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Biotin: What Is It and Why Is Biotin Important?


Biotin is a B vitamin that is sometimes referred to as vitamin H or vitamin B7. It is one of the eight vitamins in the vitamin B-complex. The B vitamins, in general, help in promoting healthy nerves, skin, eyes, hair, liver and a healthy mouth.

Most diets contain foods that supply more than enough biotin to keep a person healthy. Biotin is naturally present in many foods, such as meats, saltwater fish, cooked egg yolks, milk, poultry, legumes, whole grains and brewer's yeast. Sometimes, biotin content in food is reduced when foods are cooked or frozen. The best way to prepare a biotin-rich food, in order to retain its biotin content, is through steaming.

Intake of biotin through foods can increase the biotin supply in the body. However, food intake is not the only way to get this vitamin into you body. It is one of the few vitamins that can be manufactured in the intestine. Output of biotin, best measured in the biotin content of feces, is said to be 2-5 times higher than the biotin intake. Sufficient level of biotin in the body is important to several body functions.

Biotin is Important in Metabolism and Energy Production

Biotin assists in the metabolism of carbohydrates, fats and proteins. Biotin, as a coenzyme, is involved in energy production. It is one of the agents that converts food into energy by facilitating the metabolism of fats and carbohydrates into glucose, and breaking down of proteins into amino acids.

Biotin's Role in Maintaining a Healthy Blood Sugar Levels

Due to its role in glucose production, biotin has an effect in the amount of sugar in the blood. Levels of biotin are said to be indirectly proportional to sugar level; high levels of biotin lowers blood sugar levels and vice versa. Biotin supplementation is one of the recommended treatments for people who suffer from diabetes.

Biotin Keeps the Hair and Skin Healthy

Sufficient quantities of biotin have long been known as a key element in maintaining healthy hair and skin. Symptoms, such as hair loss, skin irritation, fungus or eczema, are frequent confirmation of a biotin deficiency.

Biotin aids in nail and hair growth. In fact, studies show that at least 100 milligrams of biotin may be able to prevent hair loss in men.

Biotin Deficiency

Biotin deficiency is uncommon in adults, since it is readily available in many different foods. It can also be easily produced by the body. However, consumption of a typically packaged food may result to missing out on this vitamin along with a lot of other nutrients.

In infants, cradle cap or seborrheic dermatitis is a condition that may be caused by biotin deficiency. It is characterized by dry, scaly scalp.

Biotin deficiencies are associated with lethargy and depression. Other symptoms of biotin includes anemia, high blood sugar, inflammation of the skin and mucous membranes, difficulty in sleeping, muscular pain, loss of appetite, nausea and tongue sores.

Eating a well-balanced diet is important in preventing various diseases. The body functions more effectively if it is supplied with the much needed vitamins and minerals.

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