Biotin

Health and well being are two inseparable, yet interesting topics to talk about. It is an exciting adventure knowing a little more about the impact of nutrition and diet in your state of well being. Here, you will read interesting information about biotin.

It is  good to have an understanding of supplements that go into your body. Each food supplement achieves a set of purposes in your body’s growth, development, and function. Hence the need to read about biotin. 

What Is A Food Supplement, And Why Is Biotin Important?

Food supplements, also known as nutritional or dietary supplements, are primarily developed to make up for deficiencies in nutrition.

A food supplement such as biotin is one of the vitamin B complexes. These vitamins are known to help the body breakdown food into usable energy.

So, biotin as a food supplement is primarily recommended for persons with deficiencies in energy uptake from diet. Other standard designations of biotin are B-7, coenzyme R, and vitamin H.

Therefore, food supplements can be in any of the following; amino acids, fatty acids, minerals, vitamins, and so on. In most cases, they are administered in different forms, such as tablets, pills, capsules, or even as liquids. Based on recommendation, food supplements come in different doses.

However, you should ensure that you do not take more than the recommended dosage to achieve the purpose of the use of the supplement. Usually, you will find biotin supplements in ranges of 10, 50, and 100 micrograms.

Biotin: The Body’s Need For Energy

Everyone needs energy to do both one thing or another. Ranging from internal activity such as metabolism to external activities that include movement, lifting a load, and so many others, the body requires an amount of energy.

For this reason, biotin is vital to the body. Both in the natural sources and in the case of supplements, the importance of absorbing biotin cannot be overemphasized.

Are There Special Categories Of Deficiency Needs?

As you now know, biotin is essential for everyone. You also need to have an idea of its greater need in some persons than in others. There are two categories of people advised to get biotin supplements based on doctor’s recommendations.

1. Pregnancy

One of the most current and challenging issues in childbirth is deformation which some refer to as defects in birth. Abnormal embryonic developments are sometimes attributed to lack or inadequate biotin levels.

Nutritionists have discovered that one out of every two pregnant women have biotin deficiency during pregnancy or while breastfeeding. Such deficiency, most times, results from the body’s increased usage of biotin during pregnancy. But there is nothing to worry about. You can always fill up spent biotin.

Apart from the fact that biotin is required to grow hair and nails, and to improve the smoothness of skins, pregnant women should meet up with certain biotin levels. Usually, a daily intake of 30mcg of biotin either from natural sources primarily or from supplements is required by pregnant women.

There are assumptions that up to 35mcg should be taken daily during breastfeeding. This increase is supported by the higher metabolic rates occurring because of breastfeeding.

2. Diabetes

Research has shown that Type1 and Type2 diabetic patients can find biotin very useful in their therapy. The significant benefit of biotin supplements in treating diabetes is that it helps to regulate the level of blood sugar.

Particularly for Type1, biotin supplement of a dose of about 16mcg daily aids the improvement of blood glucose levels. In addition, biotin in such persons reduces the pain of damages to the nerve.

For Type2 diabetes, a biotin supplement of an average of 12mcg daily, in addition to improving glucose, also helps to improve triglyceride levels too. Biotin, in this case, also tends to reduce pain attributed to diabetic nerve damages.

What To Worry About?

Some people worry that biotin removal from the body is a difficult thing. Interestingly, biotin is among the class of water-soluble vitamins. This solubility classification confers a level of advantage on biotin as a supplement because it can be easily removed from the body via urine. So, be informed that there is nothing to worry about since biotin is water-soluble.

What Interactions Of Biotin Should You Avoid?

Presently, there is little or no report yet of any significant interaction of biotin with other vitamins, supplements, or amino acids.

1. Biotin Deficiency

Biotin occurs as vitamin B7 in many natural food sources. Most often than not, the availability of biotin in these food sources usually does not result in extreme cases of its deficiency. However, this does not exclude the fact that some persons still have biotin deficiencies.

To be able to detect these deficiencies, there are a set of symptoms that you should look out for. Some of these symptoms include (but are not restricted to):

Dry or scaly skin, nausea, brittle hair, muscle pain, depression, insomnia, dry eyes, rough and flaky skin, rashes on the surface, reddish facial skin, walking difficulty, fatigue, and hair loss.

2. Clinical Diagnosis

If any of these symptoms listed above manifest, you should try to see a doctor. Mostly, a doctor will have a series of physical checks and observation run on you, after which you might be asked to do some tests. Such analysis will help to confirm your level of vitamin B7.

The analysis will be a confirmation of the diagnosis. If your test result shows you are deficient in biotin, you will be advised to improve your vitamin B7 diet, or you will be given a recommendation on biotin supplements to use. 

5 Major Causes Of Biotin Deficiency?

Two out of three individuals reported to be biotin deficient were unaware of such deficiency before clinical confirmation. That is, 66% of biotin deficient cases were as a result of the lack of information. Here, you will find a list of possible causes of biotin deficiencies. It is indeed worth the read. 

1. Intravenous Food Uptake

People who have had a history of IV feeding stand at a high risk of biotin deficiency.

2. Medicines and Drugs

Certain medications naturally act as inhibitors for the body’s uptake of vitamins such as vitamin B7. Drugs such as certain antibiotics have been known to impair the body’s ability to absorb biotin. This inhibition usually happens by destroying the biotin, producing microorganisms in the gut. 

3. Intestinal Difficulties

Apart from medications known to cause biotin deficiency, chronic cases of intestinal problems account for defects too. For example, the inflammation of the colon or the large intestine is known as colitis impairs the body’s uptake of nutrients from food.

In a case as biotin deficiency, colitis reduces the level of required biotin in the body. Therefore, it is crucial for anyone who has a previous case of intestinal inflammation to consider a biotin supplement. 

4. Genetic Transfer

Biotin deficiencies have been reported, especially in the newborn as a result of gene transfer. In most cases, a genetic disorder such as Phenylketonuria has been associated with biotin transport deficiency. Therefore, it is a typical procedure after birth to check for suspected cases of such disease in the newborn. 

5. Diet

Since biotin is found naturally to be present in some foods, other diets that do not contain such foods over a consistent period can eventually lead to biotin deficiency. So, the right change of diet or the inclusion of biotin supplements in nutrition can help to improve biotin levels in the body. 

Prevention And Treatment of Biotin Deficiency

The function of biotin in the body is essential. Here, we will be talking about strategic ways to prevent biotin deficiency and other ways to treat it. Two significant ways play a very vital role in prevention and treatment. 

a) Getting The Right Food Sources

Prevention of biotin deficiency by natural sources account for about 50% of the cases known. As it is known, an adult requires a daily intake of 30mcg. The following are natural sources containing biotin:

  • Dairy products
  • Seafood
  • Whole grains such as corn, wheat, and barley
  • Egg
  • Mushroom
  • Legumes, Carrots and green peas

b) Food Supplement

In addition to the known natural food sources of biotin, doctors and trained nutritionists recommend supplements containing biotin. You will usually find such supplements as vitamins in dosage of 5, 10 and 50 micrograms.

Even though there are not so many reported cases of side effects or interactions, it is still very advisable to get these supplements based on recommendation by a doctor.

Conclusion

Biotin is an essential water-soluble vitamin that is required by the body for a number of specific reasons. In general, some of its uses include pregnancy and postpartum support, treatment of type1 and type2 diabetes, multiple sclerosis, skin treatment, and nail treatments. In addition to the naturally occurring sources of biotin supplement, supplements based on recommendations are reliable sources of biotin too.