Biotin is a water-soluble vitamin of group B (in Germany it is called vitamin H for “hair & skin”). Biotin plays a major part in body chemical reactions as it helps to convert food into energy, stimulates the metabolism of carbohydrates, fats and amino acids. Biotin participates in the glucose creation processes. It is synthetized inside the body by the intestinal bacteria. Depending on the diet and lifestyle, from time to time we may experience a deficiency in this vitamin. Although biotin deficiency is not that common, there are several reasons that may lead to it, e.g. it can stem from genetic disorder, antibiotics treatment or even consumption of raw eggs.
Additional biotin intake in prescribed in the below cases:
- Hair loss and nail thinning. Symptoms of biotin deficiency involve hair thinning and loss, dry skin and brittle nails. Filling the lack of biotin can significantly improve the hair growth and strengthen the nails.
- Neurological and psychological deficiency. A lack of vitamin H may lead to lack of energy, depression, hallucination, numbness and tingling in arms and legs. It is especially important for women in the period of pregnancy and lactation, and people involved in high-level physical activities.
- Metabolic disorders. Biotin and other group B vitamins are the key elements in the process of converting nutrients that we consume with the food into the energy that our body can use for its needs. Vitamin H insufficiency may lead to general weakness and loss of energy.
- Support child development. Pregnant women tend to have a higher risk of biotin deficiency. Nearly half of pregnant women have abnormal increases of 3-hydroxyisovaleric acid, which reflects the reduced status of biotin. It is worth noting that only a doctor should determine whether an extra biotin supplementing needed.
If you experience some of the above scenarios, you may need to introduce extra biotin in your meals, through change of products or adding supplements. A balanced and healthy diet is a sure way for proper biotin synthesis inside the body. Biotin in foods normally binds itself to proteins such as cooked eggs, liver or kidney meat, nuts, bananas, cauliflower, mushrooms. Generally, it’s recommended to go through a health check first, as doctor can determine whether additional biotin nutrients are necessary after conducting blood sample test.