The water-soluble Vitamin B7, Biotin, was also known as Vitamin H until it was found that both substances were identical. Subsequently the name Biotin replaced Vitamin H.
Biotin is important for fat, carbohydrate, and protein metabolism. It is also involved in glycogen synthesis and supports the utilisation of other nutrients.
Biotin helps to regulate blood sugar levels and promotes healthy skin, hair, and nails. It is important in the metabolism of fatty acids, for energy production and a healthy nervous system.
Deficiencies rarely occur. Biotin is widely distributed in foods and our body can synthesize small amounts by bacteria in the intestine. However, a substance called avidin binds Biotin and makes it unavailable to our body. High consumptions of raw egg whites should therefore be avoided.
Deficiency symptoms include:
Although Biotin is very potent and only very small quantities are required, Biotin shows no toxicity.
Biotin is widely distributed in foods. Dietary sources include:
Sufficient scientific evidence to establish a Dietary Reference Intake (DRI) is not available. Instead, the suggested Adequate Intake (AI) developed by the Food and Nutrition Board (FNB) at the Institute of Medicine of The National Academies currently states 30mcg for adult men and women. No Tolerable Upper Intake Level has been established for Biotin. Australia and New Zealand state 30mcg for adult men and 25mcg for adult women as their adequate Intakes (AI).