What is Biotin?
Biotin is a water soluble B-Complex vitamin.

Function of Biotin:
The B vitamins work together to convert carbohydrates into glucose (sugar), which is
then "burned" to produce energy. B vitamins are often referred to as B-complex
vitamins and are essential in the metabolism of fats and protein.
They are necessary
for maintaining muscle tone in the gastrointestinal tract and promoting the health of
the nervous system, skin, hair, eyes, mouth, and liver.  

Biotin is also needed for cell growth, the production of fatty acids, and in the function
of amino acids.  It helps with the transfer of carbon dioxide, and is also beneficial in
maintaining a steady blood sugar level.  Studies suggest that biotin may help improve
blood sugar control in those with diabetes, particularly type 2 diabetes.  Biotin is also
very helpful and recommended for strengthening hair and nails.  Even though It is
commonly added to cosmetic and health products, it is not absorbed well through the

Deficiency of Biotin:
Biotin deficiency is rare.  Deficiency can occur due to prolonged intravenous feeding
without biotin supplementation.  Deficiency is also known to occur in cases where
people have ingested large amounts of raw egg whites over long periods of time
(from several weeks to years).  Avidin, a protein found in egg whites, binds biotin and
prevents its absorption. Cooking egg whites denatures avidin, making them
digestable and unable to prevent the absorption of biotin.

Symptoms of biotin deficiency include dry skin, hair loss or total alopecia, fine and
brittle hair,  seborrheic dermatitis, fungal infections, and rashes.  Neurological
symptoms of deficiency in adults include depression, generalized muscular pains ,
lethargy, hallucinations, and numbness and tingling of the extremities.  Studies have
shown that Individuals with hereditary disorders of biotin metabolism, which results in
functional biotin deficiency, develop impaired immune system function.  This includes
increased susceptibility to bacterial and fungal infections.

Note: A variety of medical conditions can lead to the symptoms mentioned above.  Therefore, it is
important to have a physician evaluate them so that appropriate medical care can be given.

Toxicity (Biotin Overdose):
Studies found that people who didn't have disorders of biotin metabolism and took
doses of up to 5 mg/day for two years, did not experience adverse effects.  
However, there has been one reported case of life-threatening eosinophilic
pleuropericardial effusion in an elderly woman who took a combination of 10 mg/day
of biotin and 300 mg/day of pantothenic acid for two months.
 Taking any one of the
B complex vitamins for a long period of time can cause an imbalance of the other
important B vitamins.  To avoid the imbalance, it is recommended that you take a B
complex vitamin instead of isolating any single B vitamin.

Caution: Eating natural foods that are high in biotin is the safest and healthiest way
to get an adequate supply of the nutrient.  Due to risk of toxicity, individuals should
always consult with a knowledgeable health care provider before starting doses of
supplements.  Before giving supplements to children, it is recommended that you first
consult with their pediatrician.  Also, some supplements may interfere with
medications.  If you are taking medication, it is recommended that you consult with
your physician before taking any supplements.  All supplements should be kept in
childproof bottles and out of children's reach.

Biotin Food Chart (List of Foods High in Biotin):

Brewer's Yeast
Liver, cooked, 3 ounces - (27-35 mcg)
Egg, cooked, 1 large - (13-25 mcg)
Salmon, cooked, 3 ounces - (4-5 mcg)
Avocado 1 whole - (2-6 mcg)
Bread, whole-wheat, 1 slice - (0.02-6 mcg)
Cauliflower, raw, 1 cup - (0.2-4 mcg)
Raspberries 1 cup - (0.2-2 mcg)


American Dietetic Association: Complete Food And Nutrition Guide (2nd Edition)
Roberta Larson Duyff, MS, RD, FADA, CFCS

Vitamins, Minerals, Herbs and More
Pamela Wartian Smith, MD, MPH

University of Maryland Medical Center -

Linus Pauling Institute -

Wikipedia The Free Encyclopedia
Eating foods that are high in
biotin can help to prevent and
alleviate conditions such as
hairloss, rashes and other skin
problems, decreased appetite,
decreased growth, and can help
to improve blood sugar control in
patients who are diabetic.  Biotin
can also help to reduce the
numbness and tingling sensations
associated with diabetes.  Royal
Jelly and brewer's yeast contain
large amounts of biotin.  Other
foods that are high in biotin
include: eggs, liver, salmon,
avocados, raspberries, and
Copyright ©
These statements have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA). The content on
this website is for educational purposes only.  Please consult with your physician before using natural
remedies and before making any drastic changes to your diet or exercise
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