Biotin: Uses, Benefits, Deficiency and Foods

It is common knowledge that when human beings eat food it is converted to energy and many other substances for the functionality of the body. For a layman, this may be difficult to understand because to everyone, food is simply food. Food getting converted would somehow seem bulky to an average man’s understanding; nevertheless, this is what happens in the human body when food is eaten.

There is a vitamin responsible for the conversion of food to energy in the body and it is called Biotin or vitamin H. Biotin is a member of the B complex vitamin family that keeps the hair, skin, liver and nervous system healthy. It is an important element needed during pregnancy to boast the embryonic growth in the womb and also in the healthy life of a new born baby during breastfeeding.

Biotin is involved in a broad range of metabolic processes, seen mostly in the humans and in other organisms, but chiefly related to the consumption of fats, carbohydrates, and amino acids.

It is commonly found in small quantities in food such as milk, egg yolk, wheat germ, spinach, oats, white mushroom and bananas and most times used in the treatment of nerve damage, brittle nails and hair loss among other health conditions. The word biotin comes from an ancient Greek word, biotos, meaning sustenance or life and it is can also easily dissolve in water.

Biotin can be gotten from eating healthy meals; also, studies have claims that getting more biotins in the body can help in the regulation of the blood sugar, promotion of healthy nails and hair and also in helping pregnant mothers have very healthy babies. It is therefore no secret that with the various health benefits encountered in the utilization of biotin supplements that biotin should be one of the elements in health and wellness constantly in research.

At the rate researches are being carried out daily to discover an easy and affordable way to enhance the skin and hair beauty, biotin would naturally be in the forefront of many researches and studies. It is always best to get biotin nutrient from the natural sources but in situations where biotin cannot be gotten enough naturally, a biotin supplement can be taken as prescribed by a health care provider.

This article would be discussing biotic and its nutritive supplement, the deficiencies experienced when it is not present or very little in the body, facts about it, sources of biotic, the effects and side effects encountered during its usage, its health benefits, and when it is not safe to use it.

BIOTIN DEFICIENCY

According to studies, biotin deficiency in humans is not common; however, the first sign noticed if it ever occurs is a drop in the biotin in the human urine with a maintenance of plasma levels of biotin. It can result in an unusual genetic deficiency in the biotinidase, an enzyme that helps recycle biotin to be reused by the body, with symptoms such as rashes on the eyebrows and cheeks, muscle pain, numbness and extreme tiredness due to neurological conditions. Nevertheless, this deficiency occurs in about one out of fourteen thousand newly born babies, which is almost very insignificant and quite unnoticed.

Biotin deficiency has also been known to occur in persons who consume raw eggs daily for a month this is due to the protein contained in the egg white called avidin; this protein, though not through a covalent interaction, binds itself to the biotin released during the digestion of dietary protein making the biotin unseen and unclear to the human system and thus, preventing its re-absorption. Avidin can be destroyed when eggs are properly cooked.

Research has also revealed that during a prolonged parenteral nutrition; that is a situation where one’s gastrointestinal tract is either unavailable for use or unreliable for over five days or when one’s extended bowel rest is preferred for curative grounds, biotin deficiency is experienced. This is due to biotin been omitted accidentally from the liquid formula. Biotin deficiency can also be experienced in people who are taking antibiotics or people that have had a part of their intestines surgically removed.

Other symptoms that can be seen when there is biotin deficiency are hair loss and or a scaly red rash. Although this deficiency is uncommon, in some cases, pregnant women may be biotin deficient during pregnancy; this can be solved using the prenatal vitamin that contains biotin and folic acid.

FACTS ABOUT BIOTINS

Although biotin helps in breaking down food into digestive bits, there is an interesting fact to the vitamin and this is, biotin is not stored in the body, so, it can actually get low when it is not included in one’s daily meal.

Since biotin is a water-soluble element, extra biotin in the body system will simply pass through the body when urination occurs. Taking biotin supplements might get in the way of the results of many different blood laboratory tests. Biotin has been known to cause falsely high or falsely low blood test results; and situation can lead to missed or incorrect diagnoses. It is also important to note that most multivitamins contain low doses of biotin, which are not likely to interfere with blood tests. It is strongly recommended to discuss with a health care provider and or laboratory technician if biotin is in use or not to prevent false diagnoses.

SOURCES OF BIOTIN

As earlier mentioned, biotin can be found in a number of foods such as; egg yolk, soybeans and other legumes, cauliflower, mushrooms, organ meats like liver and kidney, whole grains and cereals, bananas, nut butter and other nuts such as almonds, peanuts, pecans and walnut. However, when these foods are cooked, the biotin is rendered ineffective, raw or less-processed forms of these foods have more active biotin in them.

HEALTH BENEFITS

Some inconclusive research suggests that biotin supplement help normalize the blood glucose levels of people with type 2 diabetes. According to some other study carried out on animals which however not fully definite, claims that intake of biotin supplement by people with insulin-dependent type 1 diabetes may help prevent damage to their kidney.

RECOMMENDED DOSAGE

Studies have claimed that taking biotin supplement with zinc and applying a steroid cream to the skin can be used effectively to cure hair losses. People with inherited disorder called biotin-thiamine-responsive basal ganglia disease, experience episodes of distorted mental state and muscle problems. However, prior research shows that taking biotin with thiamine may not necessary be more effective than taking thiamine alone but the combination can help to reduce the length of these fits whenever they occur.

Taking oral biotin daily for up to a year can increase the thickness of toe nails and finger nails of people with brittle nails. Some other research shows that taking a combination of chromium and biotin can effectively lower the blood sugar in people with diabetes. However, taking only oral biotin may not improve the blood sugar in diabetic patients. Oral biotin has also been known to reduce nerve pains in the legs of people with diabetes.

People with inherited health situations in which the body cannot process biotin, as well as people receiving kidney dialysis are advised to get extra biotin.People who smoke may also have low biotin levels and may need a biotin supplement to improve the level of biotin in their body.Bottom of Form

 Recommended dosage should be advised by a health care provider.

Some other health conditions that oral biotin supplement has effectively helped to cure are muscle cramps in relation to dialysis and multiple sclerosis. In the case of multiple sclerosis, studies have shown that a high dose of biotin can improve vision and reduce partial paralysis in some people with this health impediment. Although there is no sufficient prove to back up these claims, it is advised to meet a health care provider when taking these supplements.

WHEN IT IS NOT SAFE TO USE IT

Caution should be taken when using the biotin supplement in pregnancy as high doses of biotin can be very harmful to the baby. It is therefore advised that while taking the prenatal vitamins, additional supplementation of biotin is not advised unless recommended by a health specialist.

SIDE EFFECTS

Biotin is recommended to have little or no known side effects, it is however, generally advised to take between 30 and 100 micrograms of biotin per day for adults and adolescents alike. In cases of an over dosage of the supplement, some mild side effects like digestive issues and nausea have been reported

CONCLUSION

Biotin is essential for standard body function, and supplements may be of great help to people at risk of biotin deficiency such as pregnant women and some people with diabetes, however, there is still not adequate data presented to sustain supplementation or allegations about biotin supplement providing healthy nails, hair, and skin.

Therefore in order to avoid the confusions associated with the idea of taking supplements being good or not, it is always the best to eat a balanced, healthy meal of non-processed or modestly processed foods for the optimal health.