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BiotinBiotin is a water soluble vitamin a part of vitamin B family and an essential nutrient in human nutrition. The name biotin is derived from a Greek word ‘bios’ which means life. Biotin is required for certain enzymes to function properly, to avoid complications of skin, nervous system and intestinal tract. Various metabolic problems like high blood ammonia, acidosis (high acid in blood), or very low blood sugar levels between meals can also occur. Biotin is also necessary for genetic processes in cells and plays a role in gene expression and DNA replication.
Biotin is widely distributed in various food stuff which help to suffice its daily requirements and our body is also able to recycle much of the biotin that is already used.
Thus there are very rare chances of a person to be deficient in this vitamin. Egg yolk, liver, kidney, pancreas, soy, milk and barley are some of the good source of biotin, brewer’s yeast being the richest in this vitamin.
Health benefits of biotin
- Although biotin deficiency is rare, prolonged use of anti-seizure medications, antibiotics, intravenous feeding without added biotin, intestinal malabsorption, or eating raw egg whites on regular basis are some of the possible side effects of biotin deficiency. Supplementation of biotin in these conditions may be beneficial.
- Multiple carboxylase deficiency can cause functional biotin deficiency. Strict management by administrating high dose of biotin is helpful in this metabolic problem cure.
- Biotin supplementation also helps to decrease insulin resistance and improve glucose tolerance thus may be beneficial for patients with type 2 diabetes.
- Patients on total parenteral nutrition should have biotin in their intravenous feeding solutions to avoid biotin deficiency.
- Biotin supplementation has found to be beneficial for the treatment of brittle nails, particularly in women.
- Biotin along with pantothenic acid is used in variety of cosmetic hair products.
Side effects of biotin
No significant side effects or toxicity have been reported with biotin consumption, and high doses of biotin are administered under strict supervision for patients with inborn errors of metabolism without toxicity. But biotin supplementation should be done under the supervision of a health care professional and should not exceed the daily adequate allowance.
- Marginal deficiency of biotin has been commonly observed during pregnancy. Biotin supplementation during pregnancy may help to avoid any complications like birth defects in young ones.
- Pantothenic acid when administered in large doses can lead to biotin malabsorption in the gut, lowering biotin levels in the body.
|Submitted on January 16, 2014