Biotin or Vitamin B7
Biotin is a water-soluble B vitamin that helps the body to metabolize proteins and glucose. It is also known as Vitamin B7 or Vitamin E.
The human body cannot produce biotin. Only certain bacteria, fungi, yeasts, algae, and plants can produce it. So this vitamin should be included in the diet.
Unused biotin is excreted in the urine and therefore the body cannot retain it, so in order to enjoy its benefits, it must be taken daily.
Biotin supplements are widely available in pharmacies, but biotin deficiency is rare, and there is little evidence that most people need these supplements.
Read also: B vitamins and their properties
What is biotin ?
As you know, biotin is an enzyme involved in the metabolism of the following:
- Fatty acids. A molecule found in fats and oils
- Lucian. An essential amino acid that the human body cannot produce and synthesize.
- The introduction of sugar. Glucose is made from molecules that are not a carbohydrate.
Coenzymes are substances that can improve enzyme activity. Helper enzymes cannot initiate or accelerate biological activity, but they do contribute to the enzyme.
The University of Maryland Medical Center states that biotin is important in helping the body process glucose and metabolize proteins, fats, and carbohydrates. It also helps transport carbon dioxide. According to the researchers, biotin is involved in the following conditions:
- Nutrient metabolism
- Energy metabolism
- Maintains healthy hair, skin and mucous membranes
- Maintains nervous system function
- Psychological function
Biotin is also involved in maintaining healthy nails, skin, and hair . Therefore, it is present in most cosmetics. However, it is not absorbed through the skin or hair.
Hair or nail loss:
As mentioned at the beginning of this article, biotin is sometimes called vitamin E. The letter H is derived from a Greek word meaning skin and hair. Some small studies have shown that taking a 2.5 mg supplement containing biotin for a period of 6 months can strengthen nails and reduce their tendency to break.
To date, there is no evidence that biotin can prevent or treat hair loss in both men and women.
In babies, biotin deficiency is linked to a condition called cradle cap, but there is no evidence that supplementing biotin can help improve the condition.
Follow us on Facebook
Biotin and diabetes:
Since biotin, which is vitamin B7, aids in the body’s metabolism, it can also play a role in diabetes control. Research shows that B7 can improve the use of glucose in the body. Diabetics have difficulty using glucose due to an imbalance in insulin.
Biotin can improve fatty acid synthesis and ultimately improve glucose storage. In mice, biotin was able to stimulate insulin secretion. Some reports suggest that biotin supplementation can improve symptoms of neuropathy in people with diabetes.
However, such a claim has not been confirmed by current research. One study found that people with diabetes had low levels of biotin.
In another study, people who lost their taste buds reported improvement after consuming 10 to 20 mcg of biotin daily. However, research on biotin’s benefits is limited and no conclusions can be drawn from these studies.
How much biotin do we need?
It is not yet known exactly how much biotin is needed, but research shows that babies 0 to 6 months old should take 6 mcg per day. This amounts to 30 micrograms for adults 19 years of age and older.
For breastfeeding women, the required amount of biotin will be 35 mcg. In Europe, surveys show that people consume an average of 36 mcg of biotin per day.
Biotin deficiency or vitamin B7 deficiency:
Biotin or vitamin B7 deficiency is rare, but it appears in some people. Biotin supplements are widely available to people, but their use is rarely necessary. Biotin deficiency can lead to the following conditions:
- Hair loss
- A red rash around the eyes, nose, mouth, and penis
- Cracks at the corner of the mouth
- A sore on the tongue that may be red
- Dry eyes
Other possible symptoms include:
- Fatigue and lethargy
- Numbness and burning in the hands and feet
- Weakened immune system and increased exposure to infection
Pregnant women seem to break down biotin faster, and this could lead to a marginal deficiency. There are no symptoms, but this deficiency can lead to fetus development problems.
Since it is recommended that pregnant women take folic acid during pregnancy , adding B7 to these supplements may also be beneficial. Other people who may take supplements include:
- People taking anticonvulsants.
- People with liver disease.
- People who are fed intravenously for a long time.
Deficiency of biotin or vitamin B7 is very rare, however, genetic disorders that interfere with the absorption of biotin can lead to deficiency of this vitamin, and the use of biotin supplements can help these people.
People who have difficulty absorbing biotin and other nutrients due to diseases such as Crohn’s disease can benefit from biotin supplements.
Source of biotin:
A wide range of foods contain biotin, and of course none of them contain large amounts of biotin, but they are sufficient to provide the body with the required amount:
- Bread made from whole wheat flour
- Cheddar cheese
- the banana
Egg white reduces the effect of biotin on the yolk because it binds to biotin and prevents its absorption. People who have eaten egg whites for years will be at risk of deficiency of this vitamin.
Food processing can reduce the level of nutrients such as biotin. Therefore, raw materials like raw cauliflower can provide more biotin (or vitamin B7) than cooked ones.
A study published in Advances in Nutrition estimated that biotin consumption in North America and Western Europe ranges from 35 to 70 mcg per day.
According to research from the University of Oregon, biotin has no known toxic effects. Individuals with inherited disorders of biotin metabolism can tolerate a dose of 200,000 mcg per day without any problems.
People who do not have problems metabolizing biotin can tolerate a dose of 5,000 mcg per day for 24 months. However, it is best to consult your doctor before changing your diet or taking supplements.