness and rashes on the skin. Its deficiency can also cause the skin disorder seborrheic dermatitis. As fats are important for skin health so when the biotin is deficient, then there can be impairment in the fat metabolism causing the skin problems.
- Biotin has also been found to play its role in the production of myelin sheath that is a protective covering of fats in the axons of neurons. When the biotin is deficient, there would be the destruction of the nerve fibers especially in brain, spinal cord and eyes leading to multiple sclerosis. This condition can be improved by taking high doses of biotin.
Sources of biotin:
The good food sources of biotin include:
- Brewer’s yeast
- Cooked eggs especially egg yolks
- Nuts (almonds, peanuts, walnuts)
- Nut butters
- Legumes e.g beans
- The gut bacteria also produce some amount of the biotin.
Keep in view:
Don’t consume raw eggs as their long term usage can cause the biotin deficiency. It is because there is a protein known as Avidin in egg whites that will bind the biotin and reduces its absorption.
Biotin can also be obtained from the supplements. It is available as B vitamins complexes and multivitamins. Biotin is available in the form of tablets in standard dosage of:
- 10 mcg
- 50 mcg
- 100 mcg ; tablets
RDA dosage of biotin:
The daily recommended allowance of biotin is as follows:
- For pregnant ladies, its RDA amount is 30 mcg
- For lactating women, it is 35 mcg
- Its RDA for infants is about 5 mcg and for adults is 30 mcg.
Biotin deficiency usually doesn’t occur as it is found in wide variety of foods and can be easily accessed. But the ladies who are pregnant are more susceptible to its deficiency as during the pregnancy biotin is rapidly broken down. The deficiency can also be due to the long-term consumption of raw eggs. However, its overdoses are not harmful.
So, in the light of above discussion biotin is an essential vitamin for the health of skin and hair. Its overdoses are not harmful even if consumed up to 300 mg.