Biotin, also known as vitamin H, is vital for normal cell function, growth and development. It primarily helps the body to metabolize and use the food you eat. While a biotin deficiency in healthy individuals is rare, it is important that you maintain an Adequate Intake level (AI). Recommendations for sufficient daily biotin intake depend on several factors such as gender, age and pregnancy.
How Much Biotin?
For healthy adults who are 19 years and older, The Food and Nutrition Board of the Institute of Medicine recommends an AI of 35 mcg of biotin per day. For those between 14 and 18 years of age, an AI of 35 mcg is recommended. These requirements are usually fulfilled through a normal diet. Studies by The Food and Nutrition Board of the Institute of Medicine determined that the average person consumes about 40 to 60 mcg of biotin daily. Egg yolk, liver, avocado and salmon are among the richest sources of biotin.
Recent research published by the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition has shown that pregnant women are slightly deficient in biotin. Some experts have suggested a widespread use of biotin supplements for pregnant women. However, there is not enough research supporting this recommendation. The daily AI recommendation for pregnant women of all ages is 30 mcg per day. A higher AI of 35 mcg is recommended for lactating women.
How Much is too Much?
There are currently no published medical reports of biotin toxicity. Although according to the National Institute of Health, doses as high as 200 mg have been used without significant adverse effects. However, the National Institute of Health recommends that higher doses than the recommended AI should not be taken without medical supervision.