Biotin

General Info

Absorbtion

Biotin absorption takes place in the small intestine near the connection of the large intestine.

Dietary Origins

Biotin is found plentifully in many plant and animal foods. Best food sources include bananas, brewer's yeast, grapefruit, liver, milk, peanuts, strawberries, and watermelon.

Overview

Biotin is a recently discovered water-soluble B vitamin. As a water-soluble vitamin, excess is removed from the body each day through urine. Also as a coenzyme for carbohydrate, amino acid, and lipid metabolism, symptoms of deficiency manifest themselves in seemingly unrelated ways. Biotin is essential for the activity of many enzyme systems. Biotin deficiency is associated with poor absorption from the digestive tract, which may be due to the diet itself.

Toxicities & Precautions

General

There are no known toxicities or precautions associated with biotin. Excess is eliminated through the urine.

Functions in the Body

Energy Production

Biotin plays a vital role in the production of energy from the metabolism of carbohydrates and fats.

Fat/Protein Metabolism

Involved in the making of fats and the expelling of byproducts from protein metabolism.

Hair

Known as the vitamin that produces healthy hair and helps prevent graying.

Symptoms & Causes of Deficiency

Biotin deficiency in humans is very rare. This is due to the fact that biotin is combined with beneficial bacteria in the human gastrointestinal tract. A deficiency can result from ingestion of large amounts of raw egg whites, which contain a protein called avidin that strongly binds with biotin. Although deficiency is rare, potential symptoms include; anorexia, cardiac irregularities, depression, hair loss, lesions on the nose and mouth, loss of hair color, muscle pain, nausea, numbness and tingling of the extremities, and scaly dermatitis.