Biotin: What You Should Know

Sources, Benefits, Forms, Dosage 

What is Biotin?

Biotin is one of the thirteen essential vitamins, and also one of the eight B vitamins, Vitamin B7 or also known as Vitamin H. Essential vitamins need to be present in the diet because the human body cannot make the nutrients on its own, or in sufficient amounts to sustain normal and healthy bodily functions.1 Biotin is considered an essential vitamin due to its many physiological health benefits, and along with being essential it is also water-soluble. Water-soluble vitamins like Vitamin C and the eight B vitamins dissolve in water and are not stored in the liver or fatty-tissue like with fat-soluble vitamins.1 Since water-soluble vitamins are easily flushed out of the body it is uncommon to develop toxic side effects.

Benefits of Biotin – There are many

Biotin acts as a coenzyme and is involved in chemical reactions that require biotin demanding enzymes, such as the conversion of food into ATP or energy production.1 For example, biotin plays a role in a reaction called gluconeogenesis which makes glucose when carbohydrate intake is insufficient, and the citric acid cycle which releases energy from the body’s stores.1 Without biotin the body would struggle to find fuel when dietary intake is low.1

Biotin also is valuable to cellular health, such as cell growth and development, and gene function.1

Biotin is popularly known for possibly having beneficial effects on hair, skin, and nail health, accordingly, this nutrient is commonly found in dermal cosmetic products.

The different forms of Biotin

80% of biotin can be found in the free or active from, and the other 20% is found bound to proteins.2,3 Biotin that is free is directly absorbed, and biotin that is attached to proteins must detach into its free form before it is able to be digested and absorbed.1 Bound biotin can be difficult to absorb depending on how tightly it is attached to the protein.1 Avidin, a protein found in egg whites is an example of a protein that strongly binds to biotin, inhibiting absorption of the essential nutrient.4

Sources of Biotin – From food and nutrition supplements

Biotin is a unique B vitamin because not only is it found in dietary sources, but it is also produced by humans.1 Humans can synthesize biotin as it is produced by the microbiotia in the large intestine. Even though biotin can be made in the human body, it is still considered an essential vitamin, as it needs to be present in the diet because the body cannot make adequate levels of this nutrient on its own.1

Dietary sources with high amounts of biotin include peanuts, tree nuts, egg yolks, liver, yeast, and mushrooms.3 Food sources contain biotin in either its free form that is directly absorbed, or in its bound form.3 Biotin is also available in nutrition supplements.

Recommended daily dose of Biotin – What physicians advise

The recommended daily dose for nutrients is unique to a person’s age, gender, and other personal factors. A recommended dietary allowance (RDA) has not been established, but the Food and Nutrition Board (FNB) set adequate intake (AI) levels for biotin. The adequate intake amounts shown in Table 1 are a reference for nutritional adequacy in seemingly healthy individuals. The adequate intake of biotin for adults is 30 mcg (micrograms) for both men and women. The recommendation slightly increases between 30 – 35 mcg for pregnant, as well as nursing women because inadequate amounts or a biotin deficiency can possibly cause a disruption in the developing embryo.5

Adequate Intake (AI) of Biotin
Infants (0 – 12 months) 5 – 6 mcg/day
Children (1 – 8 years) 8 – 12 mcg/day
Adolescents (9 – 18 years) 20 – 25 mcg/day
Adults (19+ years) 30 mcg/day
Pregnant and Lactating Women 30 – 35 mcg/day

Table 1: Daily Biotin Adequate Intake (AI) for Healthy Individuals2

Certain populations may need to be more mindful when evaluating their biotin needs. For example, individuals prescribed anticonvulsant medications for a long period of time may have issues with absorption of this vitamin, as well as a reduction in the biotin produced by the microbiota.3 With any particular medication or health condition it is always best to consult with your primary healthcare provider before taking the Healthycell® products or any nutrition supplement.

Biotin toxicity – Very rare

As biotin is a water-soluble B vitamin it is easily flushed out of the body when consumed in excess amounts. Very small amounts of biotin are stored in muscle, liver, and brain tissue, however, since it is not stored in high quantities like with fat soluble vitamins it does not have any known toxic effects.1 As biotin is considered non-toxic, a maximum daily consumption level that may cause an adverse event, or a tolerable upper intake level (UL) has not been established.1

Biotin deficiency, symptoms, and people at risk

Biotin deficiency is rare, especially when compared with the other B vitamins. The deficiency symptoms are characterized as hair loss, brittle nails, dermatitis, depression, and neurological issues such as numbness and inadequate muscle control.1,2,3

Those at risk for biotin deficiency mostly include those undergoing intravenous nutrition without adequate biotin supplementation, infants receiving formula with the absence of biotin, poor transport of biotin from the placenta to fetus, and those who consume excessive quantities of raw egg whites.1,3,5 As previously state, a protein in egg whites, avidin, interferes with the absorption of biotin usually causing a deficiency when consumed in abnormally large amounts, which is known as the egg white injury.1,5

Biotin in Healthycell® Pro – Organic Source

The form of biotin, Vitamin B7, in Healthycell® Pro is D-biotin.  The dosage of biotin in Healthycell® Pro and in Healthycell® is 150 mcg in the morning formula and 150 mcg in the evening formula, for a daily dose of 300 mcg, satisfying 100% of the Daily Value (%DV). Nutrition supplement labeling and food labeling guidelines use Reference Daily Intake (RDI) as the standard for dosage.

References

1. McGuire, Michelle, PhD, and Kathy Beerman A., PhD. “Chapter 10 Water-Soluble

Vitamins.” Nutritional Sciences: From Fundamentals to Food. 2nd Australia: Thomson

/Wadsworth, 2007. 458-460. Print.

2. Brasaemle, Dawn, PhD. “Pantothenate Lecture.” Rutgers University – Biotin. New

Brunswick. 2015. Lecture.

3. Higdon, Jame, PhD, Victoria Drake, PhD, and Barbara Delage, PhD. “Biotin.”

 Linus Pauling Institute Micronutrient Information Center. Oregon State University,

03 Jan. 2017. Web 09 Mar. 2017.

4. Said, Hamid M. “Biotin: The Forgotten Vitamin.” The American Journal of Clinical

Nutrition 75 (n.d.): 179-80. The American Journal of Clinical Nutrition. American

Society for Clinical Nutrition. Web. 10 Mar. 2017.

5. Mock, Donald M. “Marginal Biotin Deficiency Is Common in Normal Pregnancy

and Is Highly Teratogenic in Mice1-3.” JN The Journal of Nutrition 139 (2008): 154-57.

The Journal of Nutrition. The American Institute of Nutrition, 01 Jan. 2009. Web. 09

Mar. 2017.

6. “What Is Orgen-Bio®?” Orgen-Bio® | Organic Biotin | Orgen® Family. N.p., n.d.

Web. 14 July 2017.

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