Biotin or B7 is a water-soluble B vitamin found naturally in some foods and also in supplements. It plays a vital role in assisting enzymes to break down fats, carbohydrates, and proteins in food. It also helps to regulate signals sent by cells and the activity of genes.
The function of Biotin
- Biotin metabolizes carbohydrates, fats, and amino acids, the building blocks of protein. Therefore, it helps to protein for better performance and repair cells as well.
- It helps in the growth and development of hair and nails also helps in skin health. Hence, it is excellent for hair health and growth.
- Vitamin B7 play role in normal embryonic growth, making them a critical nutrient during pregnancy. Therefore, it is particularly essential during pregnancy.
Deficiency of biotin
- Loss of hair and thinning
- Scaly skin rashes around eyes, nose, mouth
- Brittle nails
- Paresthesias of extremities
Sources of vitamin B7
- Beef liver
- Eggs (cooked)
- Sweet potato
- Nuts, seeds
- An RDA (Recommended Dietary Allowance) does not exist for biotin because there is not enough evidence to suggest a daily amount needed by most healthy people.
- AI for biotin for men and women 19 years and older and for pregnant women is 30 micrograms daily. Lactating women need 35 micrograms daily.
- UL: A Tolerable Upper Intake Level (UL) is the maximum daily dose unlikely to cause adverse side effects in the general population. There is no UL for biotin due to a lack of reports showing negative effects from very high intakes.
No evidence in humans has shown toxicity of vitamin B7 even with high intakes. Because it is water-soluble, any excess amount will leave through the urine. Hence, there is no established upper limit or toxic level for biotin.