WHAT IS BIOTIN?
Biotin (vitamin H or vitamin B7) is commonly known for its capacity to promote healthy hair, skin, and nails. However, biotin is involved in numerous metabolic processes in both humans and other organisms. Primarily, biotin is necessary for the breakdown of fats, carbohydrates, and amino acids and converting them to energy! Because it is a water-soluble vitamin, your body will naturally excrete any excess.
The word “biotin” is derived from the original Greek word “biotos,” meaning life or sustenance. It is a vital nutrient during pregnancy as it promotes embryonic growth. It is also important in keeping your skin, hair, eyes, liver, and nervous system healthy.
SIGNS OF DEFICIENCY
Biotin deficiencies are uncommon and difficult to diagnose with routine lab testing. Diagnosis is typically identified by the symptoms which include hair loss (or significant hair thinning), red scaly skin rash, depression, fatigue, and tingling in the arms and legs.
Conditions that may cause low biotin levels are pregnancy, long-term tube feeding, malnutrition, rapid weight loss, kidney dialysis, or an inherited condition. Some evidence shows that people with diabetes and cigarette smokers are more susceptible to having lower biotin levels.
Some studies have shown that approximately one-third of pregnant women develop a biotin deficiency at some point during pregnancy. More studies are needed to determine if this deficiency elevates the risk of potential abnormal embryo development. Most pregnant women are advised to take a multivitamin that contains at least 30mcg/day of biotin, combined with at least 400mcg of folic acid.
HOW IT WORKS
Biotin aids your body in the metabolism of fatty acids, carbohydrates, glucose (blood sugar), and amino acids and converting them into the energy you need for your daily routine. It also plays a significant role in how your cells react with each other throughout your body – also called cell signaling – and gene regulation. Biotin also helps your nervous system maintain normal function.
There is not an actual Recommended Daily Allowance for biotin, but studies suggest an adequate amount for adults over 18 and pregnant women are 30mcg/day and 35mcg for breast-feeding women. For children, the amounts vary by age and are below:
0-12 months – 7mcg
1-3 years – 8mcg
4-8 years – 12mcg
9-13 years – 20mcg
14-18 years – 25mcg
If there is a biotin deficiency diagnosed, up to 10mg/day can be added as a supplement. It’s always a good idea to speak to a professional before adding additional amounts to your supplement routine.
FOODS HIGH IN BIOTIN
It is always best practice to get your recommended amounts of vitamins and minerals from natural sources. Keeping in mind that cooking and processing foods will deplete the effectiveness of these vitamins and minerals, so it’s always best to intake more raw or less processed versions of these foods.
- Liver – This organ meat is especially high in biotin, which makes sense as biotin is actually stored in the liver! A 3-ounce serving of beef liver provides 31mcg of biotin – which exceeds the daily recommended dosage. Chicken livers are even richer in biotin containing 138mcg per 3-ounce serving.
- Egg Yolks – Egg yolks, rich in several B vitamins, are a good source of biotin. One whole cooked egg contains approximately 10mcg of biotin.
- Legumes – Peas, beans, and lentils are high in protein, fiber, and various nutrients. The richest sources of biotin in this group are peanuts and soybeans. A 1-ounce serving of peanuts contains approximately 5mcg of biotin, compared to ¾ cup of whole soybeans can provide up to 19.3 mcg.
- Nuts and Seeds – A good source of fiber, protein, and unsaturated fats, the amount of biotin varies by type. For instance, a ¼ cup of roasted sunflower seeds provides 2.6mcg of biotin while the same amount of roasted almonds only offers 1.5mcg.
- Sweet Potatoes – Sweet potatoes are one of the best vegetable sources for biotin. They also provide numerous other vitamins, minerals, fiber, and antioxidants. A ½ cup serving contains approximately 2.4mcg of biotin.
- Mushrooms – A nutrient-rich fungi, mushrooms provide several health benefits. A mushroom’s high biotin content protects it against parasites in the wild. There is quite a difference in the amount of biotin between canned and fresh mushrooms. Of course, fresh mushrooms will provide more biotin at 5.6mcg per 1 cup serving.
- Bananas – One of the world’s most popular fruits, bananas are packed with several nutrients. This sweet, nutritious snack also provides a small amount of biotin. One small banana contains 0.2mcg.
- Avocados – Best known for their contribution to great guacamole, avocados are also rich in biotin. An average avocado contains at least 1.85 mcg of biotin.
- Yeast – Nutritional yeast (aka “brewers yeast”) used for brewing beer and making leaven bread contains up to 21mcg of biotin per 2 tablespoons. However, active yeast, or dry yeast, used to make non-dairy cheeses only contains 1.4mcg per 2 ¼ teaspoons.
- Broccoli – Commonly known for its nutritious value, broccoli is high in fiber, calcium, and vitamins A and C, and contains a small amount of biotin. One-half cup of chopped fresh broccoli can provide 0.4mcg of biotin.
As you can see, biotin is an essential micronutrient for our body to function properly. It is the free injection at Edge Weight Loss and Fatigue in Spring and Katy, Texas for the month of March. Call us now to schedule your initial consultation at 832-789-4989.