VITAMIN B8 (BIOTIN) – Strengthens Immunity
Biotin is one of the most active biological substances known. The growth of certain bacteria and yeast can have marked effect by the usage of an extremely small amount of Vitamin B8. It forms part of several enzyme systems. Biotin is sparingly soluble in cold water but freely soluble in hot water. Alcohol, food processing, estrogen, large quantities of egg white and sulphur drugs destroy this vitamin.
Functions in the body
For a healthy immune system, biotin is vital.
The metabolism of carbohydrates, fats and proteins are carried out by it. The condition of the Nervous System and skin is well maintained by it. The proper distribution of color pigment is controlled by it. It is essential for the health and growth of the hair and prevents hair loss and premature graying.
Beef liver, brewers yeast, peanut butter, rice polishing, rice bran and rice germ are rich sources of biotin. If sufficient amount of healthy intestinal flora is present then the vitamin is normally produced in the intestine, but the synthesis of this vitamin is hindered by the frequent use of antibiotics.
(RDA, Men – 100-200mcg, Women – 100-200mcg, Children – 50-200mcg and Infants – 35mcg)
Lack of appetite, muscular weakness, and pain and pricking of the skin, will occur due to deficiency of Biotin. Dandruff, hair loss, seborrhea, and eczema may also be caused. Anemia, confusions, drowsiness, extreme fatigue, heat abnormalities, lung infections, mental depression and skin disorders are the other common problems, which may occur.
Healing and Therapeutic Properties
Excessive hair loss in males, alopecia can be reduced and controlled effectively by using tropical creamy preparation and a shampoo containing biotin. Acne and seborrheic eczema can be treated successively, by taking biotin orally in recommended dosage. Skin lesions in infants can be treated effectively too.
Vitamins are an important part of the human chemistry. Deficiencies in vitamins can cause all kinds of illness and complications. There is one entire set of vitamins that are a part of B 12 family of vitamins. One of those vitamins is biotin. Sometimes biotin is also called vitamin H or B7.Biotin or vitamin B8 is complex of vitamin B that is soluble in water. Biotin is needed for the formation of fatty acids and glucose which get converted to energy. This vitamin helps metabolizing carbohydrates, fats and proteins. Biotin is known to help premature graying and is sometimes used in weight loss programs in order to be able to metabolize fat efficiently.
Biotin as a vitamin needed for cell growth. This vitamin is often recommended for strengthening hair and nails and is often found in cosmetics. Vitamin B8 is also known as ergadenylic acid. It can be had through foods that are rich in biotin like raw egg yolk (without the egg white), liver, vegetables like cauliflower, carrots, mushrooms; legumes, bananas, salmon, meat, molasses, dairy products, oatmeal, oysters, breads, brewer’s yeast, fish, chocolate and peanuts. Processed food tends to destroy biotin so the key would be to eat less processed food, which is a good dietary habit anyway. Biotin is available in a supplement form as well. Most multivitamin supplements include biotin.
A deficiency can occur if you consume a lot of raw eggs, where the egg white tends to block the absorption of the biotin from the egg yolk. Biotin deficiencies can be rare as the intestine produces biotin and usually in excess of what is required by the body. If there is a deficiency, it can cause abnormalities of the heart, hair loss and appetite loss. In severe cases it could even lead eyebrows and eyelashes falling out. Pregnant women have a strong chance of developing a biotin deficiency. Even a mild deficiency in the mother can lead to a bigger effect on the infant. This deficiency, research shows, could lead to malformations in the baby, like a cleft palate.
Biotin supplements have been known to help diabetes patients, including insulin dependent and non insulin dependent. Biotin supplementation has shown to control blood sugar and lower fasting blood glucose levels, by even as much as 50 per cent. The supplementation has also been known to prevent neuropathy which is a common effect of diabetes. Neuropathy causes tingling and numbness in the extremities due to a lack of glucose control. Biotin supplements are known to be harmful for pregnant or nursing women, people with liver diseases or children. It is also recommended that people with a history of seizures should take supplements with supervision.
Research is currently underway to find out whether humans are harmed by excess doses of biotin, even in toxic quantities. As it is water soluble, excess of biotin usually gets excreted through urine. Sometimes to remedy a biotin deficiency, you could get shampoos that claim to have biotin but it may not be as effective as biotin is not absorbed by the skin.