Vitamin B7 (Biotin) | Deficiencies, Excesses and Recommendations
Biotin helps convert food into usable energy. It assists with glucose and fatty acid production. It is believed to be associated with healthy skin, hair and nails. Biotin sufficiency is also necessary for normal fetal development, according to animal studies.
Before getting categorized as a B vitamin, biotin was known as vitamin H. Biotin is no longer considered a vitamin at all, as it’s possible for it to be synthesised in the body by healthy gut bacteria. Biotin is still an essential nutrient and deficiency is possible. It is often included in multivitamins and b-complex formulations.
Biotin activates key enzymes to help the body to produce myelin. This is the “insulation” that keeps the transmission between nerve cells from “short circuiting.” Myelin is the substance the immune system attacks in the autoimmune disease multiple sclerosis. Early research has shown that extremely high doses of biotin may be helpful for sufferers of this disease.
What Can Happen If I Don’t Get Enough Biotin?
Biotin deficiency is extremely rare, but it can be dangerous if left untreated. R
- Hair loss
- Skin problems
- Muscle cramps
- Stomach issues
- Poor coordination
- Poor muscle tone in infants
At least a third of pregnant women develop a biotin deficiency even with normal biotin intakes. R
Since alcohol inhibits the absorption of biotin, those with alcohol use disorder may be at risk for biotin deficiency.
What Can Happen If I Get Too Much Biotin?
- Liver damage
- Inaccurate laboratory tests (e.g. thyroid)
Although biotin is considered to be mostly non-toxic, high doses have been associated with hair loss, skin rash around nose or mouth, confusion, memory problems, muscle pain and cramping, nausea, and abdominal cramping in some people. It is not known if biotin was the cause of these issues.
Eat plenty of eggs (yolks), salmon and avocados. Another good plant source of biotin is yeast.
Little Change Recommended Brand
Potential Life Enhancements
- May be helpful with maintaining healthy blood sugar levels.R
- Potential benefits for patients with multiple sclerosis (MS) as a way to slow down and possibly reverse some of the effects of the disease. R
- Some case reports reveal that biotin has beneficial effects on hair, skin and nails. Hair restoration may be achieved if hair loss was the result of a biotin insufficiency. R